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Suggest treatment for tonsillitis and severe headache

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Posted on Mon, 15 Jun 2015
Question: My gf woke up in the middle of the night shivering quite violently and saying she was cold even though she was sweating a lot, so i got another blanket for her anyway. She was also breathing very quickly, which I thought was just her winding herself up, but everytime she slowed her breathing down her shivering was worse. She voiced that sh was very scared at the time but she fell back to sleep within the hour.
It is now morning and she has woken up very nauseous with a severe headache and can't decide if she is hot or cold.
What should we do?
She has been out of sorts for the last 2 weeks. A lot of nausea and headaches. She also has pus on her tonsils. She gets tonsillitis several times a year.
She has been stressed lately from finishing up her nursing degree and also family issues.
I feel like she is just run down and needs to rest up but she still feels scared.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (39 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Please go to a clinic to get a throat swab and evaluation.

Detailed Answer:
I would advise at this point that she be seen promptly in a clinic. My reasons for this are:
- pus on tonsils (with a history of frequent tonsillitis)
- severe headache

Also, she sounds pretty ill given the shivering and cold feeling even though she was sweating. I am guessing she has a fever - could you please check it with a thermometer?

She may have strep tonsillitis, but she may have other severe causes of infection too.

While it is possible some of her symptoms may be from stress or anxiety which you describe, I think the symptoms she is having are concerning for a significant infection and should be evaluated promptly. Strep pharyngitis (strep throat) left untreated can lead to heart damage. I tend to be relatively slow or withholding regarding prescribing antibiotics, but for strep throat, it is not an infection to wait and see on. With the headaches and nausea I would also want to make sure she does not have a form of meningitis.

So please go to a doctor or clinic, both for them to assess her with a physical exam, and with a throat swab of her tonsils.

I hope this information helps with your decision making.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Neel Kudchadkar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (43 hours later)
My partner has seen her gp and is on a course of erythromycin.
Its 4.30am and she woke up over an hour ago in a lot of pain frm her throat and ears.
Her heart is racing with quite a high temp.
She is light headed and nauseas. She vomited when she woke up and it looked like bile or even pus.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Please take her in to ER

Detailed Answer:
She sounds very sick. I really think she needs to go in to the emergency room.

Reasons:
She may need IV fluids given the nausea, vomiting, light headedness.

She will likely need a different antibiotic because:
- Some strep infections are resistant to erythromycin
- Erythromycin can cause nausea and vomiting, especially if it hasn't been taken after eating.

She needs to be seen promptly - please take her in.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3138 Questions

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Suggest treatment for tonsillitis and severe headache

Brief Answer: Please go to a clinic to get a throat swab and evaluation. Detailed Answer: I would advise at this point that she be seen promptly in a clinic. My reasons for this are: - pus on tonsils (with a history of frequent tonsillitis) - severe headache Also, she sounds pretty ill given the shivering and cold feeling even though she was sweating. I am guessing she has a fever - could you please check it with a thermometer? She may have strep tonsillitis, but she may have other severe causes of infection too. While it is possible some of her symptoms may be from stress or anxiety which you describe, I think the symptoms she is having are concerning for a significant infection and should be evaluated promptly. Strep pharyngitis (strep throat) left untreated can lead to heart damage. I tend to be relatively slow or withholding regarding prescribing antibiotics, but for strep throat, it is not an infection to wait and see on. With the headaches and nausea I would also want to make sure she does not have a form of meningitis. So please go to a doctor or clinic, both for them to assess her with a physical exam, and with a throat swab of her tonsils. I hope this information helps with your decision making.