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What is the Treatment for Strep Throat?

Explore strep throat treatment with antibiotics and home remedies. Timely care is crucial to prevent complications like rheumatic fever. Learn how to ease symptoms and ensure a speedy recovery.

  • 29 Jan 2024
  • 3 min read
  • 24 views

Strep throat or pharyngitis is a contagious bacterial infection of the throat and tonsils caused by a type of bacteria called Group A Streptococcus. The infection usually spreads through small respiratory droplets that become airborne when someone with this infection sneezes or coughs. In some severe cases, it can cause serious illnesses such as rheumatic fever that can lead to permanent damage to the heart and heart valves. Therefore, it’s important to diagnose the condition using a rapid strep test or a throat culture. Timely strep throat treatment resolves the infection within seven to 10 days.

Treatment of Strep Throat

The treatment for strep throat includes the use of antibiotics which is a type of medicine that kills bacteria that cause an infection. 

The antibiotics commonly used to treat strep throat are penicillin and amoxicillin. These antibiotics help relieve a sore throat and other symptoms caused by Group A Streptococcus. 

The antibiotics may also reduce the level of infectivity to spread to others by decreasing the bacterial load in a sample of the patient. They also help prevent minor complications, such as sinus and tonsil infections, and more serious issues like rheumatic fever. 

If the patient is allergic to penicillin, then the doctor may prescribe other antibiotics recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for strep throat treatment. They include:

  • Amoxicillin (oral)
  • Cephalexin (oral)
  • Cefadroxil (oral)
  • Clindamycin (oral)
  • Clarithromycin (oral)
  • Azithromycin (oral)

In addition to antibiotics, some home remedies can also help to reduce the symptoms of strep throat. These include:

  • Drinking plenty of warm water to stay hydrated
  • Getting plenty of rest to ease body pain
  • Using a humidifier to provide moist air to relieve discomfort. Be careful to clean the humidifiers routinely to prevent mould and bacteria from building up. 
  • Prefer eating soft foods like yoghurt
  • Taking over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen
  • Salt water gargling twice or thrice daily
  • Essential oils distilled from the leaves, bark, stems and flowers of some medicinal plants can be used to promote healing by reducing inflammation. 
  • The studies have reported the use of certain essential oils from thyme, lavender, cinnamon, peppermint, clove, eucalyptus, and tea tree to relieve body pain.

Remedies for Children

If a child develops a fever and a strep throat infection, then follow these tips to avoid the spread of infection: 

  • Washing hands frequently
  • Try warm salt water gargles 
  • Keep the child away from social gatherings to avoid the spread of infection
  • The child should take leave from school and rest to avoid the spread of infection
  • Give the child plenty of fluid to drink to keep the throat moist 
  • Give over-the-counter painkillers, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, with proper dosage as recommended by a doctor to manage the pain.

Also read:

Conclusion

Strep throat is a contagious bacterial infection that causes fever, inflammation and a severe sore throat. Though painful, it can go away within 10 days if timely treated. Delay in treatment may lead to severe conditions such as rheumatoid fever. So, it is advisable to take the strep throat treatment on time. Health insurance coverage can assist in managing the costs associated with these medical assessments and treatments.

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