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Q. I get recurrent tonsillitis with throat infection and antibiotics did not help. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Peter Grutas
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 09, 2020

Hi doctor,

I have a history of tonsillitis and throat infections. I have ear pain, tongue numbness, and two blisters on the arch of my tonsil for over six weeks along with a white lump on my tonsil. I took two courses of antibiotics with no benefit. Pain is pretty bad and I booked an ENT appointment as my doctor always keep saying to wait. What do this look like to you? Am I right getting them checked? I am currently on HRT.

Dr. Peter Grutas

General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome to

Based on the pictures you have sent (attachment removed to protect patient identity), it seems you do have pharyngitis.

What antibiotics have you taken and when was the last time you finish the course of antibiotics? You might need to take another course or shift it to different antibiotics. You are correct to have it checked if the symptoms have been persistent in spite of the previous course of antibiotics. Considering this, I would also recommend that you undergo a throat swab to determine what might be causing the persistent symptoms and for antibiotic guidance as well.

In the meantime, I recommend you take vitamin C 500 mg, one tablet a day and zinc tablet one tablet a day to boost your immune system. Gargle using Hexetidine mouthwash or salt solution three times a day after every meal, and Benzydamine (Difflam) throat spray, spray it two to four times directly on to the sore area and swallow gently as needed.

I hope this helps.

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Thank you doctor,

I have had Doxycycline and one other, which I cannot remember. Thanks for your help as I feel like my doctor just wants to wait it out which is hard when it hurts so much. I was worried it could be more sinister.

Dr. Peter Grutas

General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome back to

I understand your condition. It may be quite uncomfortable and frustrating. I strongly recommend a throat swab so that we may be guided for the choice of antibiotics and the treatment this time. Are you able to eat? I recommend a soft diet in the meantime. Avoid food and drinks that may irritate your throat like spicy, acidic foods and alcoholic drinks.

I hope this helps.

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