Giving a single dose of corticosteroid drugs alongside antibiotics to adults with severe sore throat can relieve pain quicker and more effectively than with antibiotics alone, finds a study published on bmj.com today. The study found no evidence of significant benefit in children. Sore throat is a common reason for people to seek medical care, yet antibiotics have only a modest beneficial effect in reducing symptoms and fever. High rates of antibiotic prescriptions also lead to resistance and recent guidelines recommend that antibiotics should not be prescribed for sore throat. So Dr Matthew Thompson at the University of Oxford and colleagues tested the theory that corticosteroids could effectively relieve symptoms of a sore throat due to their anti-inflammatory effects. They analysed the results of eight trials comparing corticosteroids to placebo in adults or children. The trials involved a total of 743 patients (369 children and 374 adults) with symptoms of severe sore throat. Differences in study design and quality were taken into account to minimise bias. Patients given corticosteroids in addition to antibiotics were three times more likely to report complete resolution of pain at 24 hours than patients given placebo. This effect on pain was less apparent by 48 hours, suggesting that a single dose of corticosteroids may be sufficient, say the authors. Corticosteroids also reduced the average time to pain relief by about six hours. However, the authors point out that significant effects were seen only in adult patients and only in those receiving oral corticosteroids. Use of simple painkillers made no difference in the trials where this was measured. These findings suggest that, in patients with severe sore throat, pain can be reduced and resolution hastened by use of corticosteroids in conjunction with antibiotic therapy, say the authors. These results may also help to prevent antibiotic use, particularly in the context of delayed prescribing. Future research should focus on the effect of corticosteroids independent of antibiotics, they conclude. An accompanying editorial warns that, although steroids reduce pain in the first day, data on harms are lacking.Source: BMJLIN << Bending the Curve Requires Health Care Reform, Not Just Sic... Doctors in Wales Demand Action on Organ Donation System >> Recommended Reading Home Remedies for Sore Throat Do you have a sore throat? Natural home remedies offer you simple herbal methods to treat your sore throat. Try these home remedies before you rush to see a doctor for your throat. READ MORE Prescribing Antibiotics for ENT Infections is Unnecessary A new study has found that an unwarranted use of antibiotics is on the high that are prescribed to curb possible complications after upper respiratory tract infection, sore throat, or ear infection. READ MORE A Glass of Wine can Keep Tooth Decay and a Sore Throat at Bay A new study has revealed that a regular glass of wine, both red and white can help put off tooth decay, gum disease and heal sore throats. READ MORE Anabolic Steroids Anabolic steroids can produce power- packed, adrenaline – pumping performances but they also reflect a saga of condemnation and shame. READ MORE Are Steroids Bad For You? Steroids are miracle drugs but have to be used with caution. Some steroids are illegal to use, without prescription. Most steroids have severe side effects hence, these must be taken under strict medical supervision. READ MORE Cannabis Cannabis has a long history of medicinal, recreational, and industrial use and comes from a bushy plant with thick sticky flowers called Cannabis Sativa READ MORE Drug Abuse The use of Drugs for reasons other than its prescribed recommendation, is known as Drug abuse or substance abuse. Drug abuse or substance abuse is initiated by various biological and social factors. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Indian Medical Journals How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects More News on: CannabisDrug AbuseAnabolic SteroidsSore ThroatAre Steroids Bad For You?