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The most common pharyngitis symptoms include sore throat, fever, laryngitis, and difficulty swallowing. In addition, the patient might feel profoundly fatigued and notice a skin rash. Typically, symptoms are the result of a viral throat infection, however, the condition can also be caused by a bacterial throat infection. When throat infections are bacterial in nature, antibiotics are recommended. Viral throat infections do not respond to antibiotics and are generally not prescribed.
Other pharyngitis symptoms can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and headache. When antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial pharyngitis symptoms, people need to be aware of the importance of completing the entire course of treatment. Failure to finish the antibiotics can cause a systemic strep infection, if pharyngitis originated from the strep bacteria, and incomplete resolution and subsequent relapse of infection.
Sometimes antibiotics that are prescribed for pharyngitis symptoms can cause significant adverse reactions and cause the patient to give up treatment. Common antibiotic adverse reactions include abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. When these side effects occur, patients should call their health care providers for recommendations.
Many times, these symptoms cause people to feel extremely ill, causing them to stop eating and drinking. It is extremely important that patients make an attempt to eat and drink, even if they have no appetite. Dehydration can occur quickly, causing lethargy, dizziness, high fever, and, in extreme cases, kidney failure. If eating is difficult, fluids must be taken to reduce the risk of dehydration. When swallowing difficulty occurs, the physician should be called for further treatment.
Supportive care for pharyngitis symptoms includes taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and fever, getting rest, and drinking plenty of fluids. This is especially true when fever is present. Sometimes, patients might notice that their hearts are pounding or beating fast when they have a throat infection. This is usually related to the fever and consequences of infection. In certain cases, however, it can indicate an infection around the lining of the heart, which will need evaluation and treatment.
When the individual loses his voice as a result of strep throat or other throat infection, the voice should be rested and warm fluids such as decaffeinated tea should be consumed. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages, as well as alcoholic beverages should be avoided because they can have a drying effect on irritated throat tissues and worsen the condition.