How many days does it take to treat sore throat in children?

Periods of sore throat

The first stage of the disease is the incubation period

Initially there are no symptoms. Then appetite decreases and apathy appears. There is aching in the joints. There is no temperature yet, but a sick person may experience chills. A headache, sore throat, and dryness appear. An important diagnostic symptom in this period will be concomitant abdominal pain. Redness of the pharyngeal mucosa may not be observed immediately, but only towards the end of this stage. And also the period of occurrence is determined by the strength of the immune system. The stronger the immune system, the longer the incubation period.

The second stage is the manifestation of classic signs of angina

The following symptoms that accompany the disease are pain when swallowing and fever. Difficulty swallowing and the inability to open the mouth occur due to swelling and inflammation of the throat mucosa. When examining the throat, hyperemia and purulent formations and plaque on the tissues of the pharynx, characteristic of streptococcal infection (angina), are detected. The temperature rises to 39 °C, usually in the evening. The headache gets worse. Lymph nodes enlarge. This indicates the transition of the disease to an acute form. The temperature rises even higher and persists. The heart rhythm is disturbed, the face appears puffy. When trying to bring down the temperature, sweating appears. Herpetic rashes often appear on the lips. Signs of intoxication are observed. Therapy is usually started at the beginning of the acute period.

Sore throat causes and symptoms, as well as treatment are discussed in the following video:

The third stage is remission

During treatment, swelling and hyperemia of the throat disappear, and the temperature drops to 37 °C-38 °C. The inflammatory process subsides. The lymph nodes become smaller and the plaque on the throat mucosa disappears. Gradually the temperature returns to normal. How many days does the healing process take? — From 3-5 days for adults, 5-7 days for children.

Throughout the course of the disease, changes in the cardiovascular system are observed the longest. Therefore, taking antibacterial drugs is not stopped even during the period of remission. The disappearance of symptoms is not a sign of recovery.


With streptococcal infection, multiple hidden disorders occur in the body's systems, which can manifest themselves even years later. For example, rheumatism and polyarthritis in old age. Therefore, after the temperature drops, the hyperemia and swelling of the throat disappear, antibiotics are taken for another 2–5 days to avoid relapses and complications.

One possible complication

Most often, untreated streptococcal infection leads to complications in the form of rheumatism, meningitis, chronic tonsillitis, rheumatic carditis and other heart diseases. Blood poisoning (sepsis) may occur. In children, the kidneys are also at risk (a complication in the form of glomerulonephritis).

Time of sore throat depending on its type

Tonsillitis and its progression time largely depend on the form. The period from infection to complete recovery is usually no more than 1-2 weeks, but in some cases this period increases significantly. Types of sore throat and approximate timing of damage:

  • catarrhal – 48-72 hours with adequate treatment, taking antibiotics and the absence of concomitant diseases;
  • follicular – the average duration does not exceed 6 days;
  • lacunar – similar to the previous form, lasts a couple of days longer;
  • herpetic - a high-quality selection of antiviral drugs will allow you to recover within 5 days.
  • ulcerative-necrotic and phlegmonous are the most dangerous forms, they can camouflage themselves (not appearing for some time) and return with more serious consequences; the period of infection can reach several months.

Duration of sore throat

The incubation period for sore throat in adults lasts from 1 to 10 days, depending on the type of disease. The first symptoms, if the body has not coped with the infection, begin to appear in the last 1-3 days of this stage of the disease.

The disease can be caused by:

  • hypothermia;
  • avitaminosis;
  • physical and nervous stress.

It will affect the timing of the incubation period and the general condition of the body, the presence of chronic foci of infections, unfavorable environmental factors, and the type of pathogen. Different pathological bacteria cause different types of sore throats. As a rule, infection occurs with a streptococcal infection. You need to know that sore throat in adults is contagious not only in the acute phase, but also during the incubation period.

Main types of sore throat

  1. The duration of catarrhal form in adults is 3–5 days from the onset of the first signs of the disease. This is the mildest type of disease. With timely treatment, the disease does not develop into more complicated forms.
  2. Follicular tonsillitis lasts up to 6 days, starting from the acute stage of the disease.
  3. The lacunar form of the disease can last from 5 to 10 days, unless complications occur in the form of a transition to the fibrinous form, which can last for a month.
  4. Phlegmonous and ulcerative-necrotic types of disease last the longest: up to several weeks. In this case, the inflammatory process either subsides or reappears, accompanied by complications. Abscesses that occur with phlegmonous sore throat require surgical intervention. How many days are they sick? Complete remission sometimes takes weeks or even months.
  5. Fungal tonsillitis requires additional antifungal drugs in addition to antibiotics. The disease can drag on for up to 7 days.

Pronounced plaque during fungal tonsillitis

If a sore throat is left untreated, an abscess may develop.

