Oral antibiotics are prescribed to treat strep throat caused by bacteria known as Streptococcus pyogenes, or group A streptococcus, states Mayo Clinic. A group B streptococcal infection is a life-threatening bacterial infection in newborns that is also treated by antibiotic delivery to both mother and infant, adds WebMD.
To treat strep throat, penicillin is often used, either orally or by injection in cases of difficulty swallowing, states Mayo Clinic. Young children may use the better-tasting, chewable amoxicillin. Clindamycin is an antibiotic option for individuals allergic to penicillin. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are suggested to treat the pain and fever of strep throat. Typically symptoms ease within 24 hours of starting antibiotic treatment, and the contagion lessens at that time. However, the entire course of antibiotics must be completed to avoid recurrences and complications.
During the third trimester of pregnancy, women are tested for group B strep, and infants who may be infected receive blood or spinal fluid tests at birth, according to WebMD. Women who are carriers of strep B or those with active infections receive antibiotics prior to birth to protect the newborn from bacterial transmission. Because delaying treatment for strep B in newborns can cause severe illness or death, many doctors administer antibiotics on a prophylactic basis to newborns in cases that warrant concern about infection.