Strep Throat Treatment

If you have strep throat, a healthcare provider may recommend an antibiotic such as penicillin or amoxicillin. After taking antibiotics for 24 hours, you are no longer contagious. Treatment for strep throat should also include drinking lots of fluids and getting plenty of rest. If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, contact your healthcare provider.

How Is Strep Throat Treated? -- An Overview

Strep throat is a throat infection caused by group A streptococcus bacteria. Treatment is necessary for a couple of reasons:
 
Treatment for this throat infection will also decrease the length and severity of symptoms if antibiotics are started within the first two days.
 

Antibiotic Treatment for Strep Throat

Strep throat is treated with antibiotics. In most cases, penicillin is the typical antibiotic of choice for treating this infection in adults. It is effective, safe, and inexpensive. Penicillin may be given as pills that are taken for 10 days, or in the form of a shot.
 
There are other antibiotic choices for people who are allergic to penicillin (see Strep Throat Antibiotics).
 
Children may be prescribed amoxicillin instead of penicillin. The liquid form of amoxicillin is easier for children to swallow and can also help treat a coexisting middle ear infection (otitis media), which occurs in up to 15 percent of children diagnosed with strep throat.
 
Children can return to school and adults to work after 24 hours of taking antibiotics. After 24 hours, a person is no longer contagious.
 
During the first 24 hours, there should also be a drop in temperature. Other symptoms will start to improve around day two or three of treatment.
 
Written by/reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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