Strep Throat

  • Medical Author:
    John Mersch, MD, FAAP

    Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: Steven Doerr, MD
    Steven Doerr, MD

    Steven Doerr, MD

    Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.

Quick GuideCommon Sore Throat vs. Strep Throat

Common Sore Throat vs. Strep Throat

What over-the-counter OTC drugs are helpful reducing strep throat symptoms?

Several over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin), can be used to lower the fever and provide pain relief for the sore throat. Aspirin should not be used in children or adolescents because of its association with Reye's syndrome.

What antibiotics are prescribed to treat strep throat?

  • Antibiotics provide the mainstay for successfully treating a strep throat infection.
  • The GAS bacteria are generally susceptible to the penicillin family (for example, amoxicillin [Amoxil]) and the cephalosporin family (for example,cephalexin [Keflex], cefprozil [Cefzil), cefdinir [Omnicef] and others).
  • Members of the macrolide family (for example,erythromycin [E-mycin], azithromycin [Zithromax] andclarithromycin [Biaxin]) are generally felt to be less effective than the other two classes of antibiotics, but are used in individuals with moderate penicillin orcephalosporin allergy. If such a patient cannot tolerate the macrolide family, clindamycin (Cleocin) is an alternative and very effective antibiotic option.
  • Regardless of what antibiotic is prescribed, it is incumbent to complete the entire course of the antibiotic. A rapid reduction in symptoms within 24 to 48 hours is to be expected. Viral throat infections do not require antibiotics since they provide no benefit.
Reviewed on 4/20/2015
References
REFERENCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics Red Book. Group A Streptococcal Infections. 2012: 668.

CDC.gov. Is it Strep Throat?

Pichichero, Michael. Group A Beta-hemolytic Streptococcal Infections. Pediatrics in Review. 1998; 19: 291-302.

Wald, Ellen. Antibiotic Treatment of Pharyngitis. Pediatrics in Review. 2001; 22: 255.

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