What Can Make My Sore Throat Feel Better
Here are some things that might help you feel better:
- Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve pain and reduce fever. Children should not take aspirin. Aspirin can cause a serious illness called Reyes syndrome when it is given to children younger than 18 years of age.
- Gargle with warm salt water .
- Adults and older children can suck on throat lozenges, hard candy, pieces of ice, or popsicles.
- Eat soft foods and drink cool drinks or warm liquids .
- Get plenty of rest. Sleep helps your body fight infection.
- Drink plenty of water. This helps keep your throat lubricated and helps prevent dehydration.
- Avoid acidic or spicy foods and drinks .
Strep Throat Treatment Options
If your strep test comes back positive, your healthcare provider will most likely prescribe an antibiotic treatment. Once treatment starts, you should feel improvement within a day or two. It is very important to finish your antibiotics even if you feel better because strep throat can cause serious complications, such as rheumatic fever or glomerulonephritis , or turn into other serious infections within the streptococcal infection group, such as scarlet fever or impetigo. To manage the symptoms of strep throat there are over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain, and at-home remedies like drinking plenty of water.
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
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Can An Online Doctor Treat Me For Strep Throat
Yes! HealthTap is here to help.
Our online doctors can meet you via video consultation and evaluate you for strep throat, order tests*, offer medical advice, and write prescriptions that are sent electronically to your nearest pharmacy. HealthTap members can compare costs at the nearest five pharmacies and save up to 75% off the cost of their prescriptions. Additionally, if you schedule an appointment with a primary care physician in our Virtual Primary Care clinic, you can text with your doctor for free after your appointment to discuss any questions or clarifications you may have.
*You may need to travel to an in-person clinic if testing for strep is needed.
What Causes Recurring Strep Throat
1. Antibiotic Resistance
Many people are diagnosed with recurring strep throat because the type of strep they contracted is resistant to the antibiotic the doctor prescribed. Or, the antibiotic failsto work due to incorrect dosage or allergy.
2. Weak Immune System
A large number of those with recurring strep will also have a weak immune system, such as those undergoing chemotherapy, diagnosed with AIDS or HIV, or those on a corticosteroid. With a weak immune system, people may find it hard to fight against the strep bacteria, therefore the strep throat will occur again and again.
3. Carry Strep Throat Bacteria
Other people have strep throat recur because they or someone they contact often carries the bacteria that causes it. Many people have these bacteria in their throat yet not showing the symptoms and they are known as carriers.
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Strep Throat Against Mono
Mono, or infectious mononucleosis, is a common viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It is common in teenagers.
On the other hand, strep throat is caused by strep throat bacteria.
Both problems can present with similar, but not the same symptoms, primarily because the source of the infection is different, so the treatment is also different.
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.
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A Simple Test Gives Fast Results
Only a rapid strep test or throat culture can determine if group A strep is the cause. A doctor cannot tell if someone has strep throat just by looking at his or her throat.
A rapid strep test involves swabbing the throat and running a test on the swab. The test quickly shows if group A strep is causing the illness. If the test is positive, doctors can prescribe antibiotics. If the test is negative, but a doctor still suspects strep throat, then the doctor can take a throat culture swab. A throat culture takes time to see if group A strep bacteria grow from the swab. While it takes more time, a throat culture sometimes finds infections that the rapid strep test misses. Culture is important to use in children and teens since they can get rheumatic fever from an untreated strep throat infection. For adults, it is usually not necessary to do a throat culture following a negative rapid strep test. Adults are generally not at risk of getting rheumatic fever following a strep throat infection.
Someone with strep throat should start feeling better in just a day or two after starting antibiotics. Call the doctor if you or your child are not feeling better after taking antibiotics for 48 hours.
Description Of The Intervention
The administration of antibiotics is likely to shorten the time to the remittance of symptoms and reduce the likelihood of complications in patients whose sore throat has a bacteriological aetiology . However, their benefits may be limited in the treatment of sore throat more generally . Traditionally, doctors have attempted to decide whether the cause of the infection is bacterial, especially when caused by the group A betahaemolytic Streptococcus . However, deciding the aetiological agent is difficult .
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Should I Take Antibiotics
Most sore throats get better in a week to 10 days.
Doctors do not normally prescribe antibiotics for viral sore throats because they will not help relieve your symptoms or speed up the recovery process.
Your doctor may advise and prescribe antibiotics for you when
- They diagnose you with a bacterial infection or after your throat examination and throat swab test.
