What are the treatment options for strep throat?

Due to the bacterial nature of the strep throat infection, doctors will likely prescribe an oral or injectable antibiotic. Time is of the essence with bacterial infections, try to get to a doctor within 48 hours of symptom onset. Prompt treatment with antibiotics can drastically reduce the amount of time you are sick and remove the possibility of severe complications. To ensure that the antibiotics do their job, make sure to take all the medicine prescribed to you.  Symptoms should start to disappear within a day or two of starting treatment, and you can return to normal activities after about 24 hours of taking antibiotics.  
If your symptoms are severe, doctors recommend several methods to supplement treatment with antibiotics:  
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be used to reduce fever and pain associated with strep throat. Do not give aspirin to children or teenagers recovering from a viral or bacterial infection, as this has been linked to Reye's syndrome which is very serious and can be life-threatening, though rare.  
  • Drinking plenty of water and soothing beverages can help to reduce pain in the throat.  
  • Eating easy-to-swallow foods such as soups and yogurt can also help to reduce pain.  
  • Get plenty of sleep 
  • Gargling with salt water can help to speed recovery and flush out any pus or mucus left over from the infection. 
child at doctor getting a strep test

  • "CDC Features." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 Jan. 2018, www.cdc.gov/features/strepthroat/index.html
  • "Strep Throat Diagnosis and Tests." Cleveland Clinic, 25 Nov. 2015, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4602-strep-throat/diagnosis-and-tests.
  • "Strep Throat." Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 3 Jan. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/strep-throat/symptoms-causes/syc-20350338



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