When Sore Throats Get Serious

We all get a sore throat from time to time and while they can be a bit painful, they’re not usually dangerous.

Most sore throats get better on their own after about four days. But if a bacterial sore throat “strep throat” is not treated with antibiotics it can cause rheumatic fever in at-risk children and young people. 

It’s a good idea to be proactive. First, let’s start with the not so serious sore throat:

Around 85-95 per cent of sore throats are caused by viruses1 rather than bacteria and usually require no treatment other than symptom relief2. It might be painful but once your immune system kicks in, things should take care of themselves within a few days. That’s not to say you have to grin and bear the pain. Instead, head to your pharmacy or supermarket for a fast-acting anti-inflammatory pain relief like Difflam. Difflam Forte throat spray can relieve pain in 60 seconds while Difflam Plus Lozenges can do the same in 90 seconds3.

Now for the more serious stuff:

If your symptoms include a fever over 38 degrees with a sore throat being the dominant symptom, the glands in your neck are swollen and your tonsils are large and covered in white stuff, your infection could be bacterial. This is when it’s so important to see your doctor, especially if a child is affected. Your doctor will confirm if the infection is bacterial or not and might prescribe antibiotics as a result.

Bacterial or viral, it’s good to treat the pain of a sore throat. Seek a fast acting treatment like Difflam and if things seem more serious, head to your doctor.

To learn more about Difflam or to buy click here.


1: Worrall GJ. Can Fam Physician. 2011;57 (7):791-4

2: Difflam-au-2018- Worrall2007 - Acute sore throat (v1.0)

3: iNova Data on file.