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Sore throat treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions

Skip the waiting room! Instantly connect with Canadian doctors for medical care from your phone, tablet or computer - any time, 24/7.

What is sore throat?

A sore throat, also known as pharyngitis, is usually one of the first signs that you’ve caught a bug. Sore throats are most commonly caused by viruses, like the cold virus, but can also be due to more serious viruses like the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis.

Only a minority of sore throats are caused by strep bacteria, causing what we commonly call strep throat.

The most common cause of a sore throat is a viral infection like the common cold or flu.

Other, but less common causes of sore throat include:

  • Allergies — allergic reactions to pets, mold, dust, and pollen;
  • Bacterial infections – this can includes bacteria like Streptococcus pyogenes which is the common cause of strep throat;
  • Dy air – airy indoors can make your throat feel dry and itchy.
What are the symptoms of a sore throat?
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarse or muffled voice
  • Inflamed tonsils
  • Itchy throat
  • Throat pain
  • Sore and swollen glands around your neck and jaw area
Is my sore throat caused by a viral or bacterial infection?

A sore throat caused by a viral infection like a common cold includes the following symptoms:

  • Body aches
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Mild headache
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing

A sore throat caused by a bacterial infection typically includes the following symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain swallowing
  • Red tonsils

Sore throats caused by a bacterial infection can be treated with antibiotics.

There is no treatment for a sore throat caused by viral infections, but there are ways to relieve irritability which include:

  • Drinking lots of liquids (soup, tea, water, etc)
  • Eating nutritious foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein)
  • Gargling warm salt water
  • Resting
  • Sucking on ice chips
  • Taking over the counter cold medicine

 

When should I see a doctor about a sore throat?

You should see a doctor if you experience:

  • A high fever — 38.3 C (101 F)
  • A lump in your neck
  • A sore throat that lasts longer than a week
  • Difficulty swallowing and/or breathing
  • Earaches
  • Hoarse speech for more than two weeks
  • Joint pain

Meet our doctors

Our physicians are Canadian licensed and practice family or emergency medicine right here in Canada.

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Dr. Aleksandra Ferenc

Dr. Aleksandra Ferenc

Family Physician, Mississauga

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Dr. Marni Brooks

Dr. Marni Brooks

Family Physician, Toronto

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Dr. Tristan Snider

Dr. Tristan Snider

ER Physician, Toronto

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Dr. Gita Kruger

Dr. Gita Kruger

Family & Urgent Care, Calgary

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Dr. Bharat Bahl

Dr. Bharat Bahl

ER Physician, Toronto

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Dr. Shane Hawkins

Dr. Shane Hawkins

Family & ER Physician, Halifax

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Dr. Paul Medve

Dr. Paul Medve

ER Physician, Simcoe

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Dr. William Cherniak

Dr. William Cherniak

ER Physician, Toronto

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Dr. Michael Verbora

Dr. Michael Verbora

Family Physician, Toronto

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Dr. Mark D’Souza

Dr. Mark D’Souza

ER Physician, Toronto

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What is Maple?

With Maple, you can start talking to a doctor about your symptoms in a matter of minutes. We’re a healthcare app for fast, convenient 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.

You simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and we’ll immediately connect you to a doctor via live chat or video.

Our doctors can assess symptoms, and provide treatment, including prescriptions as necessary.

You can visit our How it Works page to learn more.

Can a doctor treat sore throat on Maple?

In most cases, doctors can diagnose a sore throat online by asking about your symptoms, requesting to see images, or video calling to observe your skin. Once you describe your symptoms and the doctor has inspected your skin, they will be able to diagnose and prescribe appropriate treatment.

In children, doctors treat strep infections with antibiotics only to reduce the chance of strep related complications, not to reduce the length of illness.

In adults, antibiotics offer little benefit for throat infections, and the best treatments are often a mix of anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and oral steroid medications, all of which can be safely prescribed online.

If the doctor suspects you have a more serious problem, they may suggest you go to a clinic for a thorough in-person examination.

It’s essential to seek emergency care if your sore throat makes you unable to swallow liquids, or causes any difficulty breathing.

Can I get a prescription on Maple?

Yes, our physicians can prescribe medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription, you’ll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or we’ll deliver it right to your door at no additional cost.

You can visit our How it Works page to learn more.

Saves a lot of time compared to sitting in a doctor's office!

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Legitimate and just as described, with fabulous doctors. Totally fills the late-night worry gap!

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Not having to endure a long wait at a walk in clinic is fabulous. Especially since I have twin pre-schoolers to contend with.

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The service is so quick and professional and saves hours spent in a walk-in-clinic. This is a game changer for busy moms and I recommend it to everyone!

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Instead of my husband having to drag both kids to the hospital or walk in alone he was able to see a doctor right away and get a prescription faxed to our local pharmacy.

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Our family has used this service twice so far and it has been amazing. Both doctors were friendly, compassionate and you never feel rushed.

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Was concerned I wouldn’t be able to see a doctor without an appointment. I installed the Maple app, spoke to a doctor and had my prescription in under 30 min.

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I used Maple for the first time today. It was quick and easy, took less than ten minutes including connecting time and the doctor was professional and friendly. 

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LOVE This service. Not only do you have a doctor within seconds but they are professional and knowledgable.

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Absolutely blown away. It was SO easy to use. No wait time getting connected with a doctor. Getting the prescription faxed to the pharmacy made it a seamless process.

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