Antibiotics More Harm Than Good For Strep Throat?


One of EP Monthly’s newest contributors, Dr. David Newman (of the “Hippocrates’ Shadow” fame), sets out a compelling case for why antibiotics may do more harm than good when treating strep throats. The results of the studies showing that antibiotics prevent rheumatic fever may surprise you.

This article is another example of the medical profession needing to examine treatments we consider as “standard of care” to determine whether the treatments are effective and whether the risk of the treatments outweighs the benefit of their use.

Also an interesting discussion in the comments section of the article on whether antibiotics prevent glomerulonephritis or retropharyngeal abscesses. Chris Carpenter, who is an EBM guru, responds to those questions as well.

ER Stories also has some discussion on the topic. Embarassed to say that TK scooped me on an article on my own site.

Medscape recently published a short article containing updated guidelines for management of streptococcal pharyngitis.
Important points to note include the following:

  • Strep throat is self-limiting and resolves within a few days. [emphasis mine]
  • The rationale for antibiotic treatment is prevention of suppurative infection, prevention of rheumatic fever, and reduction of communicability
  • The antibiotic of choice is penicillin because no increase in resistance has been seen for the past 50 years
  • Despite appropriate antibiotic treatment, chronic strep colonization is common. Children can be chronic “strep” carriers (i.e. strep present on culture without any signs of infection) for up to 1 year after infection, but there is generally no need to treat chronic carriers because they are thought to be at low risk of transmitting disease or developing invasive GABHS infections. [again, emphasis mine]

In summary, strep throat will go away on its own without antibiotic treatment and we only treat to reduce side effects that don’t occur that much to begin with.
In addition, if we swab family members of people who have strep “just to make sure” they don’t have it too, when we give antibiotics to those with positive results, we’re probably treating patients who have been colonized and won’t benefit from antibiotics anyway.
Finally, a question. The article notes that there has been no increase in the resistance of Group A strep to penicillin in 50 years. There is not a consensus on this issue. If we assume that strep has not become resistant to penicillin, could it be that the strep infections we are “treating” with penicillin would just have gone away anyway and that the penicillin is just a “placebo”?
Looks like a great opportunity for a randomized study.

Another recent Medscape article highlights the strep treatment/rheumatic fever reduction issue.


  1. For what its worth. Not all sorethroat need antibotics but in one weekend we had 2 cases of rapidly progressive h.flu resulting in urgent intubation and eventual traches. Both patients were seen in an urgent cares center and sent out the day before without antibiotics.

    • I agree. Not all sore throat complaints warrant anitibiotic treatment. In those 2 cases of H.flu, antibiotics would not have made a difference in their outcomes anyway; flu is viral, not bacterial. However, urgent care should have screened them for the flu. Maybe then complications could have been avoided.

  2. My pet peeve is overuse of abx…

    I have informed my husband and kids over the past several years that they are no longer eligible for abx since they have never completed an entire course….

    They just don’t listen…

    (you would think, since they all suffered through my nursing education, that they’d have a little respect for my nursing wisdom)…

  3. getting people to accept that strep throat does not need antibiotics will be a huge uphill battle.

    i’ll have to look at your data for RHD prevention and make my own assessment of it, thanks for the link

  4. I had strep as a teen. I was pretty damn sick. I was in bed for a couple of days before my Mom sent me to the doctor. I don’t like the idea of people getting sick for a day and demanding an antibodic. But sometimes you just can’t fight it. I ended up with a huge rash. My mom thought it was from the antibodics or eating KIWI fruit. But seriously, as adult, I am pretty damn sure it was scarlet fever.

    • There is so much that we don’t understand about the lives of microbes, it’s almost dangerous that we have access to antimicrobials. The antibiotics that work as cell-wall inhibitors (beta lactams)often select for the development of cell-wall deficient bacteria (so-called “L-forms”), which are increasingly recognized as causing human disease.
      A quick example…antimicrobial treated strep infections are known to be related to the subsequent development of guttate psoriasis. It is also known that prolonged, high-dose antibiotic treatment is effective in treating chronic plaque psoriasis. This has been shown with both PCN and azithromycin. There is increasing evidence that sarcoidosis is treatable with antibiotics. It seems possible that many if not most of the medical conditions that we call “autoimmune,” especially anything with granuloma formation, are actually infectious diseases.
      So I think that we are well-advised to be very judicious in our prescriptions for antibiotics until we are able to understand more about resistance and cell-wall deficient forms.

