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Strep Throat


Strep throat is a throat infection caused by bacteria. It is easily spread from person to person.



  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen: These medicines help decrease your throat pain.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine will help kill the bacteria that cause strep throat. Take your antibiotics until they are gone, even if you feel better. Do this unless your primary healthcare provider says it is okay to stop your antibiotics.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Rest more than usual.

  • Do not smoke.

  • Drink juice, milk shakes, tea, or soup if your throat is too sore to eat solid food.

  • Gargle with a small amount of warm salt water. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of warm water to make salt water.

  • Suck on crushed ice, hard candy, cough drops, or throat lozenges.

Return to work or school:

You may return to work or school 24 hours after you start antibiotic medicine and when your fever has been gone for a day.

Prevent the spread of strep throat:

  • Do not share food or drinks.

  • Wash your hands often.

  • Replace your toothbrush after you have taken antibiotics for 24 hours.

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever after taking antibiotics for 2 days.

  • You have a rash or ear pain.

  • You have green, yellow-brown, or bloody mucus when you cough or blow your nose.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek immediate help or call 911 if:

  • You cannot drink anything because of your pain.

  • You are drooling because you cannot swallow your spit.

  • You cannot open your mouth all the way or your voice gets muffled.

  • You have trouble breathing because your throat is swollen.

  • You have new symptoms like a bad headache, stiff neck, chest pain, or vomiting.

  • You have blood in your urine, and your face, feet, or hands are swollen.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.