Oral steroid is effective for shortening sore throat duration in acute pharyngitis

  • Kiderman A
  • Yaphe J
  • Bregman J
  • Zemel T
  • Furst AL


We all know that upper respiratory tract infections are mostly viral in origin, even when the presentation is primarily sore throat (acute pharyngitis). We probably would prescribe fewer antibiotics if the symptomatic relief that we give to our patient can be more effective. Kiderman et al conducted a randomised placebo control trial to evaluate the role of oral steroid (prednisone) for pain relief in general practice. Eligible patients were adults who had severe sore throat and at least two of the following features (tonsillar/pharyngeal exudate, dysphagia, fever and lymphadenopathy). Seventy-nine patients (age range 18-65 years) received either 60 mg prednisone (for one or two days) or placebo, and pain symptom was asessed by visual analogue scale and telephone interview. Throat swab culture were obtained for 92% of patients, 57% of them were positive for Group A β-haemolytic streptococci (no difference between intervention or control group). Antibiotic treatment was at the discretion of the doctor. Throat pain score was significantly reduced in the prednisone group compared to the placebo group at 12 hours and 24 hours but not subsequently. At 48 hours, 57.5% and 33.3% of patients in prednisone and placebo group respectively were pain free (statistically significant difference). This study has demonstrated that shortacting oral steroid is effective for shortening throat pain duration in acute pharyngitis. The investigators did not observe any serious adverse effect from the steroid use. It is noteworthy that by third day (72 hours), there is no statistical significance in pain score or proportion of patients with pain relief in the two treatment groups. (copied from article)
How to Cite
AK., JY., JB., TZ., & ALF. (2012). Oral steroid is effective for shortening sore throat duration in acute pharyngitis. Malaysian Family Physician, 13(3), 1. Retrieved from https://www.e-mfp.org/ojs3/index.php/MFP/article/view/153
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