      • This exact thing happened to me 6 years ago. I got an extremely sure throat with white patches. I went to an instacare and they took cultures and gave me a script for antibiotics. A day later I had a huge rash on my neck and chest. When I called the doctor they said iI didn’t have strep at all and that it was mono. They switched me to a steroid.

      • Mono has other symptoms like fatigue and weakness lasting weeks. Not all strep has a crazy sore throat. My 7 year old had pharyngitis just last week with radiating ear pain…swab was neg for strep. Fast forward 6 days…low grade fever, chills and headache.

  5. Pingback: Penicillin Allergy | Skin Rash Information

  6. As a former microbiologist, nursing student and the daughter of a man who had rheumatic fever as a child, I’m very interested in the Medscape article you reference. However, I don’t have a pw for Medscape. Any chance you can give me the journal info so I can look it up through my school’s website?

  7. I am not in the medical profession, and while I am sure that there might be some rationale for the argument, I wouldn’t chance not taking antibiotics for strep–EVER. Several years ago my friend died from heart failure, the direct result of an untreated strep infection. Then, last spring, my sister went into toxic shock/sepsis from a neglected strep throat. She nearly died. Multiple organs failing…it was awful. She was in intensive care for a week. With the increase of invasive group A strep infections these days, including the flesh eating bacteria (necrotizing fasciitis), not taking antibiotics for strep would be like playing Russian roulette. Strep is nothing to mess around with folks.

  8. Mimi is right…

    Strep can be severe, some people get pin prick white dots and some get white spots the size of quarters… this is dangerous. IF penicillin hasn’t show resistance… then whats the harm in going to the docs and being safer than sorrier.

    • Because Strep is viral not bacteria, and antibiotic don’t do anything for viral. PLUS, antibiotics wreck havoc with your body. They are horrible for your gut bacteria, and can take 6+ months for your body to recover from these drugs that are dispensed like Pez. Dr’s should be ashamed of sucking up to Big Pharm and treating patients this way. You’ll get better info. on the internet than any Dr will ever give you in their office. I do full internet research before I ever see a Dr. and that is essential to believing their “advice”.
      Go on any website and it will tell you that antibiotics are useless against Strep. And your Dr knows that too.

      • Strep is usually bacterial. I don’t agree that it always needs to be treated, but saying that it’s viral is incorrect.

  9. My son is on the Austistic spectrum and has a very negative reaction to antibiotics – he is allergic to some antibiotics but even for those that he is not, his GI tract can’t take it. He had several bouts of strep last year and we are trying to avoid it this year – any advice on steps we can take to prevent him from getting strep/strengthen his immune system? (He already is on vitamin supplements per his nutritionist’s recommendation)


      • I had my tonsils taken out when I was a kid–it did nothing to prevent me from getting strep. Even as an adult I frequently end up with it a lot

    • eatupbygator on

      “oil of oregano” and grapefruit seed extract are very powerful natural antibiotics. very awful tasting, but always helping my kids. but i don’t know if your son being so sensitive not maybe can not take those either.

      • Dear, thank you for your comment. people are so brain-washed these days with the Alopathic medicine, they think that antibiotics are needed in almost every case. I am having a strep throat now, and also taking an oregano oil capsules. It along gave me an immense relief. Yes, I am sick for the 6-th day now, still having a fever, but i do feel much better. One just has to believe in one’s own ability to come out of the disease. I am also breast-feeding, so can’t take antibiotics anyways.


  10. I had strep throat, probably as bad as it gets. My throat was so swollen it looked like I didn’t have a neck. I cleared it up within 2 days, before I knew my swab tested positive. I took high doses of Vitamin C, probiotics, and Homeopathics given to me by my Naturopathic Doctor. I believe antibotics are not always necessary for strep throat, although, I was most certainly begging for them. I believe good health and a strong immune system is vital to the recovery from this infection.