How long does it take to treat purulent tonsillitis?

Purulent tonsillitis is usually treated for 12-14 days. This is how long a standard course of antibiotics lasts, even though after just a day or two the effective drug completely suppresses the bacterial infection.

In some cases, treatment of purulent tonsillitis is delayed or, conversely, reduced. This depends on many factors:

  • The type of antibiotic used for treatment. Most drugs are taken in a standard course of 10-14 days, but for some, dosage regimens of 7 and 5 days have been developed. In particular, azithromycin for angina is taken in the amount of 3 tablets over 5 days. There is also a 3-day treatment regimen, but in practice it often turns out to be ineffective, and therefore doctors try not to use it. Also, bacteriostatic antibiotics are used longer than bactericidal ones - there are many such nuances, and the doctor takes them into account when prescribing the drug and the duration of its use;
  • Resistance of the pathogen to certain antibiotics. If it is detected, on the 3-4th day of illness you have to switch to another drug, and the original 10-12 days begin to count down again;
  • Dates for starting treatment of the disease. If purulent sore throat begins to be treated late - 9-10 days after the development of the main symptoms - there is a high risk of complications, and the standard course of antibiotics is supplemented with bicillin prophylaxis. Depending on the condition of the patient himself, the use of bicillins may be limited to one or three injections, or may last for many years (sometimes it is necessary to use a regimen in which the drugs are injected for 25 years);
  • Diagnostic corrections. There are often cases when, due to vague symptoms, even a doctor prescribes antibiotic treatment, and then, based on the results of culture, it turns out that the cause of the disease is a fungus. In this case, the initial treatment is canceled and another one is prescribed, which can be longer or shorter.

A fungus of the genus Candida is what most often causes fungal infections of the pharynx, reminiscent of a purulent sore throat.

In practice, purulent tonsillitis in nine cases out of ten is treated for 10-12 days. This time is enough for the antibiotic to destroy the main source of infection and prevent its spread in the body with further complications.

In general, the disease itself lasts less than the course of treatment. This is due to the fact that treatment also provides protection from complications. We talked about this in more detail in the material about the duration of a sore throat.

Without antibiotics, purulent tonsillitis takes about the same time to treat as with them. But in most cases, the disease becomes more complicated, and the complications themselves may require significantly longer therapy.

Under no circumstances should you independently shorten the course of treatment for purulent sore throat prescribed by your doctor. Even if the patient’s condition has returned to normal, this does not mean that the need for antibiotics and auxiliary therapy has disappeared. Treatment should last as long as indicated by the doctor. The doctor, and only he, can, if possible, shorten the course, and if necessary, extend it.

In particular, many patients confuse purulent tonsillitis with exacerbations of chronic tonsillitis, which in most cases is just a complication of it. Chronic tonsillitis itself is treated for 15-20 days, sometimes in several courses, but not always successfully. If treatment does not work, the patient's tonsils are removed.

View of the pharynx of a patient with chronic tonsillitis

Treatment of purulent tonsillitis lasts approximately the same time in both adults and children. In adults, the acute period usually ends faster, but this does not affect the duration of antibiotic use.

How long does a particular patient need to treat purulent tonsillitis?

Only the doctor should decide how long to treat purulent tonsillitis in a particular case with a specific drug after examining the patient, assessing his condition and receiving test results. Making decisions on your own about taking antibiotics, choosing the medications yourself and prescribing the period for their use is dangerous, since the patient cannot take into account all the factors, and often even makes a mistake in the diagnosis.

At home, purulent sore throat is often confused with:

  • Infectious mononucleosis (with it a characteristic dirty-white coating appears on the tonsils, similar to pus from a sore throat);
  • Diphtheria;
  • Measles (symptoms and clinical picture often resemble those of follicular tonsillitis);
  • Herpes sore throat;
  • Pharyngomycosis is a fungal disease.

Type of palate with fungal infection

All these diseases are treated with completely different means and methods, and the duration of their treatment may differ from that for purulent sore throat, both in the direction of increase (for example, diphtheria takes longer to be treated) and in the direction of decrease (for example, herpangina goes away quite quickly).

Therefore, trust your doctor for diagnosis and treatment!

There are often cases when purulent tonsillitis takes longer to treat than the doctor initially prescribes treatment. This occurs when the infection actively spreads in the body, the effectiveness of the antibiotic is reduced, or the doctor’s instructions are violated. Often, after the main course of antibiotic therapy, the doctor prescribes taking the drug for another 5-7 days.

Azithromycin is one of the antibiotics often used for angina.

Of course, you cannot independently prescribe the timing of treatment for a child’s purulent sore throat. Even instructions for antibiotics are written for average cases, and the instructions in them are adjusted by the doctors themselves depending on specific conditions. If some nuance is not taken into account, the treatment may not be effective enough, and the purulent sore throat itself will become more complicated.

