Strep Throat (cont.)

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How can viral throat infection be treated?

For viral infections no antibiotic is needed. Most viral infections can be expected to run a four-to-six day course. During this period, the child or other infected individuals can be treated with  rest, and medicines that reduce pain and/or fever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc.). It is important to note that these measures do not treat the viral infection and only provide some relief of the symptoms. These measures can also be helpful in treating the symptoms of strep throat infection.

Are there any recommended strep throat remedies and symptom reducers?

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Recommended home remedies for sore throat and tonsillopharyngitis (both strep throat and non-strep throat) are easily available in most circumstances. These remedies are generally geared towards relieving symptoms of sore throat and should not replace antibiotics in cases of proven strep infection.

  • Saltwater gargle is an old therapy for sore throat symptom relief. Typically, 1 to 1 teaspoons of salt is added to a cup (8 ounces) of warm water. Portions of the solution are used for each gargle. Gargling can be repeated a few times daily. Children younger than 8 years of age are not capable of gargling and this therapy should be avoided in this age group.
  • Hard candies can be used to treat sore throat symptoms. Sucking on a hard candy is as beneficial as some of the other listed therapies.
  • Lozenges (cough drops, troches, or pastilles) are also available for symptomatic relief of sore or dry throat. Cooling (menthol), anesthetic (phenol or benzocaine), antiseptic, or anti-inflammatory agents may be used in these products to provide adequate symptom relief. The use of lozenges is not recommended for children under 4 years old.
  • Other home remedies for symptomatic relief of sore throat and strep throat include warm tea with honey, lemon tea, chicken soup, cold beverages, smoothies, ice cream, and popsicles. Honey should be avoided in children less than 1 year of age because of increased risk of botulinum toxicity and paralysis.

It cannot be overemphasized that despite these symptom reducers antibiotics are necessary to both cure strep throat as well as lessen the likelihood of complications of an untreated strep infection.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/16/2014

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Strep Throat - Length Symptoms Lasted Question: How long did the symptoms of your strep throat last? Was there anything in particular that helped with pain/symptom relief?
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