Symptoms will usually go away after 3 to 4 days.

Tonsillitis is not contagious, but most of the infections that cause it are, for example, colds and flu.

To stop these infections spreading:

  • stay off work or keep your child at home until you or your child feel better
  • use tissues when you cough or sneeze and throw them away
  • wash your hands after coughing or sneezing

Tonsillitis usually gets better on its own after a few days.

To help treat the symptoms:

  • get plenty of rest
  • drink cool drinks to soothe the throat
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen (do not give aspirin to children under 16)
  • gargle with warm salty water (children should not try this)

Speak to a pharmacist about tonsillitis.

They can give advice and suggest treatments, like:

  • lozenges
  • throat sprays
  • antiseptic solutions

Find a pharmacy

See a GP if:

  • you have white pus-filled spots on your tonsils
  • the sore throat is so painful it's difficult to eat or drink
  • the symptoms do not go away within 4 days

What happens at a GP appointment

A doctor can usually tell it's tonsillitis by asking about your symptoms and looking at the back of your throat.

You may also need:

  • a swab test to see if bacteria are causing your tonsillitis (a cotton bud is used to wipe the back of your throat)
  • a blood test for glandular fever if symptoms are severe or will not go away

You should get any test results back within 2 or 3 days.

Treatment will depend on what caused your tonsillitis:

  • most children and adults get viral tonsillitis (caused by a virus), which clears up on its own
  • for bacterial tonsillitis (caused by bacteria), a GP may prescribe antibiotics

A GP will usually wait for the test results to tell which type you have.

Surgery to remove your tonsils

It's very rare that someone needs to have their tonsils taken out.

This is usually only the case if you have severe tonsillitis that keeps coming back.

Complications with tonsillitis are very rare.

Sometimes you can get a pocket filled with pus (abscess) between your tonsils and the wall of your throat. This is called quinsy.

Call 999 or go to A&E if you have:

  • a severe sore throat that quickly gets worse
  • swelling inside the mouth and throat
  • difficulty speaking
  • difficulty swallowing
  • difficulty breathing
  • difficulty opening your mouth

These are signs of quinsy.

Flu Vaccinations 2020

Flu Vaccines for 2020/21 IN STOCK. Contact us for an appointment

COVID-19: Delivery Service

Quadrant Pharmacy wants to ensure you get your prescriptions safely.  Please let us know if you are shielding or self-isolating and do not have a family friend, neighbour or volunteer who can help you. We have a complete delivery service of prescription available.

COVID-19: Services

During this time there may also be some changes to the provision of our regular services. Please contact the pharmacy to discuss any queries. We hope to return to our regular provision at the earliest opportunity.