Treatment of bacterial pharyngitis in adults

Treatment of runny nose, ENT diseases Throat

Otolaryngologists and general practitioners know that pharyngitis, which is caused by bacteria, most often develops in adults and children in late winter or early spring. This is explained by the fact that the first warming after long frosts causes an intensification of the development and reproduction of many pathogenic bacteria transmitted by airborne droplets. In addition, it provokes illness and weakened immunity by the cold season.


The cause of the disease is microorganisms such as strepto-, staphylo-, pneumococci, as well as fungi of the genus Candida.
Bacterial-type pharyngitis most often occurs during the transition season: spring, autumn. At this time, infections are characterized by particular activity. In addition, there are a number of factors that predispose to the onset of the disease:

  • Lack of personal hygiene.
  • Frequent viral throat diseases.
  • Smoking.
  • Working in industries with polluted air.
  • Promiscuous sexual intercourse.

All this reduces the body’s ability to resist pathogenic flora and increases the likelihood of developing bacterial pharyngitis and its transition to the chronic stage.


If left untreated, bacterial pharyngitis can cause the following complications:

  1. Peritonsillar abscess . The pus that accumulates in the oropharynx is covered with a connective tissue capsule and remains in the body for a long time. This formation causes sharp pain when swallowing and practically makes it impossible for a person to eat.
  2. Generalized infection . If pharyngitis is caused by streptococcus or staphylococcus, its pathogens can spread through the bloodstream throughout the body, causing bacteremia (blood poisoning) and a skin rash. Also dangerous consequences of the generalization of the inflammatory process include the development of glomerulonephritis and acute rheumatic fever.
  3. Chronization of the process. Untreated acute pharyngitis risks becoming chronic. In this case, the disease takes on a sluggish form with an undulating course (exacerbations that occur against the background of relative well-being).


There are several types of infectious disease. Classification is based on the pathogen that provoked the disease.

  • Staphylococcal pharyngitis. Staphylococcus bacteria are representatives of the normal microflora of the human body. They are found in everyone's body in certain quantities. Their negative effect on the functions of individual organs is observed in conditions of excessive population growth. Conditions for this may include a weakened immune system, taking antibiotics, or disruption of the intestinal microflora due to colonization by other microorganisms.
  • Gonococcal pharyngitis. Infection of the body with gram-negative diplococcus occurs during unprotected sexual intercourse. These bacteria are transmitted only through sexual contact. As a result of infection, inflammatory processes in the mucous membranes are observed. The mucous membranes of all areas of the body are subject to the influence of pathogenic microorganisms. The genitourinary system is most often affected. The risk of infection with gonococcal pharyngitis increases with oral sex.
  • Streptococcal pharyngitis. Gram-positive anaerobic bacteria that provoke the disease live mainly in the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract, but can be found in the blood. Actively transmitted by airborne droplets. People with weakened immune systems are at particular risk.
  • Chlamydial pharyngitis. The disease develops due to the influence of dangerous intracellular bacteria, chlamydia, on the body. Pathologies caused by these microorganisms are more difficult to treat, since it is necessary to use agents that destroy the structures of the parasites. In this case, it is impossible to do without a negative effect on the cells of the human body. The recovery process from illnesses associated with chlamydia takes longer. Infection of the body occurs through sexual contact or through contact of mucous membranes.
  • Microplasma pharyngitis. The bacteria that cause the disease, Myocoplasma, are transmitted by airborne droplets. The disease develops when the body's protective functions are weakened.

The symptoms for each type of disease are the same.

Viral and bacterial pharyngitis. Main differences Viral pharyngitis can be caused by exposure to a number of viruses, including: adenoviruses, rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, herpes simplex viruses, cytomegalovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and others.

bacteria that cause bacterial pharyngitis

The initial stage of the disease with both viral and bacterial pharyngitis is characterized by the same symptoms. These are: an inflamed larynx, enlarged tonsils, redness throughout the throat area. It will not be possible to determine the pathogen at home. As the disease progresses, upon visual examination you may notice the presence of a light coating on the tongue and white dots on the tonsils, which will indicate the bacterial nature of the inflammation. In addition, with bacterial pharyngitis, a very high body temperature is observed, which is less common in the case of viral pharyngitis.

Viral pharyngitis is less dangerous than bacterial pharyngitis, except for the fact that in the absence of proper therapy, viruses can enter the blood and mucous membranes, remaining there forever. In this case, many diseases acquire a chronic form, sometimes provoking acute manifestations, sometimes going into remission.

An accurate diagnosis can only be made by an otolaryngologist by examining the throat and analyzing blood counts.

Types of pharyngitis

The fungal form of the disease can be caused by certain types of mold.
In addition to bacterial, the disease is divided into the following types:

  • Viral. It is characterized by the introduction of viruses into the structures of the pharynx - adenovirus, rhinovirus, parainfluenza and influenza viruses.
  • Allergic. It occurs due to irritation of the pharyngeal mucosa by allergens, including dust, pollen, microparticles of the skin of birds or animals.
  • Fungal. It develops due to Candida or mold fungi getting into the throat.


