If you are suffering from a sore throat, several things could be causing it. It can be a symptom of the common cold, but that will usually clear up reasonably quickly, giving way to other symptoms like a runny nose or congestion. However, if your sore throat hangs around for longer, it could be an indication of something more severe, like Strep or Tonsillitis. If it is Strep Throat, an infection caused by the streptococcus bacteria, then the pain will be much more severe and persists for longer. In the case of Tonsillitis, the tonsils – located at the back of the throat – become inflamed and painful. In both cases, you can seek treatment advice from your local pharmacy.

Viral or Bacterial?

Although a sore throat can be caused by either a virus or bacteria, viral triggers are much more common. However, other factors such as smoking, pollution, allergies, and dry air can also cause sore throats.

How is Strep Throat Different From a Common Cold?

While a virus causes most colds, Strep Throat is triggered by an infection of the streptococcus bacteria. It is spread from person to person by coming into contact with an infected person’s saliva or nasal secretion. Strep is very common in young people between the ages of 5 and 15, but can also affect adults. To diagnose Strep, a throat swab needs to be tested for the identifying culture. However, it may be possible for a doctor to diagnose based on other symptoms, including white spots in the throat and swollen lymph nodes. It is vital that you get the proper treatment if you do have strep throat as it can escalate into more severe illnesses, including rheumatic fever. Strep throat is treated with antibiotics, commonly penicillin or amoxicillin. It is important to complete the entire course of antibiotics, even if you start to feel better. It is recommended that you stay home for a minimum of 24 hours after starting the antibiotic treatment to avoid infecting other people.

Did you know? We offer strep throat testing in-store at Vaughn Pharmacy. Why make a trip to the doctor when visiting your local pharmacy is so much more convenient!

What About Tonsillitis?

Another common culprit when it comes to sore throats is Tonsillitis. This is an inflammation of the tonsils and can be caused by either a virus or bacteria. Ironically, the key function of the tonsils is to help fight infections, yet they are prone to infection! When the tonsils become inflamed, it can be incredibly painful, and some patients have difficulty swallowing. If the infection is bacterial, then it can be treated with antibiotics, but viral infections need to run their course. You can help the process along by drinking plenty of fluids, resting as much as possible, and eating smooth foods that are easy to swallow. Ask your local pharmacy for recommendations of over the counter pain medication that can help to relieve the discomfort.

Don’t forget that your local pharmacy can be a great source of advice for a wide range of ailments, including sore throats!


Your Hometown Pharmacy Since 1966

Vaughn Pharmacy is a local, family-owned pharmacy serving the community in Powell, TN. Specializing in providing personalized and attentive prescription programs to our patients, we believe you are more than just a number – you’re part of our family!


(865) 947-1581