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No antibiotics for sore throats

Doctors should not prescribe antibiotics for most people with sore throats, say new guidelines. While most sore throats are caused by viral infections, research suggests antibiotics are prescribed in 60% of cases.

The guidelines from NICE and Public Health England (PHE) aim to limit the use of antibiotics. They say doctors should give antibiotics only for severe cases likely to be caused by bacterial infections.

Cliodna McNulty, Head of PHE’s Primary Care Unit, said: “Antibiotics are a precious resource and it’s important that they are only used when really needed.

“For a sore throat, evidence shows that antibiotics make little difference unless symptoms are much more severe.”

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