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Discharge Instructions for Strep Throat

Strep throat is an infection in the back of the throat. It is caused by certain bacteria. It is treated with antibiotics and self care. It usually gets better within a few days.

Steps to Take

Self Care

To ease throat pain:

  • Use a humidifier in your room.
  • Gargle with warm salt water.
  • Drink warm fluids such as herbal tea.
  • Suck on cough drops.

What to Eat

Drink plenty of fluids such as water, unsweetened juice, or tea.

Eat soft, cold foods such as yogurt, gelatin, or popsicles. They may help soothe your throat.

Activity

Rest until you feel better. Slowly return to normal activity as you are able.

Return to work or school when the doctor has said it is okay.

Medications

Strep throat is treated with antibiotics. Take all the antibiotics you are given. Do this even when you are feeling well.

Your doctor may also advise medicines to ease throat or other pain.

Note: Do not give aspirin or aspirin products to a child who has an infection. It may cause serious problems.

When taking medicines:

  • Take your medicine as advised. Do not change the amount or schedule.
  • Be aware of the side effects of your medicine. Tell your doctor if you have any.
  • Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any prescription medicine.
  • Do not share your prescription medicine.
  • Medicines can be harmful when mixed. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than one. This includes over the counter products and supplements.

Keeping Others Healthy

To keep from spreading strep throat to others:

  • Stay home from work or school.
  • Sneeze or cough into your elbow or a tissue.
  • Wash your hands often.

Follow-up

Your doctor will need to check on your progress. Be sure to go to all advised appointments.

Problems to Look Out For

Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:

  • Problems breathing
  • Fever or chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • New symptoms

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

RESOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
https://www.entnet.org

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
https://familydoctor.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

The College of Family Physicians of Canada
https://www.cfpc.ca

Health Canada
https://www.canada.ca

REFERENCES:

Specimen collection: performing – oropharyngeal (throat) swabbing. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: https://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Accessed April 13, 2021.

Strep throat. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/dotw/strepthroat/index.html. Accessed April 13, 2021.

Strep throat. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/strep-throat.html. Accessed April 13, 2021.

Streptococcal pharyngitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/streptococcal-pharyngitis. Accessed April 13, 2021.

Last reviewed March 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board David L. Horn, MD, FACP  Last Updated: 11/5/2021