Send to

Choose Destination
Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2000 Jun 10;120(15):1754-60.

[Guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of sore throat].

[Article in Norwegian]

Author information

Seksjon for helsetjenesteforskning Statens institutt for folkehelse, Oslo.



Available guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of sore throat give conflicting recommendations. Our aim was to develop evidence-based guidelines.


We searched The Cochrane Library, Medline and other sources for systematic reviews and other evidence that met explicit inclusion criteria for all of the relevant options and outcomes we identified. The validity of included studies was assessed. Draft recommendations based on assessment of this evidence were widely circulated and discussed in focus groups with patients and physician assistants.


Throat infections are self-limiting and complications rare. Penicillin shortens the duration of symptoms in tonsillitis caused by beta-haemolytic streptococci and reduces the risk of complications. Penicillin has adverse effects and increases the risk of reinfections. Patients with sore throat should usually be treated without antibiotics. Visiting a physician is normally unnecessary. Antibiotics should be considered in serious cases or if the patient prefers this, but should only be prescribed for throat infections caused by beta-haemolytic streptococci. The diagnosis should be based on clinical criteria and a rapid antigen test in cases of doubt.


Benefits of antibiotics must be weighed against harms. Patients should be given good information and involved in decision-making if they want antibiotics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center