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How do I Choose the Best Treatment for a Strep Infection?

A. Pasbjerg
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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Treating a strep infection, or strep throat, may involve the use of a combination of medication and home remedies. Antibiotics are considered the best, most important part of strep infection treatment, as they will kill the bacteria causing it. As strep throat can be very painful, and cause a fever, many patients may choose to use certain over-the-counter drugs to get relief. Other home treatments that patients can use to help ease symptoms and feel better include gargling with saltwater, drinking hot liquids like tea, and using a humidifier.

The first line of treatment for a strep infection is antibiotics. It is important to treat the infection early and to take a full course of antibiotics to ensure the bacteria is completely gone, as a prolonged infection can lead to serious complications such as scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, and kidney inflammation. Amoxicillin and penicillin are the most commonly prescribed drugs; they are usually taken orally but may be administered by injection in some cases. Other antibiotics that may be used include a variety of cephalosporins, erythromycin, and azithromycin, particularly for patients who are allergic to penicillin.

For patients experiencing a significant amount of discomfort from their strep infection, painkillers may be a good choice to help make it more tolerable. Drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help reduce the pain and swelling in the throat. If the infection is accompanied by a fever and the resulting body aches, sweating, and chills, these medications can also help relieve that as well.

There are several home remedies that patients may choose to use to reduce the discomfort of a strep infection and help their bodies fight off the infection more quickly. Gargling with saltwater and drinking tea and other hot fluids can help soothe a sore, irritated throat. Keeping adequately hydrated is also important for easing throat discomfort and making it easier to swallow; patients should be sure to drink plenty of water and other liquids, and may wish to use a cool-mist humidifier to add moisture to the air as well. Eating foods that are soft and bland can help avoid further irritation of the throat, as can avoiding environmental irritants like cigarette smoke or paint fumes. It is very important to get plenty of sleep and keep activities to a minimum as the body fights the infection, particularly while a fever is present.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
A. Pasbjerg
By A. Pasbjerg
Andrea Pasbjerg, a WiseGeek contributor, holds an MBA from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her business background helps her to create content that is both informative and practical, providing readers with valuable insights and strategies for success in the business world.

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A. Pasbjerg

A. Pasbjerg

Andrea Pasbjerg, a WiseGeek contributor, holds an MBA from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her business background helps her to create content that is both informative and practical, providing readers with valuable insights and strategies for success in the business world.
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