Family Health Guide

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Sore Throat: Medication

Oral antibiotics will be prescribed for bacterial infections like strep throat – in liquid form for little kids, pill form for older ones. The most common are penicillin and amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox), although azithromycin (Zithromax), clarithromycin (Biaxin), clindamycin (Cleocin) or a cephalosporin (Keflex,) are also used. Penicillin can be given in a faster-acting shot form if your child is having trouble swallowing or keeping food down. Your child should feel better in 24 to 48 hours, and will no longer be contagious a full day after the first dose.

Pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help bring down a fever and make your child more comfortable, whether the sore throat is bacterial or viral.