What Antibiotic Is Used For Strep Throat
Health care professionals consider penicillin or amoxicillin the best first-line treatments for strep throat. According to the CDC, There has never been a report of strep that is resistant to penicillin. For people with a penicillin allergy, doctors will recommend either a narrow-spectrum cephalosporin, clindamycin, Azithromycin, or clarithromycin.
Antibiotic treatment for strep throat can:
- Reduce the severity and length of strep throat symptoms
- Lower the risk of passing it on to family, friends, and close contacts
- Stop rheumatic fever and other complications from developing
Ask Your Doctor Or Pharmacist About Ways To Feel Better If An Antibiotic Isnt Needed
For more information on common illnesses and how to feel better, visit Common Illnesses.
Antibiotics arent always the answer when youre sick. Sometimes, the best treatment when youre sick may be over-the-counter medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for tips on how to feel better while your body fights off an infection.
Pain Fever But No Cough Is Common
In general, strep throat is a mild infection, but it can be very painful. The most common symptoms of strep throat include:
- Sore throat that can start very quickly
- Pain when swallowing
- Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus
- Petechiae pronounced pi-TEE-kee-eye on the soft or hard palate
- Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck
Other symptoms may include a headache, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting especially in children. Someone with strep throat may also have a rash it is known as scarlet fever.
The following symptoms suggest a virus is the cause of the illness instead of strep throat:
- Up to 3 in 10 children with a sore throat have strep throat
- About 1 in 10 adults with a sore throat has strep throat
Strep Throat Management And Treatment
Doctors cure strep throat with antibiotics. An antibiotic kills the harmful bacteria causing the infection. Physicians may prescribe antibiotics as pills or as a shot. Two of the most commonly used antibiotics to cure strep throat are amoxicillin and penicillin. However, some people are allergic to penicillin, and doctors will use an alternative in those cases.
If your child is sick with strep throat, the doctor may prescribe the antibiotics in liquid form. Patients will usually take the course of antibiotics for ten days. Be sure to follow your healthcare providers instructions and never stop taking medicine early. You or your child should finish the medication, even if they or you feel better. The bacteria can still be alive inside the body even if the patient feels okay.
Do You Have To Get Antibiotics For Strep Throat
In light of the fact that every round of antibiotics potentially damages the gut in a manner than can never be 100% repaired, I think questioning the automatic use of antibiotics for every single case of strep is worth consideration. While some people clearly need meds, they are not necessary for everyone even if the suggestion may seem ludicrous at first.
The complications of strep throat are, after all, extremely serious. However, they are also rare especially for a healthy person with no autoimmune issues. Scarlet fever, inflammation of the kidney, or rheumatic fever which could permanently damage the heart are all remote possibilities.
I dated a guy in high school who was deaf in one ear from Scarlet fever . I am in no way kidding myself about how serious complications from strep throat can be by questioning whether antibiotics are truly needed for this type of infection.
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My Daughters Experience With Untreated Strep Throat
Recently, my preteen daughter came down with strep. She is my youngest child, and this was the first time any of my three children had ever had strep throat.
Given that she is healthy with no underlying health issues, my husband and I decided to ride it out. We treated her with natural antibiotics only.
She recovered completely within 48 hours. In fact, the white spots on her throat disappeared in less than 12 hours once we started treatments. We used garlic, raw manuka honey, and turmeric several times a day.
It will be interesting to see if she ever gets strep throat again. My bet is that she wont. She will likely develop partial or total lifelong immunity just like I did when I recovered at age 15 from untreated strep.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Strep Throat
Signs of strep throat include:
- red and swollen tonsils
- painful or swollen neck glands
Not all sore throats are strep-infected throats. Often, kids have a sore throat because of a virus, which will usually clear up without medical treatment.
Kids who do have strep throat might get other symptoms within about 3 days, such as:
- red and white patches in the throat
- trouble swallowing
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Is It Strep Throat Tips For Recognizing And Treating Strep Throat
When your child complains of a sore throat or pain while swallowing, you probably start wondering if its strep throat.
Strep throat is a throat infection caused by a bacteria called Group A streptococcus. The bacteria can be spread from person to person through airborne droplets or saliva, such as when sharing food or drinks.
Are Some People More Prone To Strep Throat
If you have a weakened immune system, you’re more likely to pick up various infections, including strep.
If a compromised immune system isn’t an issue, the other most likely reason why you or a loved one seems more prone to strep is due to age and lifestyle factors.
