Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist April 2015 Contents Australian Pharmacist April 2015 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
1. Common signs and symptoms of
tonsillitis can include:
a) Swollen, red tonsils.
b) White or yellow coating or patches on
c) Scratchy, muffled or throaty voice.
d) All of the above.
2. Select the CORRECT statement in
relation to the use of topical anti-
inflammatory agents for tonsillitis:
a) Many people find these products to be
helpful, and should be considered for
b) All lozenges contain an anti-
c) These products should never be
recommended as there is no evidence
to support their use.
d) None of the above.
3. Select the CORRECT statement in
relation to counselling for patients
on the use of pharmacological
agents for tonsillitis:
a) Every patient presenting with tonsillitis
should be prescribed antibiotics.
b) Long courses of corticosteroids are used
in conjunction with antibiotic therapy to
provide symptomatic relief of tonsillitis.
c) Aspirin and paracetamol are reportedly
more effective than NSAIDs in reducing
d) When using topical agents containing
agents which can numb the tongue,
people should be warned to be careful
to not scald themselves with hot food
4. Select the CORRECT statement in
relation to non-pharmacological
options for managing tonsillitis:
a) Non-pharmacological management
strategies are useful for tonsillitis that is
viral or bacterial in nature.
b) Plenty of rest lets the body and the
c) It is important to avoid irritants e.g.
cigarette smoke, as they can irritate
d) All of the above.
5. Referral to the doctor is required if:
a) The patient is febrile over 38.3°C.
b) Swallowing saliva or liquids become
c) Difficulty in breathing develops, or
if there is one-sided neck or throat
d) All of the above.
performed procedure. Nowadays, it is
reserved as an option for recurrent
cases that do not respond to treatment,
or causes serious complications,
e.g. difficulty breathing, or obstructive
Referral to a doctor is required in the
• The child has a sore throat that
doesn’t resolve within 24 hours,
experiences painful or difficult
swallowing, and is extremely fatigued,
weak, or tired.
• If the pain does not improve after
three days, or the patient is febrile
over 38.3 oC, or if swallowing saliva or
liquids become difficult and difficulty
in breathing develops, or if there is
one‐sided neck or throat swelling.
• Further investigations and referrals to
specialists may be required in those
whose symptoms do not resolve after
• If difficulty breathing, or extreme
difficulty swallowing, or drooling is
experienced, then it is considered a
KEY LEARNING POINTS
• In most cases, tonsillitis is a self‐
limiting condition that resolves within
a week, and only needs symptomatic
• Young children who cannot describe
how they feel may present differently
from the commonly reported signs
and symptoms of tonsillitis. It is
important to recognise when referrals
• Antibiotics for tonsillitis are not
routinely recommended except in the
case of high‐risk individuals.
• Oral paracetamol and NSAIDs
such as ibuprofen are effective for
symptomatic relief of sore throat.
• Many people may find topical
mouthwashes, mouth sprays and
lozenges to be helpful and these
products may be considered for
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10. Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN).
Management of sore throat and indications for
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Edinburgh, Scotland: SIGN; 2010. At: www.sign.ac .uk/pdf/
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blind, placebo controlled, multicenter study. Ear Nose
Throat J 2010;89(11):546–9 .
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hydrochloride mouth spray on clinical signs and quality
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Answer online at www.psa.org.au
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