Strep throat is treated with antibiotics, and symptoms are managed with ibuprofen and acetaminophen, explains Mayo Clinic. Antibiotic therapy includes penicillin and amoxicillin, and patients allergic to these medications can be treated with cephalexin, clarithromycin, azithromycin or clindamycin.
Antibiotics shorten the duration of the illness and help prevent the spread of infection, according to Mayo Clinic. Patients usually start feeling better 24 hours after initiating therapy and should finish the course of antibiotics even if symptoms subside. Stopping the medication early can cause recurrence of the infection and serious complications, which include rheumatic fever and kidney inflammation. It is important not to give aspirin to children for symptom relief because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome.
Strep throat is an infection caused by a highly contagious bacterium called Streptococcus pyogenes, states Mayo Clinic. It is spread by respiratory droplets from an infected individual by coughing, sneezing and the sharing of food or drinks. The bacteria can also be contracted from surfaces, such as doorknobs, and transferred to the nose, mouth or eyes.
The symptoms of strep throat include throat pain; difficulty swallowing; swelling and redness of the tonsils; swelling and tenderness of the lymph nodes in the neck; fever; headache; rash; stomach ache; vomiting; and fatigue, notes Mayo Clinic. The tonsils can be covered with white patches or streaks of pus, and the roof of the mouth may be covered with tiny red spots.