Children aged 515 are much more likely to have recurring strep throat. A 2015 study noted that 1525% of all sore throat cases during winter were due to strep A, and elementary school children may develop 13 new infections each school year.³
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that parents or people who are regularly around children are more likely to get strep throat, too.
People of any age are at risk when theyre around people who may have strep throat in group settings. Schools, daycares, college dorms, and barracks are hotspots for strep exposure.
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When To Call The Doctor Or Health Care Provider
- Develop a rash or diarrhea.
- Have a sore throat that lasts more than 3 days, starts drooling, cannot talk, or voice becomes muffled.
- Cant eat or drink or show signs of being dried out . Signs of dehydration:
- Newborn – has less than 6 wet diapers in a day
- Child – has less than 3 wet diapers in a day or pees less than 3 times a day
HH-I-122 ©11/1989, revised 8/22 Nationwide Childrens Hospital
Not Everyone Needs Antibiotics
Someone who tests positive for strep throat but has no symptoms usually does not need antibiotics. They are less likely to spread the bacteria to others and very unlikely to get complications.
If a carrier gets a sore throat illness caused by a virus, the rapid strep test can be positive. In these cases, it can be hard to know what is causing the sore throat.
If someone keeps getting a sore throat after taking the right antibiotics, they may be a strep carrier and have a viral throat infection. Talk to a doctor if you think you or your child may be a strep carrier.
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Are Strep Throats Contagious
Yes, Strep throats are contagious, and the bacteria are easily transmitted and spread by coughing or sneezing or after coming into contact with infected droplets, and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. Transmission of bacteria can also occur via contact with people with Scarlet fever, or other group A skin infections.
Without treatment, people with Strep throat can pass on the bacteria to others for one to two weeks after symptoms appear. The best way to prevent infection is to wash your hands often and always before eating or after being in contact with an infected person. Do not share utensils, linen, or personal items. People with Strep throat or scarlet fever should stay home for at least 24 hours after starting antibiotics or until they feel well enough to return to school or work.
Recovery How Long Does Strep Throat Last
If you receive strep throat antibiotic treatment, your illness may only last for one to three days. If left untreated, recovery will take longer, and your risk for developing complications will increase. Additionally, without treatment, you can still be contagious for several weeks, even after you stop feeling sick.
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What Are The Recommended Dosages Of Antibiotics Used To Treat Strep Throat
Antibiotic dosages can vary depending on age and weight. The CDC recommends the following dosages of antibiotics for Strep throat, for those people without a penicillin allergy. One dosage regimen should be chosen that is appropriate for the person being treated.
Oral Penicillin V
- Children: 250mg twice daily or 250mg three times daily for 10 days
- Adolescents and adults: 250mg four times daily or 500mg twice daily for 10 days
- Children and adults: 50 mg/kg once daily for 10 days
- Children and adults: 25 mg/kg twice daily for 10 days
Intramuscular Benzathine penicillin G
- Children < 27 kg: 600 000 units as a single dose
- Children and adults 27 kg: 1 200 000 units as a single dose
The CDC recommends the following dosages of antibiotics for Strep throat, for those people with a penicillin allergy. One dosage regimen should be chosen that is appropriate for the person being treated.
- Oral cephalexin 20 mg/kg twice daily for 10 days
- Oral cefadroxil 30 mg/kg once daily for 10 days
- Oral clindamycin 7 mg/kg three times daily for 10 days
- Oral azithromycin 12 mg/kg once daily for the first day , followed by 6 mg/kg once daily for the next 4 days
- Oral clarithromycin 7.5 mg/kg twice daily for 10 days.
What Is Strep Throat And How Do People Get It
Strep throat is a specific type of bacterial infectionâgroup A Streptococcus, in medical parlance.
That differs from other illnesses that give us sore throats and coughs, which are usually viral infections that don’t need to be treated with antibiotics, and go away on their own.
Strep bacteria live in the nose and spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and spreads respiratory droplets to other people. You can catch strep from an infected person if you:
Inhale the droplets.
Touch something the droplets have landed on â like a doorknob â and then touch a mucous membrane .
Touch an open sore that was caused by group A Strep.
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What Are The Risks Of Taking Antibiotics For Sore Throat
Antibiotics may cause side effects, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and skin rashes.
Besides side effects, there are other good reasons not to use antibiotics unless you really need them.
- Antibiotics cost money.
- You will probably have to see the doctor to get a prescription. This costs you time.
- If you take antibiotics when you don’t need them, they may not work when you do need them. Each time you take antibiotics, you are more likely to carry some bacteria that were not killed by the medicine. Over time, these bacteria get tougher and can cause longer and more serious infections. To treat them, you may need different, stronger, and more costly antibiotics.
