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Strep Throat, Ambulatory Care

Strep throat

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

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Sore, red, and swollen throat
  • Fever and headache
  • Upset stomach, abdominal pain, or vomiting
  • White or yellow patches or blisters in the back of your throat
  • Tender, swollen lumps on the sides of your neck or jaw
  • Throat pain when you swallow

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Throat pain that makes it too painful to drink fluids
  • Drooling because you cannot swallow your spit
  • Not able to open your mouth all the way or your voice is muffled
  • Trouble breathing because your throat is swollen
  • New symptoms like a bad headache, stiff neck, chest pain, or vomiting
  • Blood in your urine and swollen face, feet, or hands

Treatment for strep throat:

You will need antibiotic medicine to treat your strep throat. Take your antibiotics until they are gone, even if you feel better. Do this unless your caregiver says it is okay to stop your antibiotics. You may return to work or school 24 hours after you start antibiotics.

Manage strep throat:

  • Do not smoke. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking may make your symptoms worse. Ask for information if you need help quitting.
  • Drink juice, milk shakes, or soup if your throat is too sore to eat solid food. Drinking liquids can also help prevent dehydration.
  • Gargle with salt water. Mix ¼ teaspoon salt in a glass of warm water and gargle. This may help reduce swelling in your throat.
  • Use lozenges, ice, soft foods, or popsicles to soothe your throat.

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

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

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

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

© 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.

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