Pediatrician Questions Strep Throat

Do natural remedies help in treating strep throat or do you need medicine?

I suspect that my son has strep. We are still going to the doctor, but can natural and home remedies work in treating this problem or is medication always necessary?

12 Answers

Most cases of sore throat are due to viruses. I would still take him to see the pediatrician so they can do a quick Strep test or a throat culture. If positive, antibiotics, saline gargles, and throat lozenges might help.
Strep is treated with antibiotics mainly to prevent very serious complications much as rheumatic heart disease and tonsillar abscess. Home remedies only treat the pain.
Strep throat will resolve spontaneously. There is small risk of post streptococcal illness involving heart or kidney. If you have a mild sore throat and no rash you might want to treat with saline gargle. It is not always necessary to have a throat culture with every sore throat
We treat strep to prevent rheumatic fever, a chronic condition that requires several years of antibiotic treatment. I would not recommend natural therapies alone because of this risk.

Strep throat is diagnosed either by clinical exam or by lab test by swabbing the throat. Strep throat always needs to be treated with antibiotics to prevent cardiac and possible neurological complications later on due to untreated strep throat infection. Strep throat is caused by a bacteria that can lead to Rheumatic fever with severe cardiac complications, which could be prevented by prompt treatment.

Hope this helps.
Strep throat is treated with antibiotics to prevent secondary issues such as rheumatic heart disease and scarlet fever, the former being the main concern as it can cause damage to the heart valves that is lifelong. Our body can generally clear the infection without antibiotics and the incidence of rheumatic fever is dramatically lower in industrialized nations versus non industrialized. The most likely reason for this is access to antibiotics but also not all strep infection causes rheumatic heart disease or scarlet fever.

So the answer to your question is no, "medicine" is not always necessary to "treat" strep infection, but I would consider the prevention of the other conditions in your decision on whether to treat your child with antibiotics.
Streptococcal infections are very serious because of the severe complications, like kidney disease, leading to renal failure and Panda syndrome, a severe neuro-psychiatric condition which is very difficult to treat. Streptococcal infections are very common in elementary schools and the child needs to receive strong antibiotics'
You need antibiotics.
Your son requires an antibiotic to treat his strep throat in order to prevent the development of rheumatic fever which results in damage to the heart valves. You may however use natural remedies to ease the pain of sore throat.
Sore throat could be due to several reasons. Viral infection, bacterial infection, and sometimes post-nasal drip from allergies can result in a sore throat. So, it depends upon the cause and immune system of the kid.

Rubina Azam MD, FAAP, ABOIM
If it is confirmed Strep, then antibiotics is the only treatment, as it not only shortens the course of the infection but also prevents long term complications of Strep. If the Rapid strep is negative, implying that it is a virus, then natural remedies can help. Hope this helps.
Strep throat should always be treated with penicillin for 10 days. Natural products will not work to prevent the complication of strep.