Living With Strep Throat
Strep throat is an infection that typically comes and goes, especially when youre younger. If you have recurring strep throat, it could be that someone in your family is a carrier of strep. Carriers have the strep bacteria in their throats, but it does not make them sick. Treating carriers can help prevent the spread of strep.
When To See A Doctor
If you develop a sudden sore throat and are concerned for strep, you should speak with a healthcare provider.
While strep throat can go away on its own in many cases, antibiotic treatment can help symptoms go away about one day more quickly, and may slightly decrease sore throat pain after about 3 days of use.
Antibiotics may also help prevent more serious complications from developing.
If you have a sore throat and develop difficulty swallowing, speaking, or breathing, you should seek emergency medical care.
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How Long Do Antibiotics Take To Work
Antibiotics begin to work right after you start taking them. However, you might not feel better for 2 to 3 days.
How quickly you get better after antibiotic treatment varies. It also depends on the type of infection youre treating.
Most antibiotics should be taken for 7 to 14 days . In some cases, shorter treatments work just as well. Your doctor will decide the best length of treatment and correct antibiotic type for you.
Even though you might feel better after a few days of treatment, its best to finish the entire antibiotic regimen in order to fully resolve your infection. This can also help prevent antibiotic resistance. Dont stop your antibiotic regimen early unless your healthcare professional says you can do so.
Some other early antibiotics were produced by bacteria found in ground soil.
Today, all antibiotic medications are produced in a lab. Some are made through a series of chemical reactions that produce the substance used in the medication.
Other antibiotics are at least partly made through a natural but controlled process. This process is often enhanced with certain chemical reactions that can alter the original substance to create a different medication.
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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.
What Antibiotics Should I Take
Depending on the type of infection, a physician may prescribe you one of two types of antibiotics: broad-spectrum or narrow-spectrum.
Broad-spectrum antibiotics affect a wide range of bacteria, whereas narrow-spectrum antibiotics attack specific types of bacteria.
Physicians will often times try to prescribe narrow-spectrum antibiotics when they know which bacteria caused the infection. For example in pharyngitis caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, a physician may prescribe benzylpenicillin.
This is because using broad-spectrum antibiotics unnecessarily can contribute to antibiotic resistance. “Unfortunately, the side effects of antibiotics must be taken into account . In particular, bacterial resistance must be considered whenever using antibiotics for non-bacterial infections,” says Kaveh.
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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.
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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Life Tables Should Be Used With Caution
EditorBoth Fleetcroft and Cantekin point out a curious anomaly in life table analysis of recovery from acute illness. If the outcome measure chosen is the day on which symptoms last occurred rather than the end of the period of continuous symptoms, the kind of pattern observed in Zwart et al’s study is almost unavoidable.3-1
Imagine two patientsBob in the seven day group and Paul in the three day group. Both get better after 24 hours, but Paul relapses on day 5 and recovers on day 7. On the life table Bob seems to have recovered in the crucial first three days whereas Paul does not. Hence the early takeoff of the recovery curve in the seven day group. It does not in any way indicate allocation bias between the groups.
Perhaps the lesson is that life tables should be used with caution for data of this kind.
What Are The Symptoms For Strep Throat
Here are the most common symptoms. You may have all or most of the symptoms or just a few:
The strep throat clue I always look for is a sore throat with a fever above 100.4 F but with little to no coughing. At the same time, sore throats caused by viruses or other bacteria can mimic these symptoms, so its important to follow up with your provider if you have concerns.
Here is the infographic comparing symptoms of strep throat or a viral sore throat in an alternative format.
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How Does Amoxicillin Work
A commonly used antibiotic, amoxicillin works to stop bacteria from multiplying by preventing bacteria from forming the walls that surround them. The walls are necessary to protect bacteria from their environment and to keep the contents of the bacterial cell together. Bacteria cannot survive without a cell wall.
Amoxicillin is effective against many different bacteria, including:
What Is Strep Throat
Strep throat is an infection in the throat and tonsils that is caused by a bacterium known as Group A streptococcus. Strep throat spreads from person to person very easily, especially among family members. It is common in school-aged children but also occurs in adults.
Strep throat can very rarely cause more serious illnesses, such as rheumatic fever, a disease that can harm the heart valves. So, its important that strep throat is appropriately diagnosed and treated. With proper treatment, strep throat is usually cured within 10 days.
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Scarlet Fever: What To Expect
In general, scarlet fever is a mild infection. It usually takes two to five days for someone exposed to group A strep to become sick. Illness usually begins with a fever and sore throat. There may also be chills, vomiting, or abdominal pain. The tongue may have a whitish coating and appear swollen. It may also have a strawberry-like appearance. The throat and tonsils may be very red and sore, and swallowing may be painful.
One or two days after the illness begins, a red rash usually appears. However, the rash can appear before illness or up to 7 days later. The rash may first appear on the neck, underarm, and groin . Over time, the rash spreads over the body. The rash usually begins as small, flat blotches that slowly become fine bumps that feel like sandpaper.
Although the cheeks might look flushed , there may be a pale area around the mouth. Underarm, elbow, and groin skin creases may become brighter red than the rest of the rash. The rash from scarlet fever fades in about 7 days. As the rash fades, the skin may peel around the fingertips, toes, and groin area. This peeling can last up to several weeks.
Can I Prevent Strep Throat
If someone in your house has strep throat, you might get it. But following these tips can help protect you:
- The person with strep throat should cover their mouth when sneezing and coughing. If they don’t have a tissue handy, they should cough or sneeze into their elbow not their hands!
