How Great Is The Risk From Antibiotics
The recommended antibiotic for treating GBS during labor is penicillin. Fewer bacteria currently show a resistance to penicillin than to other antibiotics used to treat GBS. The options are fewer for women known to be allergic to penicillin. Up to 29 percent of GBS strains have been shown to be resistant to non-penicillin antibiotics.46 For women not known to be allergic to penicillin, there is a one in ten risk of a mild allergic reaction to penicillin, such as a rash. Even for those women who have no prior experience of a penicillin allergy, there is a one in 10,000 chance of developing anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.
It should be noted that antibiotics such as penicillin kill GBS as well as other bacteria that might cause a newborn to become ill. Currently, the use of penicillin during labor may be a case in which the benefits outweigh the risks, depending on your individual risk factors for passing GBS on to your baby. However, it was only a few years ago that the same could have been said about other antibiotics. Ampicillin and amoxicillin have been rendered virtually useless for treating GBS by their prior overuse in laboring women in an effort to prevent GBS infection in newborns. How long will it be before penicillin, too, becomes useless in the battle to prevent GBS infections?
So You Ask What Would Happen If You Dont Take Antibiotics For A Throat Infection
The answer is fairly simple probably nothing, based on the evidence.
Most throat infections are viral, at least above 90%, and these will be fought off by the bodys immune system. Antibiotics do not help these infections and add to the growing bacterial resistance problem in the world, not to mention the devastation to our microbiome .
Of the infections that are bacterial, Streptococcus A is the main one that we treat. Before antibiotics, people got the infection, their immune system kicked in, and they fought off the bacteria. This would likely be the case for most people today.
Is Strep Throat Contagious
Strep throat can be contagious for about 2-3 weeks in individuals who are not taking antibiotics. However, individuals who do take antibiotics for strep throat usually are no longer contagious about 24- 48 hours after initiating antibiotic therapy. The bacteria that cause strep throat can be transmitted person-to-person by direct contact, especially from mucus droplets from the mouth and indirect contact, such as kissing and sharing utensils or drinking cups.
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Consequences Of Untreated Strep Throat
Strep throat is self-limiting and can resolve itself within a week if left untreated by antibiotics. But this can result in serious complications. And you could spread the strep infection to others children are especially vulnerable.
What can happen if strep throat is left untreated? There are some serious complications of untreated strep infection. These complications are uncommon but are important for you to know when weighing the risks.
- Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome¹³
PANDAS may develop in children with untreated strep throat. PANDAS results in sudden-onset OCD, aggressive behaviors, ADHD-like symptoms, Tourette-like symptoms, and possibly more.
Untreated PANDAS may follow children into adulthood.
If you suspect that your child might have PANDAS, you can book an appointment by clicking here. We are also happy to speak with you at 989-8463, Monday-Thursday, from 8AM 5PM Eastern time.
We are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of children with PANS and PANDAS even helping our own daughter to overcome PANDAS a few years ago. Our office provides the best care in Indiana for PANS and PANDAS. We also see patients from across the country. The first visit must be in the office but often follow-ups may be done remotely. If you are unable to travel, you may be able to find a physician near you at the PANDAS Physician Network.
What Are Some Home Remedies For Sore Throat
If you dont have fever or any other concerning symptoms, you can try treating your sore throat at home. If your sore throat is from a virus, these remedies may help you feel better. Unfortunately, none of them will cure your sore throat or make it go away faster. Only time can do that. But while youre waiting, it helps to be as comfortable as possible.
If you have strep throat, these things can also help relieve your sore throat until the antibiotics start to kick in. People with strep throat usually start to feel better 24 to 48 hours after starting antibiotics.
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How Is It Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you some questions to see if you’re at risk for strep throat. If your doctor thinks you might have it, he or she will swab the back of your throat to test for bacteria. Results from a throat culture will be ready in two days. The rapid antigen test provides results the same day.
How Can I Relieve My Strep Throat
To help soothe your sore throat and shorten the duration of suffering, you can
- Gargle with warm salty water three times to relieve discomfort and pain.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Eat cool and soft food to ease swallowing.
- Avoid smoking or smoky places.
- Use over-the-counter medicated lozenges or a throat spray.
- Use medicines to reduce your fever such as paracetamol. You should avoid using these medications in children without consulting your pediatrician.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Strep Throat
Generally, Strep sore throats tend to be very painful and symptoms persist for a lot longer than sore throats due to another cause. Swallowing may be particularly difficult and painful. Symptoms of a Strep throat may include:
- Sudden onset of sore throat
- Very red and swollen-looking tonsils and back of the throat
- Sometimes streaks of pus or red spots may appear on the roof of the mouth
- A headache
- Swollen and tender glands in the neck.
Children are more likely to feel sick and vomit.
People with a Strep throat do NOT typically have a cough, runny nose, hoarseness, mouth ulcers, or conjunctivitis. If these symptoms occur there is more likely to be a viral cause for the sore throat.
Some people are susceptible to the toxins produced by the S. pyrogenes bacteria and develop a bright red rash that feels like sandpaper to the touch. A rash caused by S. pyrogenes bacteria is known as Scarlet Fever . Although it usually follows a sore throat, it may also occur after school sores .
Causes Of Strep Throat
Strep throat is caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. These bacteria are highly contagious.
Strep bacteria can be spread via:
- Doorknobs and other commonly touched surfaces
Are there risk factors that increase your chance of strep throat? You are more likely to contract a strep throat infection when:
- You are older than 2, but havent hit puberty
- It is winter or early spring
- You are in close contact with others
Is Strep Throat Overmedicated
Sounds like the idea of not administering antibiotics for strep throat may not be as crazy as it first sounds. Are doctors overmedicating strep throat just like they overmedicate ear infections, colds and sinus/respiratory infections?