Establishing the nature and cause of the disease is the first step, without which the treatment process cannot be carried out. Diagnosis of pharyngitis consists of four stages:

  1. Thorough examination of the throat . An anamnesis is collected, on the basis of which the specialist makes primary conclusions.
  2. Analysis of symptoms and general condition. A conversation between the attending physician and the patient makes it possible to more accurately determine the severity and form of the disease.
  3. Analysis of mucous membranes in laboratory conditions. Pharyngoscopy.
  4. General blood analysis. Thanks to this method, the direct causative agent of the disease, the duration of its stay in the body, as well as the location of the disease are determined.

Without a thorough diagnosis, treatment of any disease can complicate the patient's condition. There are often cases when an incorrect diagnosis costs a person his life. No matter how high the doctor’s competence, all necessary measures in the form of tests and diagnostics will give an expanded picture of the condition of the patient’s body.

Viral pharyngitis, treatment in adults

Pharyngitis - treatment in adults

Medicines for a sore throat are usually not needed because home remedies work. Antibacterial therapy is necessary when bacteria are detected in throat swabs. Comprehensive treatment of pharyngitis includes:

  1. Antipyretic drugs.
  2. Painkillers.
  3. Lozenges for pain, sore throat, dry cough.
  4. Throat sprays, for example, Uniben, are a very effective drug for sore throats. It can be used in adults, children and pregnant women. Uniben spray was awarded the "Golden OTIS 2015" award and was recognized by the pharmaceutical community. Uniben quickly helps relieve sore throat faster than local anesthetics. The drug is recommended for the treatment of the throat, both at the first symptoms and in acute inflammation.
  5. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).

It is also important to detoxify the body as well as hydrate the body. You should drink up to 3-4 liters of water per day.

Treatment methods

It is worth noting that you cannot prescribe medications yourself or use analogues instead of medications prescribed by a doctor. Moreover, pharmacies do not sell antibiotics without a specialist prescription.

Once the causative agent of the disease is identified, a course of antibiotics is prescribed. Staphylococcal pharyngitis is curable by taking macrolide antibiotics. These drugs belong to the class of polyketides, that is, naturally occurring compounds.

Antibiotics of this group are considered to be the least toxic. They are safe and generally well tolerated by patients with both strong immune systems and weakened immune systems. Over the years of practice, it has been experimentally established that these drugs do not have a negative effect on the central nervous system, and there are no cases of nephrotoxicity or arthropathy. The bacteriostatic effect of the drug is due to its activity against gram-positive cocci. No allergic reactions were observed when taking the drugs.

treatment of bacterial pharyngitis with antibiotics

Antibiotics based on penicillin are used against streptococcal pharyngitis. One of the first antibiotics used since the 40s of the 20th century, today penicillin is divided into 4 groups:

  • Naturally occurring penicillin.
  • Semi-synthetic penicillin.
  • Aminopenicillin.
  • Ureidpenicillin.

The basic principle of action of drugs based on this antibiotic is that when they are taken, the synthesis of peptidoglycan (the main component of the bacterial cell wall) is actively blocked. Thus, the parasitic effect of the pathogenic flora stops, the bacteria cannot reproduce and ultimately die. A special feature of the antibiotic is the very low likelihood of side effects and allergic reactions.

Gonococcal pharyngitis is treated under the supervision of a venereologist, subject to abstinence from sexual intercourse.
Unlike streptococci and staphylococci, these bacteria are resistant to naturally occurring antibiotics. In this case, etiotropic drugs have the most effective effect. The main distinguishing feature of gonococcal pharyngitis is the appearance in most cases of purulent discharge from the walls of the larynx.

How and with what is bacterial pharyngitis treated?

The process of treating this type of inflammation in the throat requires an integrated approach and the use of medications only based on laboratory data from the affected tissues. In general, drugs belonging to the following drug groups are used:

  • antibiotics (selected individually for a specific type of bacteria identified based on diagnostic results);
  • immune system stimulants (mineral and vitamin complexes, tinctures from the roots of medicinal plants, decoctions of medicinal herbs);
  • alcohol compresses placed on the front of the neck, warming with dry heat (electrophoresis);
  • gargling with antiseptic solutions (Chlorhexidine, Miramistin, Furacilin);
  • inhalation with a nebulizer and other steam devices, if the disease is complicated by attacks of dry cough.

The type of drug, its dosage and duration of use are strictly determined by the attending physician, since in the case of an incorrectly selected antibiotic, bacteria acquire natural immunity and resistance to antibacterial drugs. This will only complicate the treatment process in the future.


The best treatment is disease prevention. A healthy lifestyle is the main criterion that helps strengthen the body’s protective functions. Prevention of any disease is aimed at boosting immunity. Therefore, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and giving up bad habits minimize the likelihood of exposure to pathogenic bacteria on the body.

Bacterial pharyngitis is a dangerous disease; its treatment must be carried out with the use of medications. For the purpose of prevention during an epidemic of influenza and colds, it is better to wear a gauze bandage and take vitamins. If you still cannot avoid the disease, the main thing is to consult a specialist when the first symptoms appear. This will prevent complications.

Author: Anna Sulimenko, doctor, especially for

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