  11. working in the medical world I can definitely understand the misuse of antibiotics. but….on the other hand if we are talking about undue suffering 1 or 2 times a year then why is this a discussion? pain is suppose to be the 5th vital sign!! if u have ever had strep then u can relate. i have a son who contracts strep about 2 times a year. every time …(i can even smell the infxn at this point)we head to the doc. they culture it, wait for the full report and eventually it usually takes about 4-7 days for the full report to reach doc and then me. during that time my child has suffered with pain, missed school, lost weight, and increased possibility for scarlet fever!!! are these reasons not enough to treat???

    • Number need to treat to prevent rheumatic heart disease 300,000 (i.e., 300,000 patients must be given antibiotics before one case of RH is possibly prevented). BTW – no cases of RH have been demonstrated in the control arm of any RH study in the US performed in the last 40 years.

      Amount of time antibiotics reduce symptoms by (on average) ~8 hours

      Number of prescriptions needed before a significant reaction to antibiotics is produced (i.e., life-threatening – SJS, anaphylaxis, or C-diff) ~ 7,000 (i.e., for every 7,000 patients given antibiotics, one will have a serious reaction)

      The most recent CDC data suggests the incidence of RF to be 0.1 per 100000. Therefore, in 2008 we’d have to treat over one-million strep throat patients to prevent one RF. One-million antibiotic prescriptions for strep throat will result in 24,000 potentially fatal allergic reactions, 100,000 cases of diarrhea and drug rash.

      Still want the Rx?

      • Dealing w/ a strep throat outbreak in a large family setting. One son has celiacs. Last thing we need to do is take down his immune system and strip his good bacteria. To those who say what’s the harm in giving antibiotics, you may have recurring problems from just that. 85% of your immune system is in your intestines! Antibiotics are a great tool to save a life, only to ne used in the most extreme of medical needs. Once or 2x in a lifetime would be reasonable of you diligently repopulate the gut, 1-2 times a year shows just how little people know about the damage antibiotics do while doing the good.

      • Do you happen to have articles on this – or links to articles. I am running journal club at my residency and want to discuss this. I was just wondering if you know the literature to support these numbers?

  12. I feel like all the info is so contradictory out there. I was recently diagnosed with Strep c it was a random test I went to doc because I keep having this odd feeling like an allergy where my throat feels like its closing up except its not every day just like 2x a week. So doc calls and says you have strep c but your not contagious we don’t really need to treat it unless you want to. So I opt to treat it since online everywhere you read that if you don’t treat it can become a secondary infection. After my second pill of penicillin I got that feeling like my throat was closing up and I started to feel like feverish and just altogether wiped out. Now I dont know if I should take the pills or if I should stop. With all the contradictions especially within the medical community what am I supposed to do??

  13. Not treating strep might sound like a good idea until it is your child that develops Rheumatic fever. This is what happened to us April 2009. My 7 year old daughter complained of a sore throat, I looked and didn’t see anything alarming, assumed it was just a cold. A month or two later she develops migratory joint pain that after a few days lands us in the ER. Long story short she had developed RF from the untreated strep (she was never bad enough that I seriously considered it might be strep & being a parent that doesn’t like my children on antibiotics I never took her to the doc – assumed it was just a cold). So now we’re on a long term antibiotic treatment & praying that if we have a reoccurance it will again affect only her joints and not her heart! Oh how I wish now that we would have treated (even unneccesarily) for that sore throat last year!!

    • I know this story well it was me when I was 11. For those who say it is one in a million. Well, I was the ONE in a decade in about 1 million people literally. Please don’t say it cannot happen. I also had the migratory arthritis. I had excellent health care and if it weren’t for a doctor fresh from India where this to this day is still common in many areas God only knows how far it would have gone before they got the diagnosis right.

      I have the mitral valve to prove it. Don’t mess with this. I now spend a lifetime preventing reinfection, took penicillin for years and culture anything that resembles a sore throat in my house. I was taught to be paranoid for good reason.

