Upper Respiratory Infection Non Improving on Amoxicillin

Patient

Q: My boyfriend has the following symptoms; swollen tonsils, sneezing, ear pain, and itchy eyes. we went to a clinic where a nurse practitioner gave him a strep test which came back negative. he has not had a fever. however she prescribed him amoxicilin. we have seen no improvement after taking almost half of his prescription. can the antibiotics be detrimental to his recovery?
 

Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. The symptoms you mention could be either a bacterial or viral infection of the ears/ throat or the Upper respiratory tract. Since the strep test has come negative this mostly rules out a strep throat. However the antibiotic will not be detrimental to his recovery. It could be that the symptoms are being caused by a viral agent and thus the antibiotic is not helping as they only help with bacterial causes. Viral illnesses  usually last for 5-7 days and have symptomatic treatment like fluid hydration, saline gargle, anti pyretics like tylenol.
In case the symptoms persist or get worse I would advice you to see your family physician for a follow up.

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