If you are severely unwell and having problems breathing or swallowing even water, please seek urgent help instead of using this service.
What causes sore throats?
Sore throats are very common, especially in winter. They are be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. A strep A rapid throat test can help determine if your sore throat requires antibiotic treatment.
Some symptoms make it more likely that you have a bacterial infection. There are two scores used by healthcare professionals to assess how likely this is.
They include the Centor criteria, which look for:
- White pus on the tonsils (at the back of the throat).
- Tender lymph glands in the neck.
- Sore throat without a cough.
- Having had a high temperature (fever).
If you have three or all four of these features, you are likely to need antibiotics.
The FeverPAIN scoring looks for: Fever (a high temperature) in the last 24 hours. Pus on the tonsils. Attending rapidly (within three days of getting symptoms). Inflamed (severely) tonsils. No cough or cold to go with your sore throat.
If you have four or five of these features, you are more likely to benefit from taking antibiotics.
This service is not suitable for:
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- People who have kidney or liver problems
- People who have issues with their immune system
- People who are taking warfarin anticoagulant medicine
- People who are taking drugs which could affect their potassium levels
This service is a private (paid-for) consultation with your Pharmacist who will test for bacterial infection. If you test positive, the appropriate antibiotic can be prescribed for an additional cost currently of around £40.
Is this service available on the NHS?
NHS GPs cannot usually provide testing, but they can examine you and issue antibiotics if your symptoms and examination suggest they are needed.