Strep throat treatment and prescription online

If you have a sore throat, book an appointment with one of our board-certified primary care doctors who will help you understand if it’s the bacterial infection commonly called strep throat. If diagnosed, you'll get a same-day prescription of antibiotics sent directly to your pharmacy.*

Book an appointment

Expert screening evaluations for Strep

Antibiotics for quick, effective treatment, if needed

Treatment plans and guidance

*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor's discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how to save up to 80% with our prescription discount card. PlushCare doctors will guide you to a diagnosis that may be something other than strep. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, they may need to refer you to a specialist and/or for in-person treatment. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately

Learn about strep throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection with various symptoms, including a painful sore throat with a sudden onset, pain while swallowing, and red or white patches in the back and on the roof of the mouth. These symptoms are often accompanied by a high fever. If your sore throat develops gradually rather than coming on suddenly, or you have a cough and congestion as well as a sore throat, you’re likely dealing with a viral infection, not strep.  

Strep throat causes

  • Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as group A streptococcus, causes a strep throat infection. The bacteria that causes strep can spread by sharing food and drinks and engaging in close contact with a strep carrier, which is very contagious. You can also get strep throat by touching an infected surface and then touching your face, especially your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Symptoms of strep throat

It’s important to remember that a sore throat is not always caused by strep bacteria. It’s actually more common to have a sore throat from a virus. This is crucial to remember because antibiotics don’t kill viruses. So, it’s important not to risk the side effects and bacterial resistance that can develop using antibiotics for something they won’t even help! Nevertheless, Strep has some common symptoms, which may include 

    • Throat pain with a sudden onset

    • Red, swollen tonsils, often with white patches

    • Pain upon swallowing

    • Tender, swollen, lymph nodes (lumps and bumps on your neck) 

    • Small red spots on the back of the roof of the mouth

    • Body aches

    • A high fever (101° F or higher)

    • Absence of a cough

    • Headache

    • Rash

    • Nausea or vomiting, especially in younger children

    Although these are common strep symptoms, other conditions can appear with the same symptoms. A viral infection such as COVID-19, common cold viruses, or flu (influenza) can have similar symptoms. This is why it is important to see a doctor to determine the cause of your sore throat and receive effective treatment. If your doctor suspects strep throat, they may recommend a throat culture to confirm the cause. 

How to treat strep throat

Although sore throats due to the cold or flu can get better on their own, strep throat needs to be treated with antibiotics to prevent further spread and avoid the risk of complications.

Antibiotics can reduce uncomfortable symptoms within a couple of days and prevent the spread of the infection to others when taken within 48 hours of symptom onset. Most patients begin to feel better within a day or two of antibiotics. Speak to your doctor if you don't start feeling better within 48 hours of starting antibiotics.

  • Some other tips to relieve symptoms include:

    • Hydrate: It's important to stay hydrated to prevent dehydration due to fever and keep your throat lubricated.

    • Sleep: Your body needs adequate rest to fight the infection.

    • Eat soft foods: This can include eating soups, popsicles, applesauce, mashed potatoes, and other foods that are easy to swallow to reduce pain.

    • Humidify: Humidifiers can help keep your nose and throat moist, relieving pain.

    • Stop smoking: Smoking and exposure to second hand smoke can aggravate symptoms.

    Complications of untreated strep throat

    It is important to treat strep with antibiotics right away to avoid spreading of the infection to other areas of the body and risking damage to your immune system.

    Untreated strep could cause:

    • A middle ear infection (Acute otitis media): This can lead to fever, ear pain, and hearing issues.

    • Bacterial sinuses: A sinus infection can lead to congestion, fever, and facial pain.

    • Pharyngeal or tonsillar abscess: Collections of bacteria like strep can cause the body to fight the infection by filling the area with pus. This can form a ball of swelling, which could be dangerous because it could block your airway.

    Immune damage can include:

    • Kidney inflammation: Left untreated, strep can cause post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (PSGN), characterized by kidney inflammation. Symptoms include a high blood pressure, dark urine, swelling in the face, hands, and feed, fatigue, and decrease urination frequency. Children under the age of seven years old have the highest risk for this condition.

    • Rheumatic fever: If strep is not fully treated or the course of prescribed antibiotics is not completed, bacteria can remain in the tonsils and cause an immune response throughout the body. This can cause the body to attack its own organs, especially the joints and heart valves. Symptoms of rheumatic fever include fever, joint pain, jerky movements, inflammation of the heart, and rarely, a skin rash. Children ages five to fifteen years old are most likely to develop rheumatic fever from an untreated strep infection. Antibiotics can treat rheumatic fever, but any tissue or organ damage caused from the infection could be permanent.

    • Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder (PANDAS): PANDAS refers to strep causing a sudden onset or escalation of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or a tic disorder such as Tourette’s syndrome. Children younger than twelve years old are most likely to develop PANDAS.

