Corticosteroids May Reduce Sore Throat Pain

Meta-analysis shows significant relief in combination with antibiotics and analgesia

FRIDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with sore throat, systemic corticosteroids in combination with antibiotics and analgesia may significantly improve symptoms, mostly in those with severe or exudative sore throat, according to a study published online Aug. 6 in BMJ.

Gail Hayward, M.D., of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of eight trials that involved 743 patients (369 children and 374 adults) who had sore throats.

The researchers found that four trials showed that, in addition to antibiotics and analgesia, corticosteroids were associated with a more than tripled likelihood of pain resolution at 24 hours (relative risk, 3.2) and that three trials showed a lesser likelihood of pain resolution at 48 hours (relative risk, 1.7). Six trials showed that corticosteroids reduced the mean time to onset of pain relief by more than six hours, although the mean time to complete resolution was inconsistent across trials.

"Corticosteroids provide symptomatic relief of pain in sore throat, in addition to antibiotic therapy, mainly in participants with severe or exudative sore throat," the authors conclude.

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Rick Ansorge

Rick Ansorge

Published on August 07, 2009

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