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NSAID alternative to antibiotics for sore throat

A type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug can be used as an effective alternative to antibiotics for treating sore throats associated with upper respiratory tract infections, Australian researchers have found.

A total of 373 patients were randomised to receive either flurbiprofen 8.75mg microgranules or placebo.

They found the NSAID was an effective, fast-acting and well-tolerated over-the-counter option for patients with sore throat.

“Pain relief was evidence by one minute post-dose and lasted for at least six hours,” the authors said.

“Microgranules containing flurbiprofen 8.75mg provided fast and effective relief from sore throat due to URTI and represent an alternative treatment option to antibiotic therapy,” they added.

Readers' comments (2)

  • How can an NSAID replace an antibiotic? I understand it relieves pain but it would do nothing to remedy the cause of the pain if indeed it is bacterial.

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  • I seem to recall that these also came under fire recently in the press (probably the Telegraph) for their dangerous side effects.

    Judith Mallett | 1-Feb-2013 3:36 pm

    they are anti-inflammatory and may relieve pain by reducing inflamed tissue and could be helpful if the infection was viral rather than bacterial where antibiotics are of no use. Furthermore, many milder infections caused by bacteria are self-limiting and do not all necessitate treatment with antibiotics.

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