How to Treat Strep Throat

Treat Strep Throat
Treat Strep Throat

How to Treat Strep Throat. Almost 20 percent of Americans have strep bacteria in their throats and are symptom-free. Strep throat does not necessarily need to be treated. However, some untreated cases can deteriorate into scarlet fever, joint disorders or heart conditions.

Things You'll Need

  • Humidifiers
  • Crushed Ice
  • Fruit Juices
  • Salt
  • Acetaminophen
  • Aspirins
  • Mouthwash
  • Thermometers
  • Throat Lozenges
  • Drinking Straws

See your doctor for a throat culture. An instant strep throat test can tell you if you have strep throat in less than 30 minutes.

Take antibiotics as ordered by your doctor - generally 250 mg of penicillin G orally every six hours. The penicillin family is very effective in killing the strep bacteria.

Check your temperature twice a day, to assess the severity of your infection. (See "How To Diagnose Strep Throat.")

Take aspirin, if you are an adult, to reduce fever and inflammation. Give acetaminophen to children as recommended by your doctor.

Suck on throat lozenges - especially those containing menthol, benzocaine or phenol, which will help numb the throat, if you are an adult. Give children cough drops or hard candy.

Gargle with mint mouthwash or salt water. (See "How to Gargle.") Rinse your toothbrush in mouthwash between brushings. Strep can live on your toothbrush.

Avoid cigarette smoke and other airborne irritants.

Drink ice-cold beverages. Try filling a glass half full of crushed ice, then pouring orange juice over the ice. Let sit for 10 minutes, insert a straw, and suck slowly, letting the icy juice rest a moment on the back of your throat.

Add moisture to the air with a humidifier, vaporizer or by sitting in a steamy shower or bath.

Get lots of rest.

Tips & Warnings

  • Strep throat loves to piggyback as a secondary infection to mononucleosis. If you have had mono and then have a severe sore throat, suspect strep and see your doctor.
  • Left untreated, strep throat can lead to difficulty breathing and faulty heart valves. When in doubt, see your doctor.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other healthcare professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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