  • If you or your child have a purulent sore throat, expect at least 10-12 days of treatment. If the doctor can prescribe a shorter course, he will do so;
  • Do not decide for yourself how long the treatment will last. This is dangerous to your health!
  • If the course of treatment for purulent sore throat is violated, it may become necessary to extend it.
Continuing the topic:

How long does a sore throat last in children?

The incubation period for sore throat in children ranges from 6–12 hours to 1 week. Unlike adults, children can get sick more often and faster. Especially at the age of 5–10 years. There is an opinion that children under 5 years of age do not get a sore throat. In children, the disease is often accompanied by complications. With frequent sore throats, the tonsils become larger. It is not always possible to get rid of chronic inflammatory processes in them. Once enlarged, the tonsils close the pharyngeal passage, which interferes with breathing and can bleed. In such cases, they are removed surgically.

Since children's immunity is weaker than that of adults, the duration of typical forms of the disease in a child will be 1 to 3 days longer.

Dr. Komarovsky talks about how to strengthen the immune system in our children:

There are children with strong immunity, whose body copes with catarrhal tonsillitis in 3-4 days, just like in adults. Therefore, it is impossible to say exactly how long a sore throat lasts in children or how many people suffer from a sore throat. This largely depends on the individual characteristics of the child and timely, competent treatment.

What to do to reduce the duration of a sore throat

The following will help shorten the duration of the disease:

  • timely diagnosis;
  • competent treatment started at the onset of the disease;
  • proper nutrition;
  • compliance with bed rest (to avoid complications and delay the recovery process).

Diagnosis includes an examination by a doctor, blood tests, and a culture of a throat smear (for atypical forms of the disease). Compliance with all points of the recommended treatment regimen in combination will give a quick therapeutic effect.

  1. The main treatment for streptococcal sore throats is penicillin antibiotics. Take them for at least 5 days.
  2. Taking antihistamines (antiallergic) in combination with antibiotics.
  3. In addition to antibacterial drugs, auxiliary agents are used. These are local methods of treatment: rinsing with herbal decoctions, a solution of soda, salt and iodine, etc., antiseptic sprays. It is important to gargle 4-5 times a day, using different means. In this case, the bacterial flora is mechanically washed out and a bactericidal effect is ensured.
  4. Use of immunomodulatory drugs.
  5. Taking sorbents (reduce intoxication).
  6. Follow a diet; in the acute stage, with difficulty swallowing, it is better to use liquid food.

It is impossible to determine exactly how long a sore throat is treated. It depends on the nature of the disease, its type, and how strong the immune system is. The discipline of the patient has a direct bearing on how long it takes to treat acute tonsillitis. Sports, hardening, healthy eating, and the absence of bad habits are well-known ways to strengthen the body. Therefore, you can shorten the course of the disease by strengthening your immune system.

You will learn how to do this from the video below:

Duration of viral tonsillitis

How quickly does a sore throat caused by viruses go away? Like other variants of acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI), viral tonsillitis bothers the patient for 3-7 days. Treatment of this form of tonsillitis does not involve taking an antibiotic and is based on the use of local antiseptic drugs.

Local treatment of viral tonsillitis does not shorten the duration of the disease, but improves well-being and prevents secondary infection of the affected tonsils with opportunistic microflora of the oral cavity and pharynx (including streptococcus).

It is worth noting that it is very problematic to distinguish viral tonsillitis from bacterial tonsillitis based on external symptoms. Sometimes streptococcal infection is mild, simulating ARVI; at the same time, adenoviral infection can be severe and last more than 10 days. To select the right treatment, you need to accurately determine the causative agent of the infection, and to do this, you need to pass certain laboratory tests - bacteriological culture, ASLO titer, clinical blood test, etc. The attending physician examines the patient and sends him for tests that confirm or deny the presence of a bacterial infection.

How long do people have a sore throat caused by a bacterial infection of the tonsils? Bacterial tonsillitis (primarily of streptococcal etiology) occurs in a more severe form and can last significantly longer.

With appropriate treatment of sore throat, body temperature returns to normal within 2-4 days. At the same time, other symptoms of intoxication disappear - nausea, headache, etc. How long does a sore throat hurt with a sore throat? The sore throat goes away within 5-7 days. Complete recovery is achieved within 7-10 days (depending on the antibiotic chosen).

In the absence of antibiotic therapy, it is impossible to predict the course of streptococcal infection. Streptococcal infection can become chronic - in this case, sore throat periodically recurs and subsides over many years. All this time, streptococci are present in the tonsils, affecting the immune system.

The cross-reaction causes damage to the heart valves, joints and renal pelvis - tissues containing large amounts of streptococcal-like proteins. This is how one of the most dangerous complications of tonsillitis develops – rheumatism.

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