How long do we leave it before seeing doctor?

Came home from work Wed feeling really run with throat/tonsils rather swollen. I went to pharmacist for advice yesterday on what to use for my throat (Difflam spray recommended as its anti inflammatory and pain relief), she said if I dont feel better to go to see my GP (as Im on 25mg MTX subcutaneously per week).... But how long do we leave it before seeing them - dont want to waste their time if they just say its viral go away and let it run its course.

This is my first big cold and bout of tonsillitis since being diagnosed in Feb - so advice would be useful.

13 Replies

  • Ring your surgery and ask for advice,speak to a nurse if you get no help from the receptionist. Or ring you rheumatology nurse and ask them for advice as well. They will tell you what to do. We are very torn with this disease,so its better to ask first. |sylvi.xx

  • Totally agree with Syvli reply, ever since I have started on this drug regime, any signs of colds etc will make an appointment straightaway to see a doctor in the practise, when I see the doctor I always mention what drugs I am on before going on to say I have a cold/throat, that way they will take you seriously rather than fob you off.

    Hope you feel better soon.xx

  • Thanks for the advice. I hate to think m taking up appointments from those in more need. Before this I hadn't been docs for years but have become a regular over this year :-(

  • I know exactly how you feel and I've been lucky so far this winter but over the summer I had a spate of bugs including a very heavy cold that seemed to head straight for my sinuses. I was seeing the GP anyway to update her on my rheumy apt and she took one look at me and put me on antibiotics because she said I wouldn't have immunity to fight it with. So I hope you did contact your GP as everyone suggested - it doesn't matter if you take up their time that's what they are paid for although as I've said I share the same embarrassment - but not if I'm genuinely unwell while on MTX. Tilda

  • I'd not want to wait if I was taking MTX. The simplest and easiest thing to do would be to get a throat swab done as soon as possible - that way you'd know if it was bacterial (which should be treated) or viral. As you are on immunosupressant drugs, they should see you as a priority.

  • Your pharmacist chose what I always recommend though I use the difflam rinse rather than the spray personal choice.

    Dont leave that throat too long, I had severe throat for a week and it go to the stage were I couldnt swallow solid food or tablets I got a drs appointment I had been self medicating with difflam he looked at my throat and diagnosed acute bacterial pharangitis, I had no cold or cough with it and was getting scared it was a medication side effect which a sore throat can be( side effect of most Dmards). I has short high dose of clarithromycin and it went, such a relief, the infection triggered flare too. Viral sore throats cannot however benefit from antibiotics.

  • The answer is if more than 7 days see DR, They wont consider seeing you if less than a week and they are not being mean just realistic, I felt bad troubling them but it proved justified, my Gp admittted people should always do what I had tried self medicate but if more than 7 days see them.

  • Thanks everyone, I have a very unsympathetic gp so decided to go with pharmacist advice for weekend along with soup and lots of rest. Will go Monday if it's no better as have busy week at work to cope with.


  • Hi, if you don't want to take up a doctor's appointment you could always call the surgery and ask for a telephone consult. GPs are usually happy to do them as they're quicker than face to face and they can get you in or prescribe antibiotics if they think fit. If you don't have a good rapport with your GP think about asking to see someone else or, if that's not possible, change surgery if there's another one near you. You don't have to give a reason. Hope you feel better soon x

  • Thanks, that's a gd idea :-)

  • Also phoning NHS24 for advice can be really useful - make sure you tell them that you are on DMARDs and have RA. They will go through a kind of check list with you, and if they think you need to be seen, they can do the arrangements and refer you. Its a great way to take the responsibility away from yourself and put it on someone medically trained.

  • aye was told that any virus and sore to get app right away

  • It is so difficult as different parts of the country or different specialists and u get totally different advice. My throat is no longer sore and not as swollen so it seems I just have bad cold to get rid of now. Put up with it since wed night so think gp will b ok with me seeking official advice.

    Thanks everyone.

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