When To Call Or See A Doctor For A Sore Throat
Short-term complications of strep throat include abscesses and, while rare, invasive infections. Bacteria like group A strep can move beyond the throat or skin and enter the bloodstream, lungs, fluid in the spinal cord, or other places inside the body where they would not typically live. Invasive group A strep infections are severe and can cause diseases like pneumonia, sepsis, toxic shock syndrome, and a serious skin and tissue infection called necrotizing fasciitis.
Longer term complications of strep throat include heart valve issues and kidney issues. If your child with strep throat shows the following, call or see a doctor:
- New or worsening symptoms
- Signs of dehydration such as dry lips and mouth, no tears on crying, urination less than every six hours, and lethargy
- Difficulty breathing
- Cannot open mouth fully
What Is Scarlet Fever
Scarlet fever is the name given to a bright red rash that develops following a Strep throat, although it can also develop following school sores .
Scarlet fever is less common than it was one hundred years ago because of antibiotic use and it only occurs in those who are susceptible to the toxins produced by the Streptococcal bacteria. It mostly occurs in children aged 4 to 8 years. By 10 years old more than 80% of children have developed lifelong protective antibodies against streptococcal toxins, whilst infants younger than 2 still have antibodies against the toxin that they acquired from their mother. This means that if two children in one family develop Strep throat, only one may develop scarlet fever.
Scarlet fever is a bright red rash that feels like sandpaper to the touch. The rash typically starts on the neck, underarm, or groin as small, flat red blotches that gradually become fine bumps and feel rough to the touch. In the body folds the rash may appear a brighter red . Facial flushing is common although a pale area may remain around the mouth. After seven days, the rash fades and some skin peeling may occur over the next month or longer, particularly around the fingertips, toes, and groin area.
Left untreated, Scarlet fever may progress to:
- Ear, sinus, and skin infections
- Joint inflammation
- Rheumatic fever
Are Antibiotics Always Necessary To Treat A Strep Throat
Although most Strep throats will get better by themselves, there is a risk of acute rheumatic fever and other complications occurring. The CDC recommends that all patients, regardless of age, who have a positive rapid antigen detection test or throat culture receive antibiotics.
Antibiotics have been shown to:
- Shorten the duration of Strep throat symptoms
- Reduce the likelihood of transmission to family members, friends, and other close contacts
- Prevent the development of rheumatic fever and other complications.
Viral sore throats should not be treated with antibiotics. Treatment is usually given for ten days and liquid antibiotics can be given to children who are unable to swallow tablets or capsules. Some patients may benefit from a single shot of penicillin intramuscularly.
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How To Care For Your Child
There are thingsyou can do to help your child feel better.
- Give them lots of liquids, like water, Pedialyte®, diluted apple juice, or popsicles. Give small amounts of liquid often .
- Give soft foods that are easy to swallow, like applesauce, mashed potatoes, hot cereal, or eggs. Your child may not want to eat much if it hurts to swallow.
- To soothe a sore throat, offer:
- For children over age 1, give warm fluids like water, herbal tea with honey, or diluted apple juice. Do not give honey to children under age 1. For some children, cold fluids or popsicles can be soothing.
- For children over age 4, give throat or cough lozenges or use throat sprays. Read the label to know the right dose for your child. Do not use throat sprays that contain benzocaine, as this could cause a drug reaction.
- For children over age 6 who are able to gargle without swallowing, mix ½ teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Have them swish and gargle the mixture 2 to 3 times a day for the next few days. Do not let your child swallow the salt water have them spit it out.
- For a fever or throat pain, give acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed. Read the label to know the right dose for your child. Do not give aspirin or products that contain aspirin.
Do Patients With Strep Throat Need To Be Treated With Antibiotics
- Medical Category:Infectious Disease
Background: Streptococcal pharyngitis is a common presentation to primary care and Emergency Department physicians. Every year, 10 million patients in the United States are treated with antibiotics for pharyngitis. However, less than 10% of these patients actually have strep pharyngitis . Prescribing of antibiotics for these patients centers on three arguments:
So, do patients with strep throat need to be treated with antibiotics?
While treatment of strep throat seems relatively benign, there are significant harms that need to be considered:
This means that out of 10 million patients treated with antibiotics, as many as 24,000 of them will have fatal or near-fatal allergic reactions.
Thus, its important to determine if the benefits of antibiotic treatment outweigh the risks.
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