- You have pus formation in the tonsils.
You must complete the course if your doctor has advised you to take an antibiotic. This will avoid further complications such as the recurrence of an infection and the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
If your sore throat is caused by allergies, your doctor may prescribe medicines to treat them. If you have glandular fever , it may last for more than four weeks and can be cured with plenty of rest.
Antibiotics wont help you if you have viral infections. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral medicines for you in serious cases.
You should avoid taking antibiotics without a doctors prescription/advice.
New Types Of Antibiotics In The Treatment Of Strep Throat
By | Submitted On June 21, 2006
Strep throat is inflammation and swelling of the throat, tonsils and lymph nodes due to infection with group A streptococcus bacteria. Strep throat is very contagious and the bacteria responsible for causing the illness can be easily acquired by entering in contact with contaminated people. Streptococcus bacteria are airborne and they can be transmitted through droplets of mucus produced by cough or sneezing. The incubation period of strep throat is around three days and most symptoms of the illness emerge after this period of time. Strep throat usually generates symptoms such as cough, throat inflammation and pain, nausea, fatigue, weakness, headache and moderate to high fever. In order to prevent the occurrence of complications, doctors recommend treating the illness with antibiotics.
Although they have been used in strep throat treatments for decades, some old-fashioned antibiotics such as penicillin and amoxicillin seem to be less effective in overcoming the illness these days. Doctors claim that bacterial strains have mutated and evolved considerably lately, rendering some forms of treatment ineffective in fighting infections. The primary cause for the increased resistance of bacteria to penicillin and amoxicillin is inappropriate treatment. Physicians explain that the misuse of antibiotics allows bacteria to adapt and even become immune to various types of medications.
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Diagnosis And Treatment Of Streptococcal Pharyngitis
BETH A. CHOBY, MD, University of Tennessee College of MedicineChattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Am Fam Physician. 2009 Mar 1 79:383-390.
Patient information: See related handout on strep throat, written by the author of this article.
Pharyngitis is diagnosed in 11 million patients in U.S. emergency departments and ambulatory settings annually.1 Most episodes are viral. Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus , the most common bacterial etiology, accounts for 15 to 30 percent of cases of acute pharyngitis in children and 5 to 20 percent in adults.2 Among school-aged children, the incidences of acute sore throat, swab-positive GABHS, and serologically confirmed GABHS infection are 33, 13, and eight per 100 child-years, respectively.3 Thus, about one in four children with acute sore throat has serologically confirmed GABHS pharyngitis. Forty-three percent of families with an index case of GABHS pharyngitis have a secondary case.3 Late winter and early spring are peak GABHS seasons. The infection is transmitted via respiratory secretions, and the incubation period is 24 to 72 hours.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Use of clinical decision rules for diagnosing GABHS pharyngitis improves quality of care while reducing unwarranted treatment and overall cost.
GABHS = group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
GABHS = group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus.
How To Know When Antibiotics Are Necessary
Strep throat is common in children because its easily spread through a sneeze, cough, or sharing food, among other ways. Watch out for these symptoms:
- A fever
- Sore throat that causes pain when swallowing
- Swollen tonsils with pus
- Absence of cough
- Swollen lymph nodes
Doctors have to be selective about testing for strep throat, says Shulman. Strep throat is not diagnosed just by symptoms: There are two tests used to confirm it. The doctor or medical professional takes a throat swab, called a rapid strep test, or a throat culture. If the test comes back positive for the bacteria, then the doctor will usually prescribe an antibiotic.
But strep throat is a self-limited disease that will go away on its own, says Shulman. Antibiotics are not prescribed to treat strep itself, but to prevent serious complications, such as rheumatic fever. Also, after the initial 24 hours of taking antibiotics, people can go back to work or school because theyre not considered contagious anymore, though their symptoms may take a little longer to subside.
Patients should actually ask if they really need to take an antibiotic, says Waldetoft. Over here we are very concerned with antibiotic resistance and try to use narrow spectrum antibiotics whenever we can.
Description Of The Condition
Sore throat is a very common reason for people to attend primary care settings . Moreover, four to six times as many people suffering sore throat do not seek care . Sore throat is a disease that remits spontaneously, that is, ‘cure’ is not dependent on treatment . Nonetheless, primary care doctors commonly prescribe antibiotics for sore throat and other upper respiratory tract infections. There are large differences in clinical practice between countries and between primary care doctors .
