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Angina from A to Z

Angina is an acute pharyngitis and tonsillitis. The disease appears most frequently in the season from late fall to early spring. Angina is a promising disease. It resolves spontaneously even without the use of pharmacological agents. Conscientiousness in the therapy, in the form of taking medications according to the recommendations, allows to minimize the risk of complications and shorten the duration of the disease.

Angina causes and symptoms

Angina is an infectious disease, it appears as a result of contact with the infected. The immediate causes of inflammation are heterogeneous leading to the introduction of a classification based on the causative agent of the problem. We divide Angina into:

  • Streptococcal angina
  • Angina caused by other bacteria
  • Viral angina

The symptoms of inflammation depend on the etiological factor

Streptococcal angina: the most common angina in children. Caused by bacteria – group A streptococci Streptococcus pyogenes. Symptoms of the disease include: severe sore throat (especially when swallowing), abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, high fever (above 38 degrees Celsius), “raspberry” tongue (especially when the streptococcal infection takes the form of scarlet fever). Symptoms common in streptococcal angina are exudate on the swollen tonsils and enlargement of the anterior cervical lymph nodes.

The patient’s age indicates the diagnosis of streptococcal angina – from 5 to 15 years of age. Cough is a negative prognostic factor, the presence of cough suggests a different cause of symptoms than streptococcal angina.

Viral angina: acute pharyngitis and tonsillitis among adults is most often caused by a viral infection. The symptoms of viral angina are usually less intense than in the case of streptococcal infection. Coughing and hoarseness may occur.

Other angina: can be caused by infection with bacteria other than streptococcus. The suspicion of a more “exotic” form is especially justified in the case of recurrent angina, poorly responding to treatment. A special character is Plautus and Vincent’s angina. It is a spirochete infection that causes one-sided ulceration of the tonsil and therefore a one-sided, severe sore throat.

Treatment of angina

Determining the etiological factor of the disease is necessary in order to determine the appropriate treatment. Therapy can be divided into symptomatic treatment and antibiotic therapy.

Symptomatic treatment: recommended in each case of angina diagnosis, the only treatment recommended in viral angina.

Rest and drink enough fluids
Use of antipyretic and analgesic drugs. Over-the-counter drugs are the most commonly used drugs. Warning! Be careful with the dosage, especially among children. Many pain medications are not suitable for children.
Local anesthetic preparations for suction.

Antibiotic therapy: Treatment with antibiotics is only effective in the case of a bacterial infection. A reliable diagnosis of a bacterial infection is very often impossible on the basis of symptoms alone. It is sometimes necessary to perform additional tests, such as swab of the throat and tonsils, or a “quick” test for the presence of streptococcal antigen.

The most commonly administered antibiotic is phenoxymethyl penicillin (Ospen). The high effectiveness of this antibiotic, from a relatively old class of drugs, is due to the complete absence of penicillin resistance by streptococci that causes angina.

Other antibiotics administered in streptococcal angina are 1st generation cephalosporins (e.g. cefadroxil, cefazolin, cephalexin) and as an antibiotic used in case of an allergic reaction to penicillins – a macrolide antibiotic (e.g. azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin)

Selection of the appropriate treatment requires consultation with a doctor.

Literature:

Szczeklik, P. Gajewski, Interna Szczeklik.

If you have symptoms of angina, remember that you can order medical consultation online without leaving your home.

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