Strep throat medications

Antibiotics are the most effective medication to treat strep. You must receive a strep diagnosis in order to be treated with antibiotics. Remember, not all sore throats are strep! Many are viruses, which don’t need antibiotics and will only put you at risk of side effects. Our doctors can order a rapid strep test to determine the cause of your symptoms. If the test is positive, our doctors can prescribe antibiotics to get rid of the infection.

  • Antibiotics

    Antibiotics can kill the group A Streptococcus bacteria that cause strep throat. Antibiotics will have no effect on sore throats caused by viruses. The most common antibiotics prescribed to treat strep are penicillin and amoxicillin. They are safe and effective.

    Patients allergic to penicillin may be able to take one of these alternative antibiotics:

  • Side effects of antibiotics

    Antibiotics can come with side effects, such as:

    These side effects are usually mild and should stop once you finish the medicine. If they are severe or continue afterwards, speak to a doctor immediately

    Although rare, some people can have an allergic reaction to antibiotics. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include:

    • Wheezing

    • Rash

    • Trouble breathing

    • Fast heartbeat

    • Dizziness

    Seek emergency medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

    A course of antibiotics to treat strep throat can vary from 5-10 days in duration, depending on the type of medication used. You should start to feel better within 48 hours after starting them. 24 hours after your last fever and having started antibiotics, you will no longer be contagious and can go back to school or work. 

    It is important to finish the complete course of antibiotics to completely get rid of the infection and avoid the possibility of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

How to prevent strep throat

  • Wash your hands frequently: Washing your hands frequently throughout the day can prevent help infection. During strep season (late fall and early spring) and when in public places like schools, public transportation, or any other crowded public place, you are more at risk to be infected.

  • Avoid sharing personal items: You can decrease the risk of getting strep and other illnesses by avoiding sharing food, drinks, towels, and other personal items with others.

  • Cover when you cough or sneeze: To prevent spread, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and encourage others to do the same.

When to see a doctor for strep throat

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor:

  • Fever

  • Sore throat and swollen glands

  • Sore throat lasting more than 48 hours

If you experience any of these common strep throat symptoms, it is important to see a doctor to diagnose strep throat as soon as possible, so that they can prescribe you antibiotics to eliminate the infection and avoid spreading it to others.

Seek emergency medical attention if you experience:

  • Sudden sore throat with a rash

  • Fever > 100.4° F for an infant 12 weeks old or younger

  • Fever > 104° F in any child or adult

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

  • Diagnosed case of strep throat that doesn’t respond to antibiotics in 48 hours

Strep Throat Treatment FAQs

  • What is the treatment for strep throat?

    Medical treatment for strep throat is a course of antibiotics. Since strep throat is a bacterial infection, it is treated by antibiotics. To get antibiotics, you will need to see a doctor for a prescription, which is given after the doctor evaluates your symptoms takes a strep throat test, to confirm the cause.

  • How long does strep throat last with treatment?

    Symptoms of strep throat can resolve a day or two after beginning treatment with antibiotics. The strep throat infection is usually completely cured after completing your prescribed duration of ]antibiotics, so it is important to finish taking the prescribed course of antibiotics, even if you start to feel better sooner. 

  • How long does strep throat last without treatment?

    Strep throat can get better within a week without treatment, however, you will remain contagious for two to three weeks without antibiotics. In addition, without treatment, you are at risk of developing serious complications, such as kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever.

  • What to do for strep throat treatment when pregnant?

    • Strep throat is usually not dangerous to pregnant women, especially if you consult a doctor to get antibiotics it as soon as you notice symptoms. Antibiotics prescribed for strep throat, including penicillins and cephalosporins, should be safe for use during pregnancy. 

    • It is important to get treatment as soon as possible, because a high fever could pose a threat to the baby. A severe fever during your first trimester could prevent the fetus’ vital organs from developing properly.

    • Antibiotics of certain types are generally safe for the baby, but taking more than prescribed can be harmful to both you and your baby. For this reason, it is important to take the antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms should generally improve within the first 24 hours of treatment. Make sure you take the complete course of the antibiotics you have been prescribed, even if you feel better. Not finishing the full course of prescribed antibiotics may leave bacteria in your system and lead to re-treatment.  

  • What kind of treatment for strep throat spreads to your ear?

    • The best treatment for strep throat is a course of antibiotics. If strep throat spreads to your ear, it is even more important to see a doctor to get antibiotics, to stop the infection before serious complications arise.

3 simple steps to get treated for strep throat today

Step 1: Book an appointment

Step 1

Book a strep throat treatment appointment.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2: Visit with a doctor on your smartphone

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your strep throat symptoms.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3: pick up at local pharmacy

Step 3

If prescribed, pick up a prescription for strep throat.

We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Related conditions to strep throat

Strep throat treatment pricing details

How it works

To request strep throat treatment and get a new prescription or refill on your prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits

Paying with insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • Cigna

Paying without insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

Book an appointment

If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.


PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site 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.