Non-antibiotic treatment v placebo for acute sore throat*

TreatmentNumber of trials (number of patients)Patient typeFollow upRelative treatment effect †
*AB = antibiotics; NSAIDs = non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
†Relative decrease in symptom score in intervention group relative to placebo group.
Ibuprofen3 (118)Adults2 to 6 hours32% to 80%
1 (78)Children2 hours25%
1 (153)Children2 days56%
Other NSAIDs2 (276)Adults1 hour55% to 75%
2 (290)Adults2 to 5 days17% to 81%
2 (207)Children2 to 5 days14% to 93%
Paracetamol1 (81)Adults3 and 6 hours50% and 20%
1 (77)Children2 hours31%
1 (154)Children2 days34%
Corticosteroid plus AB1 (51)Age 12 to 65 years24 hours38%
Aspirin containing gum1 (20)Adult men≤24 hours50%
Influenza vaccine1 (849)Adults>24 hours25%
Pneumococcal vaccine1 (405)Children2 years18%
Supercolonisation with α-streptococcal bacteria2 (166)Age 3 to 59 years≤3 months42% to 90%
Greater attention to patients plus AB1 (100)Age >16 years2 days40%
Benzydamine 0.15% oral rinse1 (51)Age 17 to 74 years3 days42%