Corticosteroids effective for sore throat

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"Corticosteroids effective for sore throat"

It is not uncommon in winter to have a patient wanting relief for a persisting sore throat. You may have tried an antibiotic to no avail. Consider using oral steroids- stat or for 2 days. In this systematic review most studies were done using oral/IM of dexamethasone but there was one with 60 mg of prednisolone given daily for 2 days. In the review most of the patients were on antibiotics and it is important to be aware that this information is not in the NZ guidelines for sore throat. The doses were equivalent to a maximum of 60 mg of prednisone or 3.8 mg/kg (dexamethasone 10 mg or 0.6 mg/kg). Some of the studies used it on patients with strep throat being treated with antibiotics. Any harms were poorly reported.

Hayward G, Thompson MJ, Perera R, Glasziou PP, Del Mar CB, Heneghan CJ. Corticosteroids as stand alone or add-on treatment for sore throat. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD008268. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD008268.pub2.


Gems are chosen by the Goodfellow director Dr. Bruce Arroll to be either practice changing or practice maintaining. The information is educational and not clinical advice.

As published in NZ Doctor 24/06/2015