Antibiotics for strep throat

Antibiotics for strep throat

Many kinds of pathogenic organisms penetrate into the human body through the respiratory tract. When the throat mucosa and the lymphoid tissue are infected, person is difficult to swallow or speak, feeling scratchy throat and cough.

The most common infection of the upper airways is pharyngitis or tonsillitis. In order to prescribe proper treatment course it is important to determine etiology of the disease. The fact is that throat can be infected by both viruses and bacteria.

However, one can distinguish between viral and bacterial infection by the dynamics of symptoms. For instance, symptoms of viral infection tend to progress gradually within a few days.

The first sign of viral infection is scratchy throat, followed by painful swallowing which is increased within few days. The day or two days after that, person experiences cough, runny nose, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and fever.

Inflammation of the throat caused by bacterial infection, progresses quickly within few hours. Bacterial infection of the throat is characterized by: fever, inflammation of the tonsils, enlarged lymph nodes, severe sore throat. Herewith the throat becomes red with white or yellow plaque on the back wall. But symptoms of viral infection (such as runny nose or cough) are absent.

The most common bacterial infection of the throat is streptococcal infection (strep throat). Improper or delayed therapy might provoke strep throat complication in form of glomerulonephritis.

Many people think that sore throat, redness and fever are typical signs of strep throat. However, this statement is wrong. As a matter of fact, pain in the throat with viral infection can be as severe as pain, associated with bacterial streptococcal infection. But if pain is accompanied by sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, you can definitely presume that this infectious sore throat is caused by virus. In order to precisely define the infection which caused throat inflammation, diagnosis is carried out.

Given the fact that symptoms of streptococcal and non-streptococcal infection are identical, clinical diagnosis of strep throat involves laboratory research. For suspected strep throat, patient must undergo special strep test, comprising mucus sample from the back wall of the pharynx.

Usually doctors prescribe antibiotics to kill bacteria that caused strep throat. Please note that in most cases (80%) throat disorders are caused by viral infection, but not by streptococci. Once the lab results are ready, doctor prescribes antibiotics that quickly eliminate symptoms of strep throat and risk of complications.

Antibiotic therapy in the treatment of strep throat

For the treatment of strep throat penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotics are mostly administered. Thus Amoxicillin is one of the most effective penicillin antibiotics for the treatment of strep throat.

Amoxicillin antibiotic can be prescribed for oral therapy of strep throat not only to adults, but children over three months old. Usually adults are prescribed oral tablets or capsules of Amoxicillin, but children should take Amoxicillin suspension.

It is recommended to take Amoxicillin antibiotic daily within 10 days to get rid of strep throat. For the treatment of strep throat in children, doctors prescribe single dose of Amoxicillin 0.4mg per 1 kg of a child’s weight. Single dose of penicillin antibiotic Amoxicillin should be taken three times a day. For the treatment of strep throat in adults, it is recommended to take one tablet or capsule of Amoxicillin 500mg, three times a day.

It has to be noted that if strep throat was caused by beta-hemolytic streptococcus, patient should take some cephalosporin antibiotic (for example Cephalexin).

When holding antibacterial therapy of strep throat, children are recommended to take 0.5mg of Cephalexin antibiotic (per 1 kg of body weight), two times a day within 10 days. For the treatment of strep throat in adults, it is recommended to take 500mg of Cephalexin antibiotic, two times a day, within 10 days.

If cephalosporin or penicillin antibiotics are contraindicated, some macrolide antibiotics can be prescribed to patients. One of the most-prescribed macrolide antibiotics for the strep throat treatment is Azithromycin.

The advantage of Azytromycin over penicillins and cephalosporins is that for the treatment of strep throat one should take Azithromycin once a day for 5 days only. Five-days Azithromycin treatment course is approved by the FDA as second-line therapy of strep throat.

For the treatment of strep throat in patients over 16 years old, it is recommended to take a single dose of Azithromycin 500mg at the first day of treatment. Starting with 2nd up to 4th day of antibacterial therapy, it is recommended to take one tablet of Azithromycin 250mg once daily. For the treatment of strep throat in children, it is recommended to take Azithromycin 0.12mg per 1 kg of a child’s weight (once daily, within 5 days).

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