Does Strep Throat Require Antibiotic Treatment
The short answer is yes. Unlike ear infections, which can be bacterial or viral in nature, strep throat is always caused by bacteria , Moore clarifies. Therefore, best practice is to prescribe antibiotics to prevent future problems and stop the spread of the infection.
While there are times when strep could go away without antibiotics, the problem is that some of those cases could have negative outcomes, especially for very young or elderly patients, says Moore. Complications can include abscesses inside the throat or on the tonsils, rheumatic fever, and even post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, which is a rare inflammation of the kidneys.
When Should I See My Doctor About A Sore Throat
In general, you should see a healthcare provider if:
You have a fever. You should see a healthcare provider if you have a sore throat and fever to make sure you dont have strep throat. This is especially important for children and teens.
You think you could have COVID-19. Sore throat is a common symptom of COVID-19 illness.
Your sore throat is getting worse. A sore throat from a virus should go away within a few days. It also shouldnt get worse over time. If your sore throat isnt getting better after 2 to 3 days you should see a healthcare provider even if home remedies are giving you temporary relief. You could have a sore throat for a different reason.
You have concerning symptoms. This includes neck swelling, trouble swallowing, voice changes, trouble speaking, or pain that makes it hard to move your neck.
What Matters Most To You
Your personal feelings are just as important as the medical facts. Think about what matters most to you in this decision, and show how you feel about the following statements.
Reasons to take antibiotics for a sore throat
Reasons not to take antibiotics for a sore throat
I want to take medicine even if there’s only a chance it will help me get well faster.
I may not want to take medicine if it won’t help me get well faster.
I’m worried about my sore throat turning into an ear infection or sinus infection.
I’m not worried about my sore throat turning into an ear infection or sinus infection.
I’m not worried about the risk of taking antibiotics too often.
I’m worried about the risks of taking antibiotics too often.
I’ve had a sore throat for more than a week, and it’s not getting better.
I’ve had a sore throat for just a few days.
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Argument #: Antibiotics Reduce The Rate Of Suppurative Complications
There are a number of potential complications associated with strep throat including acute otitis media , sinusitis and peritonsilar abscess .
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A more recent study demonstrated an overall suppurative complication rate of 1.3% and no difference in patients who received antibiotics versus those that did not .
Bottom Line: It appears that we would have to treat 100s of patients to prevent one PTA an easily treatable entity.
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.
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How Well Do Antibiotics Work To Treat A Sore Throat
Antibiotics don’t work at all for a sore throat caused by a virus. These kinds of sore throats usually go away on their own in 4 to 5 days.
If you have strep throatwhich is caused by bacteriayour doctor may prescribe an antibiotic, such as penicillin. But strep throat goes away on its own in 3 to 7 days with or without antibiotics.
Antibiotics may not make you well faster. But they may shorten the time you are able to spread strep throat to others by a day or so.
Antibiotics may also lower the risk of a bacterial infection spreading to other parts of your body, such as your ears and sinuses. They can also prevent serious but rare problems such as rheumatic fever in children.
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.
Personal Stories About Taking Antibiotics For Sore Throat
These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.
I was sick a lot as a kid, and I was always taking medicine. Maybe it helped at the time. But in the past few years, when I’ve gotten a bad sore throat or sinus infection, antibiotics haven’t worked. I’ve had to try two or three different ones each time. That gets expensive. The next time I get a sore throat, I’m going to try just staying home, resting, and taking care of myself instead of taking antibiotics.
My 8-year-old daughter got strep throat last month. I thought it was just a cold, and I kept her home from school for a few days. But she wasn’t getting better and she felt so miserable. I was also worried about ear infections. She gets a lot of those too. The doctor did a strep test and suggested she take antibiotics. Amy started feeling better a few days later. I think antibiotics were the right way to go this time.
My insurance doesn’t pay for all of my medicines, so I try to make sure I really need the ones I do take. The last time I had a bad cold, my throat got really sore. The pain made it hard for me to swallow. I called my doctor’s office and the nurse said I could come in if I felt I needed a prescription. I thought I’d wait and see instead. I took ibuprofen and drank a lot of tea and honey, and in a few days I felt better. I’m glad I didn’t spend the money on a doctor visit and medicine.
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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.
What Is A Strep Test
A strep test looks for Streptococcus bacteria in the throat. The test is painless and takes very little time. The tip of a cotton swab is used to wipe the back of the throat. The swab is then tested.
The rapid strep test takes approximately 20 minutes. If the test is positive , the patient has strep throat. If the test is negative , the doctor may send the throat swab to a laboratory to double-check the results. Some doctors may not do a rapid strep test and instead just send the throat swab to the laboratory.
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Alternatives To Antibiotics For Strep Throat
In addition to taking the above antibiotics, doctors also prescribe trying some remedies to get relief from symptoms of strep throat.
- Gargle with salt water to clear the throat and get relief from the pain.
- Using throat sprays that contain topical anesthetics can provide relief temporarily.
- Keep the throat moist with lozenges
- Sip on warm beverages such as tea with honey, herbal teas, etc. regularly
- Use apple cider vinegar in diluted form while gargling
Would Having My Tonsils Taken Out Stop Me From Getting Strep Throat Again
It may help if you have repeat episodes of severe strep throat. But doctors aren’t sure if having fewer infections is worth the risks of surgery.
