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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A peritonsillar abscess, or PTA, is a collection of pus in the peritonsillar space. The peritonsillar space is the area between your tonsil and the back wall of your throat. It is near the opening of the tubes leading to your stomach and lungs.
Call 911 if:
- You have trouble breathing.
Seek care immediately if:
- You have more pain, swelling, or redness in your throat.
- Your symptoms get worse or do not get better, even with treatment.
- You have difficulty or pain when you swallow, or you cannot eat or drink.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- Your abscess returns.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Antibiotics help treat or prevent a bacterial infection.
- Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
- Steroids decrease swelling.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.
Manage your symptoms:
- A liquid diet may decrease your discomfort until the PTA is healed. A liquid diet may include jello, juices, or ice pops.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you can remember to ask them during your visits.
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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.
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