What Are the Most Common Pharyngitis Symptoms?

Madeleine A.

The most common pharyngitis symptoms include sore throat, fever, laryngitis, and difficulty swallowing. In addition, the patient might feel profoundly fatigued and notice a skin rash. Typically, symptoms are the result of a viral throat infection, however, the condition can also be caused by a bacterial throat infection. When throat infections are bacterial in nature, antibiotics are recommended. Viral throat infections do not respond to antibiotics and are generally not prescribed.

Common pharyngitis symptoms include difficulty swallowing.
Common pharyngitis symptoms include difficulty swallowing.

Other pharyngitis symptoms can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and headache. When antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial pharyngitis symptoms, people need to be aware of the importance of completing the entire course of treatment. Failure to finish the antibiotics can cause a systemic strep infection, if pharyngitis originated from the strep bacteria, and incomplete resolution and subsequent relapse of infection.

Sipping warm chamomile tea can alleviate pharyngitis symptoms.
Sipping warm chamomile tea can alleviate pharyngitis symptoms.

Sometimes antibiotics that are prescribed for pharyngitis symptoms can cause significant adverse reactions and cause the patient to give up treatment. Common antibiotic adverse reactions include abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. When these side effects occur, patients should call their health care providers for recommendations.

Fever and sore throat are symptoms of pharyngitis.
Fever and sore throat are symptoms of pharyngitis.

Many times, these symptoms cause people to feel extremely ill, causing them to stop eating and drinking. It is extremely important that patients make an attempt to eat and drink, even if they have no appetite. Dehydration can occur quickly, causing lethargy, dizziness, high fever, and, in extreme cases, kidney failure. If eating is difficult, fluids must be taken to reduce the risk of dehydration. When swallowing difficulty occurs, the physician should be called for further treatment.

Supportive care for pharyngitis symptoms includes taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and fever, getting rest, and drinking plenty of fluids. This is especially true when fever is present. Sometimes, patients might notice that their hearts are pounding or beating fast when they have a throat infection. This is usually related to the fever and consequences of infection. In certain cases, however, it can indicate an infection around the lining of the heart, which will need evaluation and treatment.

When the individual loses his voice as a result of strep throat or other throat infection, the voice should be rested and warm fluids such as decaffeinated tea should be consumed. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages, as well as alcoholic beverages should be avoided because they can have a drying effect on irritated throat tissues and worsen the condition.

Pharyngitis that is bacterial in origin will typically respond to antibiotic treatment.
Pharyngitis that is bacterial in origin will typically respond to antibiotic treatment.

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Discussion Comments


The worst part about antibiotics, for me, is that I nearly always get a yeast infection when I take them. Because of that, I always ask for a prescription for Diflucan if I have to take antibiotics. It's just easier that way. I don't have to get a yeast infection suppository -- I just take the pill and all is well.

I had minor surgery a couple of years ago, and was on antibiotics, and got a raging yeast infection. It was horrible and I was miserable. I learned my lesson. Always ask for Diflucan when you see the doctor, even if it's for something like a sore throat. If you're female, get the stuff filled when you get your antibiotics. Much less trouble that way.


I've had pharyngitis on and off all winter this year. I think mine is mainly sinus-related. I did actually make it to the doctor last week and he put me on a round of antibiotics. He said he thought I had a low-grade sinus infection. I probably did.

I do feel better now, and my throat isn't nearly as sore as it was. I've also been keeping an NSAID on board to help with the inflammation, and I think it has worked. It has helped keep the pain in my ear and throat under control. I don't like to take antibiotics unless I have to, but this time, I think it was probably warranted.

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