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Comment & Response
August 22/29, 2017

Dexamethasone Without Antibiotics for Sore Throat

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Cardiology, Beroe Medical Complex, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
JAMA. 2017;318(8):752-753. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.8663

To the Editor Dr Hayward and colleagues1 found that a single dose of dexamethasone did not increase the proportion of patients with resolution of acute sore throat symptoms at 24 hours compared with placebo but did at 48 hours. However, they did not emphasize the safety concerns of using corticosteroids for the treatment of acute pain.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are more effective than placebo for reducing acute sore throat symptoms in adults.2 However, the guidelines for general practitioners from the Nederlands Huisartsen Genootschap on acute sore throat do not recommend NSAIDs because of their serious adverse effects and risks of interactions for such relatively harmless disorders as sore throat.3