I suffer from a sore throat, post-nasal drip, and difficulty swallowing despite taking medications. Why?

Q. What causes severe sore throat despite taking medications?

Answered by
Dr. Mohammed Osama Aboborda
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 01, 2023 and last reviewed on: Sep 10, 2023

Hello doctor,

I am a 69-year-old male having asthma, and sleep apnea. I am overweight, and I take medication for asthma (inhalers) a low-dose blood pressure medication and Pantoprazole for reflux. I have recently been prescribed, Penicillin V for a sore throat which had no effect. On returning to the GP with a very sore throat I was told that my glands were swollen but no sign of infection. I have been referred for an assessment or camera test and scan at the hospital. My symptoms are sore throat, significant post-nasal drip, frequent swallowing, and a very dry mouth at night. I do not have a problem during swallowing. I have a slightly sore tongue, nausea, and tiredness. My throat feels like it would with a bad cold, sickly, and burning with frequent swallowing. I have not been given any idea of what this might be. My imagination is running riot and my anxiety levels are very high, worrying about a range of possibilities from cancer of the throat or larynx to silent reflux or type 2 diabetes. I would like to know what the possible options are. Kindly suggest.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Please do not panic. According to your history, sleep apnea is the main cause. I am sure you are a mouth breather, especially at night. This makes your tongue and throat dry and irritated most of the time. The acid reflux aggravates the complaint also. I suggest a nasal corticosteroid spray in a dose of once-daily that decreases postnasal secretions, which initiates frequent swallowing. Being overweight is the main cause of sleep apnea. For more assurance, it would be better to capture a picture of your throat from inside using your phone camera while turning the flashlight on, and then send it to me. I hope this helps you. Thank you.

Hello doctor,

Would this also explain the swollen glands and tiredness.? Here are two photos. Is there anything I can take for the soreness?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I suggest you use the intranasal corticosteroid spray. For your sore throat, I suggest you take warm fluids plus an analgesic such as a tablet of Paracetamol three times daily for three days. In case of persistent of soreness, you can add an antibiotic like Amoxicillin and Clavulinic acid one gram twice daily for a week. Swollen glands can be a result of any inflammation in the head and neck. As long as the glands are painful, tender, mobile, and appear, then disappear they would be just inflammatory lymph nodes. Tiredness is because you do not sleep well because of sleep apnea, which prevents you from getting into the deep sleep phase. Weight loss is a great step on your way to good health. I hope this helps you. Thank you.

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