An Unusual Throat Culture
We were all kind of skeptical, recalled Barry-Heffernan, who now practices in Southfield, Mich., outside Detroit. It is uncommon, she said, for cats to carry strep A, because the bacteria doesnt like to live on animals.
But she was intrigued by the possibility and persuaded by Levitis. He was scientifically knowledgeable and it was a pretty believable circumstance.
Barry-Heffernan said she walked down the hall to consult with a veteran microbiologist. She was very skeptical, Barry-Heffernan recalled, but agreed that we should be able to culture it if its there.
So Barry-Heffernan told Levitis to bring his cat in for a throat culture.
On April 4, while the entire family was taking antibiotics for the seventh bout of strep in as many months, Umberto was seen by Barry-Heffernan and a vet student. They whisked Umberto, who Barry-Heffernan said seemed perfectly healthy, into a nearby room and quickly swabbed his throat. Neither anesthesia nor oxygen was required.
Umberto was a really nice cat, she recalled, so the procedure wasnt difficult.
To the surprise of the vet school faculty, group A strep was found in the cats throat it appeared to match the strain of strep collected during Levitiss most recent throat culture.
Almost certainly Umberto was contributing to the familys infections, Barry-Heffernan said. She prescribed antibiotics for the cat and a disinfectant spray for his fur. And the Levitis family was given another round of antibiotics.
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Should A Tonsillectomy Be Performed
If a patient has six to seven recurrent strep throat infections over a one-to two-year time span, then a tonsillectomy should be considered after consulting with your primary care physician. Families should be advised that the procedure reduces the frequency of sore throats, and, specifically, strep throats, for two to three years after surgery.
About the Author
Dr. Michael E. Pichichero is currently a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Pediatrics and Medicine at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY.
A graduate of the University of Rochester School of Medicine, Dr. Pichichero completed his postgraduate pediatric residency at the University of Colorado in Denver, followed by a Chief Residency and two fellowships resulting in board certification in Pediatrics, in Adult and Pediatric Allergy and Immunology and in Pediatric Infectious Disease.
Dr. Pichichero is a partner in the Elmwood Pediatric Group where he continues to practice in primary care and as a subspecialist consultant.
A recipient of numerous awards and a member of most professional societies in his fields of interest, Mike has over 300 publications in infectious diseases, immunology, and allergy.
His major practice and research interests are in vaccine development, streptococcal infections, and otitis media: in each of these areas he is a prominent international authority.
Are Antibiotics Necessary For Strep Throat
If your sore throat is from strep throat, taking antibiotics can help because this is a bacterial infection. However, you dont always have to take antibiotics for strep throat. Doctors say antibiotics should be reserved for a severe sore throat caused by bacteria.
The reason is that exposure to too many antibiotics can lead to something called antibiotic resistance. This refers to a situation where bacteria and other microorganisms develop the ability to defeat the antibiotics that were developed to kill them. These germs are called superbugs and they cannot be killed by commonly available drugs.
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When Not To Use Antibiotics
Antibiotics are not the correct choice for all infections. For example, most sore throats, cough and colds, flu, COVID or acute sinusitis are viral in origin and do not need an antibiotic. These viral infections are self-limiting, meaning that your own immune system will usually kick in and fight the virus off.
Using antibiotics for viral infections can increase the risk for antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria cannot be fully inhibited or killed by an antibiotic, even though the antibiotic may have worked effectively before the resistance occurred. This can also lower your options for effective treatments if an antibiotic is needed eventually due to a secondary infection. Using unnecessary antibiotics also puts you at risk for side effects and adds extra cost.
It’s important not to share your antibiotic or take medicine that was prescribed for someone else, and don’t save an antibiotic to use the next time you get sick. It may not be the right drug for your illness.
To better understand antibiotics, its best to break them down into common infections, common antibiotics, and the top antibiotic classes as listed in Drugs.com.
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 You Get Strep Throat
Group A strep live in the nose and throat and can easily spread to other people. It is important to know that some infected people do not have symptoms or seem sick. People who are infected spread the bacteria by coughing or sneezing, which creates small respiratory droplets that contain the bacteria.
People can get sick if they:
- Breathe in those droplets
- Touch something with droplets on it and then touch their mouth or nose
- Drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as a sick person
- Touch sores on the skin caused by group A strep
Rarely, people can spread group A strep through food that is not handled properly . Experts do not believe pets or household items, like toys, spread these bacteria.