Do you need antibiotics for your sore throat?

Treatment in 3 easy steps

Sore throats are usually caused by a viral infection which can’t be treated with antibiotics. But occasionally you may need treatment.

Choose an appointment

Use our easy calendar to book an appointment that suits you.


Visit your local pharmacist to see if you need antibiotics.


Take your antibiotics as directed and manage symptoms with over the counter medications.

How to get your sore throat tested

A pharmacist will usually test a sore throat with a throat swab and decide whether or not to offer antibiotics. If the sore throat is not bacterial, they can suggest treatments to help you manage your symptoms, like painkillers and lozenges.

If it is bacterial, they can decide whether you need antibiotics and provide these to you. The test and treat service is a private (paid for) service from your pharmacist for both consultation and treatment, although you may be able to get antibiotics from your GP if you fulfil the criteria.

Have a consultation with your pharmacist

Swab test for a bacterial infection

Pharmacist decides if you need antibiotics

Take the antibiotics as instructed

Manage symptoms with painkillers, fluids, lozenges, gargles and sprays

Book now to see if your sore throat needs antibiotics

"Sore throats are very common, especially during the winter months. Most people can manage their symptoms on their own without antibiotics but if you are showing symptoms of a bacterial sore throat, go and speak to your pharmacist to get tested and receive antibiotics if needed.”

Dr Sarah Jarvis MBE

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