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Best Antibiotics for Strep Throat

January 31, 2020 Read Time - 4 minutes

About Author

Medically reviewed by Dr Umer Khan, MD who is a Board Certified physician practicing in Pennsylvania. His special interests include wellness, longevity and medical IT.

Best Antibiotics for Strep Throat

Antibiotics are the best way to get rid of strep throat. So if you’re worried you or your child may have strep throat it’s important to know which antibiotics are going to get the job done.

Read on to learn which antibiotics are typically prescribed for strep throat.

Best Antibiotics for strep throat

There are several different antibiotics that can be prescribed for strep throat, but the most common are penicillin and amoxicillin.

They are the most effective, affordable and come with little side effects.

Some of the most common antibiotics your doctor might prescribe for strep, include:

Penicillin – Unless you are allergic to it, penicillin is the first antibiotic choice for treating strep throat. It was first introduced in the 1940s and has been the primary antibiotic for a wide range of ailments. Since its discovery, penicillin has consistently eliminated group A Streptococcus. There has yet to be a strain of the bacteria grown from a human that is resistant to penicillin.

Amoxicillin – A broader spectrum form of penicillin, amoxicillin may be more effective and convenient for some patients. Research suggests that a single daily dose of amoxicillin may be just as effective as multiple doses of penicillin taken in a day. Amoxicillin also tends to taste better than penicillin. However, amoxicillin can more commonly cause skin rash and gastrointestinal problems.

Amoxicillin Clavulanate Potassium – Amoxycillin clavulanate potassium is more frequently used to treat recurring cases of strep throat. Marketed as Augmentin, amoxicillin clavulanate potassium is resistant to degradation or damage caused by waste products like beta-lactamase created by Streptococcus. The main side effect of amoxicillin clavulanate potassium is that it can cause diarrhea.

Azithromycin – Azithromycin is best used for those who are allergic penicillin or tried penicillin with no results.

Clarithromycin – Clarithromycin goes by the brand name Biaxin and may act as a good alternative for those with penicillin allergies.

Clindamycin – Clindamycin is effective for those who are allergic to penicillin or have a case of strep throat that is resistant to penicillin.

Cefdiner – Branded as Omnicef, research suggests that a five-day course of cefdinir is equal to a ten-day regimen with pencillin.

When taken within the first 48 hours of the illness’ onset, antibiotics can reduce the severity of the symptoms and the amount of time they’ll last.

You should start feeling better and showing improvement within a day or two after treatment begins.

That said, it’s important you finish the prescribed course of antibiotics to avoid a recurring infection or antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Viral Infection vs Strep Throat

If you or your child has a sore throat that is accompanied by cold symptoms, like sneezing, coughing, a runny nose, or red eyes, it is most likely a viral infection.

Antibiotics are only used to treat bacterial infections. A doctor will be able to diagnose the infection as viral or bacterial and prescribed an appropriate treatment plan.

Think you or your child may be experiencing symptoms of strep throat? Book an appointment with a PlushCare doctor and get an antibiotic prescription today.

Read More About Antibiotics For Strep Throat:


Mayo Clinic. Strep Throat – Symptoms and Causes. Accessed September 18, 2019 at

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Strep Throat: All You Need to Know. Accessed September 18, 2019 at

Mayo Clinic. Strep Throat – Diagnosis and Treatment. Accessed September 18, 2019 at

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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