      I had no strep symptoms and my son has already once been a strep carrier undetected until we all started getting ill. Strep is nothing to take lightly. They treat because of RH and secondary effects that are bad very bad. Your immune system will eventually kill the bug true, but pray you don’t get the strain that causes RF because a mo later you’ll regret not taking the penicillin.

  14. Gina,

    I’m very sorry that happened to your daughter. But your post assumes the antibiotics are benign. They are not. I my career, I’ve yet to see a case of RF (which you can get despite the antibiotics), but I’ve seen two severe (one fatal) cases of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (both reactions to anti-strep abx) and too many allergic reactions to count. It is just as awful when one of these happens to someone’s child.

  15. Our 4 year old son got sick, fever, sore throat. Gave ibuprofen and Tylenol for 5 days before taking him to doctor thinking it was just a cold. Found he had Strep Throat. I, the father, also caught it about 3 days of his symptoms.

    So now we are both on Amoxicillin. Mine is 875mg twice per day, my son’s is twice a day , lesser dose. Horrible medicine, makes you nausea, headache, feeling weird.

    But I’ve read so many stories about the possible after affects of Strep, i.e. RF and the previous poster Gina.

    So is it worth not taking the medicine and developing some sort of heart condition later or just go ahead and finish the pills for 10 days and suffer the side affects……geez….

  16. I have gotten strep throat like 13 times since I was in 6th grade. I am 24 now. So that is about once a year since 6th grade. I have had it twice in the last 3 months. (yes we are talking about getting my tonsils taken out) I know how much you suffer with this and I know the things that can happen if it goes untreated. These things might not always happen, but still the pain that strep causes is worth taking antibotics to get treated. Also, taking antibiotics allows you to do the right thing and not be contagious, just because you might not get RF doesn’t mean the person that you give strep to won’t.
    The real problem is that people aren’t taking their medicine correctly, finishing the pills. THAT IS THE REAL ISSUE.

  17. I was diagnosed with colonized strep c recently. My seven year old son since he was younger will present with the strep rash and fever but does not test positive for strep A when swabbed. Could I have passed on my colonized strep c to him? Should he be put on antibiotics when he presents the rash and fever?

  18. This seems ridiculous to me. I had symtoms of strep throat for three months that went untreated because my doctor didn’t want to overindulge in the use of antibiotics. I finally got penicillin, which took away most of my symptoms, but this was only after I started developing a rash and rapid increase in heart-beat when I walked. It will take many, many more studies to convince me that strep throat disappears on its own.

  19. It is painful to have strep. Those who have suffered from it probably were hoping praying begging for a quick cure. Knowing that antibiotics would cure it, one with strep might be more than eager to take them despite the side effects/adverse effects. As a medical professional who sees and treats strep, I follow accepted guidelines. Until the guidelines change, i will continue the same practice. As once a patient who had strep….if I get it ever again….remembering that after only 1 dose I felt literally back to normal….I will be sure to be treated with an antibiotic.

  20. I have strep right now, I can’t afford to get it checked out until my medical card arrives (been waiting awhile) its been about 3 and half days…it sucks…its painful…and with the internet its even a bit scary, thinking about all the stuff that could happe. If god wants me he will take me, if not, ill survive. Ill let you know. Its not a big deal, or is it? Haha…when its time its time. 🙂

  21. I have strep now, haven’t seen an ms yet. I don’t take any pain relievers for headaches or anything. I do the natural stuff. Trying the oregano oil treatment and contemplating what to do if it doesn’t work. Because of ALL the antbx I’ve taken in my life time I’ve wound up with systemic candida. At this point taking the antbx would mess up all the treatment that I’ve done for the candida! I’m scared to take them and scared not to! I feel like it’s either my throat or my guts that will suffer no matter what I choose.

  22. Interested Lily on

    I ask the people who have had chronic strep, or strep ever – how do you live your life?

    Are you constantly stressed-out?

    Do you eat simple carbs, and dairy products?

    I used to get strep ALL THE TIME when I was living the standard American lifestyle & eating the Standard American Diet (SAD).

    Now that I have learned what nutrients my cells need to stay healthy on their own, well, I haven’t had a visit to the doctor’s office for strep in YEARS.

