Strep Throat (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Your doctor may have prescribed an antibiotic for strep throat. Take all of the antibiotic exactly as prescribed. This will help prevent the infection from coming back and will prevent complications of infection that could occur if you do not take the medicine as prescribed.
There are many ways that you can make yourself feel better while you are waiting for the strep infection to go away.
For more information on nonprescription medicines and other ways to relieve sore throat symptoms, see the topic Strep Throat: Home Treatment.
For the first 24 hours after you start taking an antibiotic, you are still contagious. You can avoid passing the strep throat infection to others and reinfecting yourself by:
Antibiotics are the treatment of choice for a confirmed strep throat infection.
When antibiotics may be used
Antibiotics may be used in the following situations:
It is possible for you to carry the strep bacteria in the throat and not have any symptoms. Antibiotics for the carrier state are usually not needed unless you have a history of rheumatic fever or frequent infections or infections are occurring frequently in the family.
For more information, see:
Antibiotics such as amoxicillin, cephalexin, or penicillin are used to treat strep throat infection.
What to think about
Immediate treatment with an antibiotic after a positive rapid strep test may not make you well faster. But it will shorten the time you are able to spread the disease to others. Antibiotics also lower the risk of the infection spreading to other parts of your body. But there is no harm in delaying medicine treatment 1 to 2 days to wait for the results of a throat culture. Antibiotics will prevent rheumatic fever even if it is started up to 9 days after symptoms begin.1
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