Tonsillitis is inflammation of your tonsils, with or without an infection. Tonsils are the lumps of tissue on both sides of the back of your throat. Tonsils are part of your immune system. They help you fight infections. Recurrent tonsillitis is when you have tonsillitis many times in 1 year. Chronic tonsillitis is when you have a sore throat that lasts 3 months or longer.



  • Antipyretics: This medicine is given to decrease a fever.

  • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight an infection caused by bacteria. Take as directed.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Drink plenty of liquids: Drink plenty of water and other liquids. This can help keep you from getting dehydrated. Ask your how much you should drink.

  • Gargle with warm salt water: This may help to decrease throat pain. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Ask how often you should do this.

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • Your pain is not better after you take pain medicine.

  • Your sore throat is not better after you have finished antibiotic treatment.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have trouble breathing because your tonsils are swollen.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Tonsillitis (Discharge Care)