    Shall we all do our own personal study? For the people that find themselves sick – what if you eliminated sugar and other processed, chemicalized, genetically modified “foods” for a while. How would your cells, muscles, skin, brain feel? Sick – with only healthy foods full of enzymes, minerals, vitamins, clean water, fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, etc. going in?

    Is it even possible for someone to be or feel sick if their diet & lifestyle are healthy and balanced???

    “The Art of Healing; “Allowing Health,” Not “Fighting Disease”

    With that in mind, is it any wonder that up to 80 percent of people actually end up dying in a hospital? And, if you read Dr. Gary Null‘s excellent piece “Death by Medicine” you will discover that adverse reactions from prescription drugs are responsible for nearly three-quarters of a million avoidable deaths EVERY YEAR in the United States alone.

    We no longer die of old age. We die from inappropriate medical interventions that derail our bodies’ natural healing capacity.

    All the more reason to seek out better, safer solutions to treat your health problems rather than relying on dangerous over-the-counter or prescription medications. Nearly the entire modern health care system is responsible for allowing countless unnecessary drugs to be prescribed, which leads directly to these prescription drug fatalities.

    The fact is, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, designed to “fight disease,” kill more people every year than the combined deaths of all those who die from the use of every illegal drug in existence. So although a distinction is made between legal prescription drugs and illegal drugs used for recreational purposes there really isn‘t much difference is there?

    What many people do not realize is that it is possible to maintain total health by avoiding unnecessary drugs and by gaining a comprehensive, clear and researched understanding of good nutrition and proper lifestyle choices, and by allowing healing, including the healing crisis, to take place without panicking.”

    Here’s another great article from Dr. Mercola: Disease Branding for the Sake of Drug Marketing.

    • I don’t know about this…. strep is a bacteria…. I am basically raw, at this point, and I nearly never get sick with a viral infection — but have had strep thrice (may be the same strain) in the past three years…..

  23. I have strep throat right now. I also had it about 10 years ago. When I went to the doctor for the first time (10 years ago) he prescribed some throat spray and no anti-biotics. My strep lasted about a week and went away on it’s own. This time I went to the doctor after feeling my lymphnodes swell and he prescibed some amoxicillan. This is only the third day of feeling symptoms and I’m feeling so much better. There were no side effects from the anti-biotics. It still hurts a little to swallow but is WAY better than last night. Last night I absolutely dreaded having to swallow and the pain was so bad I couldn’t sleep. I went into a urgent care clinic and the doctor prescribed antibiotics without a swab culture. I am very glad I went in when I did and these anti-biotics have helped alot! I think it’s important to get on the anti-biotics while in the early stages of strep throat to be more useful. I also picked up some airborne immune booster that seemed to help out as well. I’m hoping to get a good nights sleep and hopefully be able to eat tomorrow without any pain. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

  24. I have been getting strep at least once a year since I was a child and I’m 33 now. About five or or so years ago, I got it 7 times in one year alone. I’ve taken antibiotics about 85% of the time and the times I didn’t, it went away on it’s own. I don’t know that there’s any definitive answer as to whether taking them or not is right or wrong… as far as I can tell, it depends on the person. I just had it again a week ago and as usual I get the swelling, pain and white spots but that’s it… I never feel ‘sick’ or get a fever anymore (not since I was a teenager). I took Tylenol for the pain, as I usually do when it’s too painful, and it began feeling better within a few days and now it’s gone. I wish I had had my tonsils out when I was younger because after all the research I’ve done as far as having them out now, it seems that after 18 years of age, it’s an extremely painful surgery and just not worth it in my opinion.
    At this point, it’s just something I’ve learned to live with and after having taken so many antibiotics, I’m just over it and have no plans on taking them again unless at some point it doesn’t go away on its own or gets worse. This is not a suggestion for anyone else, just a point of view from someone who has been dealing with strep for at least 20 years.
    I wish everyone the best of luck with this because I know how frustrating it can be!

