Antibiotics For Strep Throat: Uses Dosage And Side Effects
Strep throat is a common type of infection that develops both in children as well as adults. It is a type of infection that develops in the throat and tonsils caused by bacteria- group A Streptococcus.
The bacteria can enter the body by breathing in air droplets or touching an infected surface.
Up to 3 in 10 children with a sore throat have strep throat.
~Center for Disease Control
What Happens If Strep Throat Is Not Treated
Strep throat will usually get better on its own, even without antibiotics. The main reason you need antibiotics for strep throat is to prevent complications. This is especially important for children because they are more likely to develop complications.
Without antibiotics, strep can spread to other parts of the body and cause:
Antibiotic treatment prevents complications like ear infections, abscesses, and sinus infections. Antibiotics also decrease the risk of serious complications like heart and kidney disease .
How Do People Get Strep Throat
The bacteria that cause strep throat tend to hang out in the nose and throat. So normal activities like sneezing, coughing, or shaking hands can easily spread an infection from one person to another.
Kids with untreated strep throat are more likely to spread the infection when their symptoms are most severe, but can still infect others for up to 3 weeks.
That’s why it’s so important to teach kids the importance of hand washing. Good hygiene can lessen their chances of getting contagious diseases like strep throat.
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Side Effects Of Treatments
If left untreated, strep throat bacteria may spread to other parts of the body and lead to complications. These include:
- Scarlatina or scarlet fever is a red skin rash that feels like sandpaper. The rash fades in about 7 days and the skin may peel.
- A rare kidney disease called poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis may occur, which is the result of your bodys immune system trying to fight off the group A strep bacteria. Among its symptoms are dark reddish-brown urine and swelling in the face, hands, and feet.
- Small scaly teardrop-shaped spots that suddenly appear on the middle of the body and limbs called guttate psoriasis may occur. The spots may be itchy but arent contagious. Usually mild cases can be treated at home, but it may be severe in those with weakened immune systems.
- Pus can collect behind the tonsils. This is known as tonsillar abscess. This happens when the bacteria spreads to the surrounding tissues.
- Rheumatic fever is a rare complication that can cause severe illness in the heart, brain, joints, and skin. It typically develops about 14 to 28 days after strep throat and can result in permanent damage to the heart valves.
Description Of The Intervention
The slight benefit of treatment with antibiotics in patients with GABHS sore throat may be considered relevant. When antibiotics are indicated, a choice needs to be made. In that case, several aspects need to be considered, such as the comparative benefitharm balance, costs, and local antimicrobial resistance patterns. Many guidelines recommend penicillin as a first choice, with erythromycin preferred for people who are allergic to penicillin . To date, resistance of GABHS to penicillin has only been documented incidentally , and resistance to erythromycin is still low . Considering the growing problem of antibiotic resistance for other pathogens, this responsiveness of GABHS should not be endangered . Penicillin and erythromycin are cheap and the most costeffective option. Despite this, physicians continue to prescribe broadspectrum antibiotics, including recently marketed ones. It is not clear if these antibiotics have any substantial clinical benefit over penicillin .
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How Antibiotics Treat Strep Throat
Antibiotics is a class of drugs that kills the group A Streptococcus bacteria- mainly responsible for strep throat. This type of medicine works only on bacteria. Hence, strep throat caused by viruses cannot be treated by antibiotics.
The medicine cures strep throat by-
- Relieving sore throat and other associated symptoms that occur during strep throat
- Making it less contagious to others
- Preventing complications such as sinusitis and problems in the tonsils as well as rheumatic fever
Children And Certain Adults Are At Increased Risk
Anyone can get strep throat, but there are some factors that can increase the risk of getting this common infection.
Strep throat is more common in children than adults. It is most common in children 5 through 15 years old. It is rare in children younger than 3 years old. Adults who are at increased risk for strep throat include:
- Parents of school-aged children
- Adults who are often in contact with children
Close contact with another person with strep throat is the most common risk factor for illness. For example, if someone has strep throat, it often spreads to other people in their household.
Infectious illnesses tend to spread wherever large groups of people gather together. Crowded conditions can increase the risk of getting a group A strep infection. These settings include:
- 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
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Complications Of Strep Throat
Although uncommon, complications can occur after a strep throat infection. This can happen if the bacteria spread to other parts of the body. Complications can include:
- Abscesses around the tonsils
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Sinus infections
- Ear infections
- Rheumatic fever: An inflammatory condition of the heart, joints, brain, and skin that can develop if a group A Streptococcus infection is not fully treated
- Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis: A rare kidney disease
Can I Still Have Strep Throat If The Rapid Test Is Negative
Most healthcare providers use a rapid strep test in the office to diagnose strep throat. Sometimes the rapid test is negative, but the person actually has strep throat this is called a false negative.
If the rapid test is negative, the healthcare provider will send the sample to be cultured. A culture takes 2 or 3 days to come back.
Sending a culture is especially important for kids. Kids are more at risk for complications from strep throat, so its important that they get treatment if they have strep.
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Strep Throat When Pregnant
The bacteria that causes strep throat, group A streptococcus, is not the same as group B streptococcus, which is found around the vagina or rectum. While group B streptococcus can be passed to a baby during delivery, it is unrelated to the bacteria that causes strep throat.
If you think you may have strep throat during your pregnancy, see your doctor right away to discuss treatment options.
