Patients still expect antibiotics for sore throats

New research from anaesthetic throat spray, Ultra Chloraseptic, has highlighted the impact of sore throats on the British public, as well as providing an insight into attitudes to antibiotics.

The OnePoll Omnibus survey of 1,000 parents revealed that almost half of adults (49 per cent) have taken time off work due to a throat infection, with one in eight missing five days or more. Furthermore, three out five of children have been absent from school because of a sore throat.

The most troublesome symptoms of a sore throat were found to be difficulty swallowing (78 per cent) and pain (67 per cent).

Nearly half of respondents (46 per cent) had been prescribed antibiotics for a sore throat, while 30 per cent had been advised to use antibiotic lozenges, despite the fact that the vast majority of sore throats are caused by viral infections, which do not respond to antibiotics. In addition, antibiotics are not recommended by NICE for the symptomatic relief of sore throats due to the serious issue of antimicrobial resistance.

One in five consumers had asked their GP to prescribe antibiotics for a sore throat and one in seven thought that doctors were wrong to refuse them.

GP, Dr Paul Stillman, commented: “In the vast majority of cases there is absolutely no need to use antibiotics and every reason to avoid using them. But it is not that long ago that antibiotics were routinely prescribed for sore throats and unfortunately there are still far too many patients who demand them.”


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