  25. I am interested in alternate methods of treatment for strep throat since taking antibiotics often creates other medical problems like yeast infections.
    Furthermore, since one type of antibiotic never seems to get rid of my strep, I’m usually given several different types of antibiotics until the dr. finds one that works. This means I’m in and out of the doctors office for six months or more trying to clear up one infection after another.
    I’m sure I’m not the only one out there that has similar problems with antibiotics and I really wonder if taking them is even worth it.

  26. What about strep that results in the rash (scarlet fever)? At that point, should antibiotics be used? Or is the rash not a big deal? I am a pharmacist, and we were taught that the rash was a progression, and the next consequence was likely to be rheumatic fever.

  27. I recently got step throat…and I have had it many times…I just let my body treat itself. However, this time was very different. It was the worst pain I have ever had…and I was physically unable to get out of bed. Turns out I left it untreated too long. When I had s/s that were not normal for myself. I went to the ER…turns out I had a ruptured peritonsillar abscess. I don’t think I will ever mess around with my throat again…and right now I have another sore throat. I don’t want to be a hypochondriac…I just don’t ever want to be sick like that again. I ended up missing an entire 2 weeks of class and now have to wait a year to take the class over.

  28. I just got strep for the first time, it was extremely painful and I immediately went to the dr. He gave me a prescription but said wait for results from lab. But if I were you I would start the antibiotics. So I tried waiting but couldn’t, as soon as I took this antibiotic I felt better. The lab phoned said yes you have strep come in for your prescription. I said I already have one, well that one is not strong enough but since you started finish. So I did but once finished I went back cause my throat was now not feeling right. Oh sorry that dr gave you an antibiotic that does not treat strep. Soo now I have not taken the new antibiotic and I am going to see if it clears up. I did have a rash when on the antibiotics was it scarlet fever… Don’ t know… Time to buy some more oil of oregeno.

  29. My kids have strep from time to time. They often develop rash which looks scary but goes away fast. I guess that’s the scarlet fever. I think antibiotics should not be abused. Maybe that is why kids nowadays are so weak because every time there is any bacterial infection, antibiotic is introduced, lowering our natural immunity. So next time around we are forced to rely on antibiotics because our own immunity can’t manage. In extreme cases antibiotics might be necessary but only in extreme situations. Some people may think that some strep symptoms would not occur if antibiotics would be administered but how do u really know. This is nothing else that mere assumption. Save antibiotics for extreme cases otherwise try to rely on your own immunity. Just make sure that u consume nutritious meals to give your body fuel it needs to fight through the tough time.

  30. 3 years ago I contracted strep. I received antibiotics but stopped them because it caused severe diarrhea. I did not take anything else and my strep went away or so I thought. A couple months later I extracted a wisdom tooth. Didn’t receive any antibiotics and my jaw locked up. The entire right side of my face was swollen for month. I was rushed to the ER cause they thought I had an infection. However after, ct scans and MRI, they could find nothing. I then developed chorea followed by intense episode of dystopia of the jaw. After all of this strep started coming on a monthly basis. The strep spread to my eyes and then I developed the worse case of erythema nodosum my doctors had ever seen. I could not walk for about 2 months. I started getting better after a while but then strep started coming every other month and then every month and then twice a month and also had bad reactive arthritis. Then it spread to the head of my humerus bone. For 6 months I could not move my right arm. It felt like it wasn’t part of my body. I had surgery and they found that the entire head of humerus was filled with pus and there was no bone. All that was left was a shell. They cleaned it out but could not definitively say that it was strep since lab results came up empty. Since the surgery, I’ve had strep every month. I’ve been on long term antibiotics for 6 months in hopes that it would kill the strep. I have to check my heart and kidneys all the time cause strep usually affects those areas. The weird thing is that I even get the strep while on the antibiotics but my docs say that maybe I just need to take it for long enough to see improvements. I often wonder if I had taken the full course of antibiotics that first time if I would be where I am today. I’m confused as to how to deal with strep in the midst of its intense attack on my body. If anyone has any advice on this it would be greatly appreciated.

  31. Enya, I was just trying to read up on the controversy of antiobiotics and came across your posting. I am not a medical professional but felt compelled to just reply and say your situation sounds absolutely miserable and I am so sorry you are experiencing all of this! How dreadful!! My only thought is, and I’m assuming the answer is yes, but are you getting multiple professional opinions? It’s been months since you posted this, so I do hope things are under control now.