- Don’t handle used tissues or other germy items.
- Wash your hands well and often, especially before eating.
- Wash dishes, drinking glasses, knives, forks, and spoons in hot, soapy water.
Strep throat is no fun, but after feeling sick for 2 or 3 days, most kids start getting back to normal. In other words, they feel less streppy and more peppy!
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Has Prior Antibiotic Therapy Eliminated Protective Throat Bacteria
Prominent, normal bacteria of the throat include another type of streptococci . These bacteria make natural antibiotic substances in the throat. Penicillin or amoxicillin therapy may change the natural environment for throat bacteria by killing these alpha hemolytic streptococci their elimination provides an opportunity for disease-causing strep to gain access to the throat cells. This is another reason for patients to avoid unnecessary antibiotic use.
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Q How Is It Different Than A Regular Sore Throat
A. There are many different types of bacteria and viruses that can cause a sore throat. Many of the symptoms overlap between the causative agents and therefore it is very difficult to differentiate between strep pharyngitis and other causes of pharyngitis without testing. A cough is not a common symptom with strep throat and may indicate a different cause of sore throat.
What Is 875 Mg Amoxicillin Used For
Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid is a combination penicillin-type antibiotic used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria. This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections.
Is 875 mg of amoxicillin a lot?
Typical dosage is 875 mg every 12 hours, or 500 mg every 8 hours. Typical dosage is 45 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours, or 40 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 hours. Maximum dosage is 30 mg/kg/day. This is meant for children who weigh less than 88 pounds .
What is the strongest antibiotic for strep throat?
Penicillin or amoxicillin is the antibiotic of choice to treat group A strep pharyngitis. There has never been a report of a clinical isolate of group A strep that is resistant to penicillin. However, resistance to azithromycin and clarithromycin is common in some communities.
Is 7 days of amoxicillin enough for strep throat?
Strep Throat7: Group A strep will require 10 days of amoxicillin/penicillin.
What Causes Strep Throat
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that occurs due to a bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes .
S. pyogenes belongs to a group of bacteria that grow in chains of spherical cells called group A Streptococcus.
According to a , strep throat causes approximately 515% of sore throats in adults and 2030% of cases involving children.
The state that group A strep bacteria typically live in the throat and nose and spread through tiny droplets of infected mucus or moisture.
Even people who are not experiencing symptoms can spread the bacteria.
Most people become exposed to infectious mucus droplets by:
- breathing them in
- washing the hands frequently for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer
- avoiding touching the nose, mouth, or face
- avoiding contact with people who have contagious infections
- washing glasses, plates, utensils, and other items after someone with strep throat has used them or come into contact with them
People with strep throat can also reduce the risk of spreading it to others by:
- taking antibiotics
- washing their hands frequently, especially after coughing or sneezing or before preparing or eating food
- coughing or sneezing into a tissue of the upper elbow or shirt sleeve, not the hands
- placing used tissues into the trash can or garbage
- staying home when symptomatic
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What Do Antibiotics Treat
Doctors prescribe antibiotics for all types of bacterial infections from minor strep throat or urinary tract infections to severe, life-threatening conditions such as bacterial pneumonia or sepsis.
“The properties of some antibiotics make them amenable to other medical conditions, as well,” says Anthony Kaveh, MD, physician anesthesiologist, and integrative medicine specialist. For example, the quinolone and tetracycline groups of antibiotics are used in anti-malarial therapy.
Important: Scientists agree that antibiotics don’t directly affect SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. That’s because “antibiotics do not treat viral infections,” says Kaveh.
Certain antibiotics also have anti-inflammatory effects, which may be useful in treating inflammation caused by a viral infection. However, Kaveh points out that there is still more research to be done about the anti-inflammatory effects of antibiotics.
How To Treat Strep Throat With Antibiotics And Home Remedies
- You can treat strep throat with antibiotics, which can relieve symptoms in as little as 24 hours.
- To treat strep throat effectively, you will likely need to take antibiotics for 10 days to fully resolve the bacterial infection.
- You may also want to use these home remedies to treat strep throat and relieve your symptoms.
- This article was medically reviewed by , MD, family medicine physician at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.
- Visit Insiders Health Reference library for more advice.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection in the throat and tonsils that is highly contagious. Its commonly characterized by a sore and swollen throat, a fever, and pain when swallowing.
Antibiotics are the most effective form of treatment for strep throat, and they can help relieve symptoms in as little as 24 hours. Home remedies can also help soothe a sore throat, break a fever, and reduce other strep symptoms.
Heres what you need to know to treat strep throat and feel better as soon as possible.
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Can Strep Throat Be Prevented Or Avoided
Strep throat is very contagious. It can be hard to protect yourself when you are around people who are infected with strep throat. Try to avoid people who have strep, when possible. If you must be around someone who has strep throat, be sure to wash your hands frequently. Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs.
How Do You Tell The Difference Between A Sore Throat And Strep Throat
While it can be difficult to figure out whether you have a bacterial infection or a virus , there are some key differences.
Often a virus will include other viral symptoms like a runny nose, cough and eye redness, Dr. Redding said. The infection usually improves on its own and doesnt require antibiotics.
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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.
When To See A Healthcare Professional
You should only take antibiotics under the direction of a healthcare professional. If your symptoms worsen or aren’t resolved after your full course of antibiotics, talk to your healthcare provider about additional treatment options.
You should also alert your healthcare provider to any side effects you experience while taking antibiotics, even if they are minor. Go the emergency room or seek immediate medical care if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction while taking antibiotics.
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