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What are the Different Kinds of Strep Throat Remedies?

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  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 06 December 2016
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The bacterial throat infection known as strep throat can be extremely painful. Luckily, there are several strep throat remedies that can lessen the duration and severity of symptoms or even prevent infection in the first place. Four of the most effective strep throat remedies are antibiotic therapy, gargling with salt water, over-the-counter painkillers, and tonsillectomy.

Once a physician has diagnosed strep throat, she will normally prescribe one of the most traditional strep throat remedies: a course of antibiotics such as amoxicillin or penicillin. These antibiotics serve two important purposes. First of all, they cut down the period a strep-infected individual is contagious from approximately two weeks to just 24 hours. Secondly, they will in some cases reduce the amount of time that symptoms persist.

Many people find that antibiotics must be supplemented with other strep throat remedies in order to manage the pain the illness causes. Gargling with salt water is a popular home remedy which soothes pain by reducing swelling of the throat tissues. For this remedy, stir approximately one-quarter teaspoon (2.08 g) of table salt into eight ounces (236.59 ml) of warm water. Take in a mouthful of this mixture and gargle with it for several seconds, tipping the head back so the solution reaches the back of the throat, and then spit it into the sink. Repeat every four to six hours while pain persists.

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Also popular among strep throat remedies are over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as well as topical painkiller sprays. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and other oral painkillers calm uncomfortable strep symptoms by inhibiting your body’s pain detection system. Topical sprays, which are misted directly onto the sore tissues, generally contain an anesthetic ingredient which numbs the area and temporarily eliminates or reduces pain.

Tonsillectomy, or the removal of the tonsils, is generally viewed as a last resort among strep throat remedies. While the tonsils are supposed to function as a trap for viruses and bacteria, in some individuals they are prone to frequent infection by strep bacteria. As a strep throat remedy, doctors usually recommend tonsillectomy only for patients who have suffered through two or more bouts of strep in a single year. This outpatient procedure involves the surgical removal of the tonsils while the patient is under general anesthesia. While the post-tonsillectomy recovery period can be painful, having the procedure done may reduce the occurrence of strep throat infections in the future.

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