Pain And Fever Without A Cough Are Common Signs And Symptoms
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
- Tiny, red spots on the roof of the mouth
- 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 known as scarlet fever .
The following symptoms suggest a virus is the cause of the illness instead of strep throat:
It usually takes two to five days for someone exposed to group A strep to become ill.
A sore throat that starts quickly, pain with swallowing, and fever are some of the common signs and symptoms of strep throat.
Rapid Antigen Detection Tests
RADTs have been used for four decades to help physicians diagnose GABHS. There are three principal types of RADTs: latex agglutination, enzyme immunoassay , and optical immunoassay . All rapid tests begin with a throat swab. Acid extraction is then used to solubilize GABHS cell wall carbohydrate. An immunological reaction detects the presence or absence of the Lancefield group A carbohydrate, a GABHS-specific cell-wall antigen . Results are available in fewer than 10 min. The process does not require specially trained personnel.
A number of commercially-available RADTs exist. These tests show three characteristics. First, the sensitivity of RADTs is generally lower than specificity . Systematic reviews and meta-analyses provide a point estimate of RADT sensitivity of approximately 85%, and specificity of approximately 96% . Second, rapid tests vary widely in sensitivity and specificity. Review studies and clinical guidelines report varying ranges . And third, validation tests provide evidence that sensitivity in the clinical environment may be significantly lower than suggested by manufacturers .
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, it’s important that strep throat is appropriately diagnosed and treated. With proper treatment, strep throat is usually cured within 10 days.
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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.
Conventional Strep Throat Treatment
The most common strep throat treatment is antibiotics, such as penicillin or amoxicillin. Research suggests that just mentioning a sore throat to a doctor almost guarantees a prescription for antibiotics, even though viral infections cause 85 to 90 percent of sore throats in adults.
Studies show that antibiotics are only somewhat helpful when used for strep throat. They can improve symptoms at 3 to 4 days and cut the length of the illness by about half a day. Antibiotic treatment doesnt seem to affect time off from school or work.
Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are also used to relieve the pain related to strep throat.
When To See A Doctor
While strep throat is not usually dangerous, it can sometimes cause medical emergencies. However, this is rare. Seek medical care immediately if you have strep throat and experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Dizziness, feeling faint, or passing out
- Blue or pale lips or fingers
- Trouble swallowing
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.
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What Causes Strep Throat
Strep throat is caused by a bacteria called group A streptococcus or Streptococcus pyogenes. Many people, especially kids, get sick almost out of nowhere. This is pretty classic with strep throat because symptoms, especially throat pain and fever, start all of a sudden. People with strep throat can also have white spots on the back of their tonsils and tender lymph nodes in their neck.
Treatment Of Strep Throat In Children
Streptococcal pharyngitis is an infection caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes, also called Group A Streptococcus. Recently we discussed Strep throat infections and how its complications can have devastating effects on the family. Fortunately, this infection can be treated with antibiotics. Today I will talk about the antibiotic treatment of strep throat and what to expect if you got such a diagnosis. We arrive at strep throat diagnosis by obtaining a throat swab and sometimes going all the way to culture if the index of suspicion is high enough.
Recently we discussed Strep throat infections and how its complications can have devastating effects on the family. Fortunately, this infection can be treated with antibiotics. Today I will talk about the antibiotic treatment of strep throat and what to expect if you got such a diagnosis. We arrive at strep throat diagnosis by obtaining a throat swab and sometimes going all the way to culture if the index of suspicion is high enough.
The goals of treatment with antibiotics are to limit transmission to close contacts while reducing duration and effects of the infection and averting some of the serious complications that we discussed previously.
According to the CDC, each year between 1,100 and 1,600 people die due to invasive group A strep disease. Strep throat is not invasive and its complications are rare however we need to be aware of them as the consequences of these complications can be severe.
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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.
Talk With Your Doctor
If you have strep throat, your doctor will prescribe the antibiotic they think is most appropriate for you. In most cases, this would be penicillin or amoxicillin. However, some people are prescribed a Z-Pack or generic azithromycin.
If you have further questions about either medication, be sure to ask your doctor. Your questions might include:
- Is this the best drug to treat my strep throat?
- Am I allergic to penicillin or amoxicillin? If so, are there any other drugs I should avoid?
- What should I do if my throat still hurts after I finish my medication?
- What can I do to relieve my sore throat while I wait for the antibiotic to work?
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What Is The Treatment For Strep Throat Or Covid
Strep Throat Treatment
If antibiotics are prescribed, take the entire dose as prescribed, even if you feel better before you have finished all the medication.
If a person tests positive for strep throat but has no symptoms treatment is usually not needed.
There is no specific treatment for COVID-19, and supportive care is aimed at relieving symptoms in mild cases.
In mild cases, staying home and self-isolating for 14 days is recommended to avoid spreading the virus. Treatments for mild COVID-19 symptoms include:
- Pain relievers
- Adequate fluid intake
Casirivimab/imdevimab , a monoclonal antibody combination, has received Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients 12 years and older who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.
Regen-COV is effective against the Delta variant of COVID, but it has been shown to be less effective against the Omicron variant.
Tixagevimab/cilgavimab , a monoclonal antibody combination, has received Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for the pre-exposure prevention of COVID-19 in certain adults and pediatric individuals .
Monoclonal antibodies are not indicated for use in severe cases.
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 .
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