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Infectious Diseases

Adult with strep throat

08/22/2005

Question:

WHAT IF YOU ARE AN ADULT AND HAVE HAD STREP 3 TIMES IN A MONTH AND A HALF, MAY CURRENTLY HAVE THE INFECTION(THAT MAKES 4 TIMES), DOES THIS MEAN YOU HAVE A RESISTANT STRAIN?

Answer:

Group A streptococcus, the "strep" that causes "strep throat," is not resistant to penicillin. It can be resistant to other antibiotics. So, have you been treated with penicillin or amoxicillin? Have you taken all the medicine you were given, as it was prescribed? Did you take it three times a day, if that is what you were told? Did you take it with or without food, depending on what you were told? If you've taken the medicine as you were told and still have "strep throat," then the question becomes whether or not you really have "strep." Has your throat been cultured? Do you have the other symptoms of "strep throat," such as a very painful sore throat, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, or a coating on the tonsils and throat? (Sometimes, however, "strep throat" is more mild.) Other illnesses, such as viral infections, can cause sore throats. Allergies can cause post-nasal drip, which can irritate the throat. I suggest you see your doctor and discuss your concerns and find out if you indeed have "strep throat" or something else.

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Response by:

Amy Beth Kressel, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati