Antibiotics are medicines that help stop infections caused by bacteria. They do this by killing the bacteria or by keeping them from copying themselves or reproducing.
So if the tonsillitis infection is bacterial like strep throat, then antibiotics are given. If the tonsillitis infection is viral, antibiotics will not help.
To determine the cause, your doctor may perform a rapid strep test or throat swab culture. If tests reveal the presence of bacteria, treatment will consist of antibiotics to cure the infection.
Antibiotics may be given as a single shot or taken 10 days by mouth.
Although symptoms will likely improve within two or three days after starting the antibiotic, it's important to take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to make sure the bacteria are gone.
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