A round of antibiotics has the potential to cause permanent damage to the gut flora. This, in turn, has a lifelong impact on overall immunity to both chronic and acute illness. Skipping those antibiotic pills altogether may prove in the long run to be the smartest approach of all.
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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Strep Throat Home Care
Until the antibiotics start to work, these home treatments can help you or your child feel better:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers: Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to bring down a fever and ease the sore throat. Don’t give aspirin to children and teens. It can cause a rare but serious condition called Reyeâs syndrome.
- Rest: Stay home from school or work. You need extra rest to help your body fight off the infection.
- Gargling: Rinse with a mixture of a quarter-teaspoon of salt and 8 ounces of warm water to relieve a scratchy throat.
- Lozenges and hard candy: Older kids can suck on these to feel better. Avoid giving small pieces of candy to children 4 and younger.
- Lots of fluids: Do this especially if you have a fever. Water and warm liquids such as soup or tea soothe the throat and keep you hydrated. If cold feels better on your throat, suck on a frozen pop or ice chips. Avoid orange juice, lemonade, and other drinks that are high in acid. These can burn your throat.
- Soft foods: Examples include yogurt, applesauce, or frozen yogurt. They’re easier to swallow.
- Cool-mist humidifier or saline nasal spray: Moisture can help make your throat feel better.
Steer clear of anything that might bother your throat, like cigarette smoke, paint fumes, or cleaning products.
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.
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Why Do Doctors Prescribe Antibiotics For 10 Days
ByNicholas Gerbispublished 24 January 12
Most bacteria are harmless, even helpful you wouldnt hesitate to invite one into your home or digestive tract. In fact, several kinds already live there, symbiotically helping you digest food, destroying disease-causing cells and providing your body with the vitamins it requires.
Sometimes, though, you get a rough customer, something like Streptococcus, Staphylococcus or E. coli. It drops by uninvited, stirs things up and leaves you a feverish, swollen wreck. Whether its a boil, a bladder infection or a case of the clap, antibiotics such as amoxicillin are the weapons of choice for slowing or killing such bothersome bacteria.
Upon handing us our little white bag of healing, pharmacists traditionally instruct us to finish the entire 10-day prescription, even if our symptoms subside. Not doing so could mean a relapse or, in some cases, lead to more serious health consequences. Strep infections, for example, can cause heart problems if not properly treated.
But why 10 days? Why not seven or nine, or a nice round two weeks?
Simply put, 7 10 days is the Goldilocks number: Its not so brief a span that the bacterial infection will shake it off, but its also not long enough to cause an adverse reaction.
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Protect Yourself And Others
People can get strep throat more than once. Having strep throat does not protect someone from getting it again in the future. While there is no vaccine to prevent strep throat, there are things people can do to protect themselves and others.
Good Hygiene Helps Prevent Group A Strep Infections
The best way to keep from getting or spreading group A strep is to wash your hands often. This is especially important after coughing or sneezing and before preparing foods or eating. To practice good hygiene, you should:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Put your used tissue in the waste basket
- Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands, if you dont have a tissue
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available
You should also wash glasses, utensils, and plates after someone who is sick uses them. These items are safe for others to use once washed.
Wash your hands often to help prevent germs from spreading.
Antibiotics Help Prevent Spreading the Infection to Others
People with strep throat should stay home from work, school, or daycare until they:
- No longer have a fever
- Have taken antibiotics for at least 12 hours
Take the prescription exactly as the doctor says to. Dont stop taking the medicine, even if you or your child feel better, unless the doctor says to stop.
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Strep Throat Vs Sore Throat
There are many causes of sore throat, and most are viruses.
Strep throat tends to come on more quickly and often at the same time as a fever.
Milder sore throat, sore throat that comes on gradually, or a sore throat along with cough, hoarseness, or runny nose, are much more likely to be caused by a viral illness than by strep.
Your doctor will do a rapid strep test to determine if you may have strep throat.
Since most sore throats are caused by viruses, it is important to only take antibiotics if you have a positive strep result.
If the test is negative or not conclusive, a throat culture can be done to check for the bacteria that causes strep throat.
Strep throat is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 15, but anyone can get it.
Sore throats caused by viruses or other causes can also occur at any age.
A sudden onset of sore throat should be evaluated at any age, but especially in children.
Strep throat is very unlikely in children under 3 so the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend testing for or treating strep at that age.
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.
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My Experience With Untreated Strep Throat
My serious doubts about the wisdom of using antibiotics for strep throat go back to my one and only experience with this infection the summer I turned 15. Strep was by far the worst sore throat Ive ever had and the pain when I swallowed was almost unbearable to endure.
My Father, a Family Physician, made the decision not to put me on any antibiotics and let me ride it out under my own power. My Dad wasnt into herbs or anything so I didnt have any alternative treatments administered either.
The infection lasted over a week my memory remembers a full two weeks but it might have been a few days shy of that.
I lost several pounds during that illness as I could only endure swallowing liquids the entire time. I pretty much subsisted on vanilla milkshakes from the ice cream shop down the road for the duration of that awful infection and I still got well under my own power with no complications.
The interesting thing is thatI seem to have developed an immunity to strep ever since. Ive never had strep throat ever again in 35+ years. This is despite repeated exposures at close range. During college, I even had a roommate with strep and didnt get sick. This despite eating pretty rotten cafeteria food and lots of sugary foods. This no doubt suppressed my immune function considerably.
Is it possible that allowing the body to fight off strep throat naturally on its own confers partial or total immunity?