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Dr. Mikey
Dr. Mikey, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Pediatrician in private and group practice for 20 years. Extensive experience in urgent care.
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What causes ulcers on your tonsils

Customer Question

What causes ulcers on your tonsils
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Mikey replied 5 years ago.
Are you asking this because you yourself have them?
How old are you? Male or female?
Do you or have you ever smoked tobacco or anything else?
How long has this problem been present?
Thanks.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I do have an ulcer on my tonsil. Right side. I am a 48 year old female. I have never smoked or taken drugs. I have always been very healthy. This has been going on for 2 weeks now. I have seen a doctor and she prescribed Amoxicillin. However I was wondering: I recently had to start taking Propranolol for high blood pressure as I was getting a lot of headaches. I started taking it about a month ago. Could this have brought this on?
Expert:  Dr. Mikey replied 5 years ago.
Tonsillar ulcers are not known to be a side-effect of propranolol, and this is a drug that has been used for many purposes for decades.
I presume that your doctor prescribed amoxicillin due to the suspicion that this ulcer may have been caused by a Strep infection. However without any fever, a solitary ulcer would not likely be caused by Strep, and also, Strep throat infections are not very common in adults over 30, even if they still have their tonsils. The most common cause of a tonsillar ulcer would be a certain type of virus called an enterovirus, which happens to be most common in the summer and early fall. In this case the amoxicillin would not be useful in treating it, but it would be expected to resolve on its own within 2-3 weeks. Helpful thing to do would include gargling with warm salt water(1/2 glass with 1 teaspoon) every 2-3 hours. I would suggest that you keep a close eye on it though, and if it has not resolved within another week, I'd recommend that you ask your regular doctor for a referral to an ENT specialist. Although it would be unusual since you are not a smoker, carcinoma of the tonsil has recently become more common and the earlier this is diagnosed, the greater the chances for complete cure.

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