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Antibiotics are often prescribed for patients with acute sore throat to reduce the severity and/or duration of symptoms and to prevent rare complications. This study examined the impact of rapid antigen tests and clinical scoring methods on the symptom control and antibiotic use.
Patients ≥3 years old with acute pharyngitis were randomised to three pragmatic management strategies: ‘control group: delayed prescription’, ‘clinical score only’ and ‘clinical score + rapid antigen detection group’. Patients in the control group were advised to collect a prescription for antibiotics, but only if their symptoms failed to improve after 3–5 days of observation. Patients in the ‘clinical score only’ group were offered immediate antibiotics if they had a high score (≥4), no antibiotics if they had a low score (0 or 1) and …
Competing interests None.