Several different conditions cause sore throats. The most common conditions are those that are due to infections. While viral throat infections are more common, they usually cause less severe symptoms and do not require antibiotics. Bacterial throat infections can form together with viral infections or on their own, and can cause more severe sore throats, according to the book "Head and Neck Surgery--Otolaryngology" by Byron Bailey 1. Antibiotics are useful for treating sore throats from bacterial infections.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Amoxicillin is a very common antibiotic in the penicillin antibiotic class 2. It is effective against the most common bacteria that cause sore throats. Physicians often prescribe amoxicillin as a first-line drug against sore throats, not only because it is effective, but also because it has relatively few side effects 2. According to Drugs.com, people with a penicillin allergy should avoid taking amoxicillin, as it can cause an allergic reaction 23.
Augmentin is a combination antibiotic, containing amoxicillin and clavulanic acid, and can effectively treat bacterial infections that cause more severe sore throats 2. Physicians also use it to treat infections for which amoxicillin has failed to provide relief 2. Augmentin comes in a large pill that can be difficult to swallow and can potentially cause more abdominal discomfort than amoxicillin, according to the Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of Internal Medicine 24.
Azithromycin, which comes in a commonly distributed form called Z-Pak, is an antibiotic in the macrolide drug class. According to Drugs.com, azithromycin is an effective drug against many of the bacteria that infect the respiratory tract and cause sore throats 3. Physicians like to prescribe it because it comes in a simple self-explanatory pack that patients can take over five days.
Clindamycin is a powerful antibiotic and is effective against the common bacteria that cause sore throats. Physicians often prescribe it to patients who are allergic to penicillins. According to the book "Head and Neck Surgery--Otolaryngology" by Byron Bailey, Streptococcal species have started to develop resistance to clindamycin, so it may not be effective in all cases of sore throat 1.
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