Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Pain in the throat may be caused by a variety of inflammations of the larynx, pharynx, or tonsils. Throat soreness is typically associated with painful swallowing. Inflammation of the pharynx (pharyngitis) is the most common form of sore throat and is usually from virus infection.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Causes of Sore Throat
Bird Flu (Avian Influenza, Avian Flu)
Bird flu (avian flu, avian influenza) infection in humans may result from contact with infected poultry. There is a vaccine to...
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or SEID)
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) is a debilitating and complex disorder...
Cold vs. Flu
Though the common cold and flu share many signs and symptoms, they are caused by different viruses. Signs and symptoms include...
Cold, Flu, Allergy Treatments
Before treating a cold, the flu, or allergies with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, it's important to know what's causing the...
The common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Symptoms...
Coxsackieviruses may be divided into two groups. Type A causes hand, foot, and mouth disease and conjunctivitis, while type B...
Croup is a contagious viral infection that affects children's respiratory system. Symptoms include a barking cough, stridor,...
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus that is spread from person to person via spit, semen, vaginal secretions, urine, blood, sexual...
Diphtheria is a disease that causes symptoms and signs such as fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and swallowing problems. Erythromycin...
Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease or Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever)
Ebola hemorrhagic fever (HF) is an often-fatal disease that causes fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, stomach...
Enterovirus (Non-Polio Enterovirus Infection)
Non-polio enteroviruses cause a variety of infections, including aseptic meningitis, hand, foot, and mouth disease, herpangina,...
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a common cause of mononucleosis (viral pharyngitis). Symptoms and signs of an EBV infection...
Influenza (flu) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache,...
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
Hand, foot, and mouth syndrome is clinical pattern consisting of a rash on the hands and feet, and in the mouth. Hand, foot, and...
Herpangina is a contagious illness often seen in children. It is caused by a Coxsackievirus or an enterovirus. Symptoms and signs...
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes HIV infection and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Symptoms and signs...
Infectious mononucleosis is a virus infection in which there is an increase of white blood cells that are mononuclear (with a...
Is a Cough Contagious?
There are many types of coughs: for example, dry cough, wet cough, a barking cough, whooping cough, stress induced...
Larynx Cancer (Throat Cancer)
Symptoms of cancer of the larynx, the organ at the front of the neck, include hoarseness, a lump in the neck, sore throat, cough,...
Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever that causes flu-like symptoms. Ribavirin is the standard treatment for Lassa fever....
Marburg Virus Disease
Marburg virus disease is a zoonotic infection that produces symptoms such as chills, headaches, fever, and muscle aches. The...
Nasopharyngeal cancer is a form of cancer in which malignant cells form in the nasopharynx tissues. Risk factors include being of...
The term oral cancer includes cancer of the mouth (oral cavity) and the back of the mouth (oropharynx). Red and white patches...
Pityriasis rosea is a rash that begins with a large pink patch with well-defined scaly borders on the back, chest, or neck. In...
Pregnancy (Week By Week, Trimesters)
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy vary by stage (trimester). The earliest pregnancy symptom is typically a missed period, but...
Relapsing polychondritis is an uncommon, chronic disorder of the cartilage that is characterized by recurrent episodes of...
Scarlet Fever (Scarlatina)
Scarlet fever, a bacterial infection caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria, causes symptoms and signs such as fever, rash with...
Sick Building Syndrome
Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) or also referred to as sick building syndrome or environmental illness is the name given by...
Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease involving the abnormal production of extra antibodies that attack the glands and...
Sore throats are generally described as pain or discomfort in the throat area. A sore throat may be caused by: bacterial...
STDs in Men
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria,...
Still's disease (systemic-onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) is a disorder characterized by inflammation with high fever...
Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat. Signs and symptoms of strep throat include headache, nausea,...
Group A streptococcal infections are caused by group A streptococcus, a bacteria that causes a variety of health problems,...
Novel H1N1 influenza A virus infection (swine flu) is an infection that generally is transferred from an infected pig to a human,...
There are four major types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancer. Tumors on the...
Tonsillitis is a contagious infection with symptoms such as: Bad...
Other Causes of Sore Throat
- Bacterial Infection
- Chemical Irritation (Tear Gas, Smoke, etc.)
- Dry Air
- Virus Infection
Examples of Medications for Sore Throat
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxatag, Larotid)
- aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, Bayer, Ecotrin, and others)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- loratadine and pseudoephedrine (Alavert Allergy & Sinus, Claritin-D, Claritin-D 24 hour)
- naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
- penicillin V, (Veetids and Pen-Vee-K have been discontinued)
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