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What Are The Most Common Strep Throat Symptoms
The telltale signs of strep throat are you guessed it a very sore throat that is most often paired with a fever. In general, people with strep dont exhibit generic cold symptoms like coughs, runny noses, nasal congestion, or sneezing, says Moore. If you are experiencing these types of symptoms with the absence of a fever, chances are you have a viral infection, and you dont need to be tested for strep.
While throat pain and fever are the most common and notable symptoms of strep throat, other signs of this bacterial infection may include:
- Body aches
- Nausea or vomiting
Raw Honey And Marshmallow Root Tea
Whenever we are looking for an ingredient to soothe the pain or the swelling, raw honey and marshmallow are always our selections. Using these golden ingredients are an excellent way to alleviate the strep throat pain and swelling. Prepare a glass of warm marshmallow root tea, then stir them in raw honey to create a mixture of bacteria-fighting drink.
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Other Sore Throats Don’t Need Special Medicine So Why Does Strep Throat
Most sore throats are caused by viruses, which cannot be cured with medicine you can only relieve the aches and pains. Viruses heal on their own and cannot be cured with antibiotics or other medicines.
Strep throat is caused by a bacterium. Infections caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. Strep throat can lead to more serious illnesses, so it’s important to get it treated.
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.
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Those Who Dont Take Antibiotics But Use Natural Remedies
We have recorded a lot of cases with strep throat do not use antibiotics, but natural remedies for combating it. Thats why, if you ask how long does strep throat last without antibiotics?, we will mention the length of time it will take for strep throat to fade away when using natural remedies, not to use antibiotics.
Doctors also confirmed that antibiotics could be one of the best ways to enable the symptoms of strep throat to disappear quicker than others. Nevertheless, due to its particular downside or doubts about whether it has negative impacts on the long-term health or not, natural methods or thought of letting it go away on its own are more preferred .
Lets get back to the main point. You have to make sure that you are not in trouble with any health issues. In that situation, natural remedies could work best for your strep throat.
For those who prefer this treatment without antibiotics, the patients will completely recover within 48 hours. It is true when you get no other serious health problems like fever, to be more specific.
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.
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Psgn Is A Rare Complication From A Prior Group A Strep Infection
PSGN is a kidney disease that can develop after infections caused by bacteria called group A Streptococcus . These infections include throat and skin infections like strep throat, scarlet fever, and impetigo. PSGN is not a group A strep infection of the kidneys. Instead PSGN results from the bodys immune system fighting off the group A strep throat or skin infection.
It usually takes about 10 days after the start of symptoms of strep throat or scarlet fever for PSGN to develop. It takes about 3 weeks after the start of symptoms of group A strep skin infection for PSGN to develop.
Gut Health During The Holidays
The holidays are right around the corner and many of us are thinking about how to not gain those extra pounds. However, it’s not just our weight we should be worried about we should also focus on keeping our gut healthy this holiday season. Our gut does much more than digest food it also has an important immune function. Keep your digestive tract strong and healthy for the holidays and new year by following these 5 easy tips:
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Will Strep Throat Go Away On Its Own
We highly recommend being seen by a provider if you are concerned you may have strep throat. Strep throat typically goes away in three to seven days with or without antibiotic treatment. However, if you dont take antibiotics, you can remain contagious for two to three weeks and are at a higher risk for complications, such as rheumatic fever.
Whats more, complications resulting from the bacterial infection can lead to increased susceptibility to other viral infections like influenza which can be fatal.
Pro Tip: If you have been diagnosed with strep throat, you can help prevent repeat infections by changing your and your families toothbrushes and thoroughly disinfecting all surfaces that may have been in contact with the strep virus.
Difference Between Strep Throat And A Cold
The first sign of the arrival of cold is often distinguished by a sore throat. However, a sore throat often goes away in the first two days. Along with a sore throat a common cold can also cause congestion and runny nose.
Strep throat, is a result of the activities of streptococcus bacteria or group a streptococcus, which is a major cause of sore throats and tonsillitis. A strep throat is more harmful than a sore throat as it is more painful and severe.
Now that it is clear that what actually a strep throat is, let us now be precautious by knowing that how it is spread:
How is strep throat spread and how long does a person remains contagious after being infected by it?
Strep throat is caused by bacteria, therefore it is contagious.
So coming to the point that how is spread, we would like to first tell you to stop sharing your dishes and put a halt in your intimacy with someone infected with this disease. When a person having strep throat sneezes, breaths or coughs, the tiny bacteria is passed on to another person who comes in the path of the infected air.
Once the tiny droplets containing bacteria is inhaled the person becomes contagious until and unless the disease is treated.
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How Is Strep Throat Treated
Strep throat is treated using antibiotics. An antibiotic is a type of medicine that kills the bacteria that cause the infection.
Antibiotics are often taken as pills or given as a shot. Penicillin and amoxicillin are common antibiotics used to treat strep throat. Other antibiotics are ordered for people who are allergic to penicillin.
Your healthcare provider may give your child a shot or prescribe an antibiotic in either pill or liquid form. The pills or liquid are usually taken for 10 days. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Your child should take all of the medication, even if he or she feels better. The bacteria can still be alive even if your child feels okay.