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What are the Different Kinds of Strep Throat Treatments?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Strep throat treatments all involve the administration of antibiotics to kill the Streptococcus bacteria in the throat causing the infection. Treatment for strep throat is necessary because there are risks of complications in people with untreated strep throat. While home remedies can be used to make people more comfortable, they should not be the only line of treatment. An evaluation by a doctor is needed to confirm a diagnosis of strep throat and obtain access to prescription medications for treating the infection.

This throat infection can be treated with penicillin or amoxicillin, two common antibiotics. In patients with known allergies to these antibiotics, drugs in the cephalosporin class may be considered as an alternative, along with antibiotics like erythromycin. Several days of antibiotic therapy may be needed until the patient feels better and the course of medication needs to be finished to kill off all the bacteria and reduce the risk of recurrence.

These strep throat treatments are the first and most important line of treatment, designed to kill the organisms causing the throat infection. Other strep throat treatments can include analgesia to manage the pain and soreness. Over-the-counter medications are often enough to manage pain and inflammation associated with strep throat. Saltwater gargles are also recommended in some cases, as the warm salt water can make the patient feel more comfortable.

Patients may also be advised to drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated and to eat soft, bland food or drink soup while they are sick. During a strep throat infection, it can be difficult or uncomfortable to swallow, and hydration and nutrition are consequently concerns. Keeping the patient's immune system healthy will help fight the strep throat so the patient can return to normal activities. Rest is also a key part of strep throat treatments, as patients who exert themselves can take longer to heal.

People with a history of strep throat may want to note which strep throat treatments have been most effective in the past so they can start treatment from the beginning with the best option. Recurrent sore throats can also be a sign of an underlying medical problem and it may be advisable to receive a medical evaluation to explore the causes for the frequent sore throats. A doctor can test for declines in immune function and other potential explanations for repeat throat infections during a thorough exam that may include blood tests and imaging studies.

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.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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