  32. I am pretty sure this guy means well, but you will find, though strep throat does go away on its own, because at least half the cases for strep are caused by viral infections, and not bacterial which is a majoring factor in the heplfulness of antibiotics, it is not really the actual idea or concept of treating the infection but more along the lines of treating the symptoms for some, the symptoms are not all too bad, for others, it is like a nightmare, a blinding light, to no end seems to be near. some doctors will prescribe you medicine not to fight the bacteria but to fight the symptoms.

    though what is quite funny and seems to be a miss by this article is the known fact that most antibiotics kill not just the infection but useful bacteria and microbes in your body. so if your immunity is already poor, now with an antibiotic you have essentially given yourself symtoms that could be equivalent to aids. because your immune system just does not work at all, depending on the dosage and how your own body reacts to the antibiotics.

    but as far as i am concerned, who are you to tell someone that after a day going to the doctors for some antibiotics is just down right ridiculous.
    me personally i had strep throat once, took me nearly 3 weeks to finally be rid of it, and this was on a high dose of anitbiotics as well as a penicillin dose after the second visit to the doctor, and a pain reliever injection for the throat. Nothing seemed to work.

    Though reading and hearing about after you get your antibiotic it would go away in a few days. i was feeling relieved until a week later when i still felt like death. and this is coming from someone who gets sick as often as every other blue moon that comes around.

    so antibiotics are indeed bad, but they do provide relief from the pain, and the aches and the fevers… so in retrospect they are quite good too

    • The biggest problems I have with abx treatment with strep are:
      1. Docs often give without culturing
      2. Abx are held hostage by docs wanting to make a buck. My family does not have insurance, so when we have sore throats with low to no grade fever, we just have to wait it out. I can’t afford $120 per family member to be tested. There should be OTC tests and then, meds could be released. I can’t tell you how many times we have been in a doc office for about 10 min test and then left with a $300 bill for three people. It’s outrageous.

  33. I had strep six years ago, rushed to the Med Clinic (not insured) and got the penicillin. Luckily, it was inexpensive. It was gone in 12 hours. Last night, I’m certain that it happened again, but the symptoms have lessened (no more fever), and I see no white spots. it is still sore to swallow, but not painfully so. I think that I might wait till Monday, before shelling out the money for a doctor and medication. (FYI – i recently had a nasty cold when traveling for the holidays – it lasted over three weeks, but two weeks have passed with good health.)

  34. i believe you can wait it out depending on how severe it is. ive had it for almost a week now and on the past two days done this.took in a lot of vitamin C from fresh squeezed juices, tangerin orange, lime,lemon,guava, dragonfruit. gargled and sipped apple cidder vinager diluted in warm water 3x a has worked wonders so far.

  35. Dangerous to say Strep doesn’t need antibiotics.
    I’ve had strep for nearly 3 months now,(confirmation by swab) on 3rd prescription of antibiotics and, fingers crossed, they seem to be slowly having an affect. But I had chest pains so worried about rheumatic fever.
    I’m not one to go to the doctors, or take drugs, but this was not going away on its own.

  36. I have had strep twice now – the first time was in the summer of 2005. I went to a party with some friends and woke up the next day with a sore throat, which progressed rapidly in the same day to extreme soreness, swelling, and difficulty swallowing. I’d only ever had the common cold in my life and knew this was not normal. I went to a quick care clinic and they swabbed my throat and it came back positive for strep. Back then I didn’t know anything about the dangers of antibiotics, so I took the prescription willingly (can’t remember anymore which one they prescribed me), but my symptoms were 85% gone after the first dose. It really worked wonders. I was amazed. I didn’t have any reactions or side effects to the antibiotics and I’m very self-disciplined and was sure to finish the entire round of pills. My mother never allowed me or my younger sister to take antibiotics while growing up, before she knew they were bad for us. I guess she just had an instinct that it was weird that doctors prescribed them so easily. She’d always throw out the antibiotic prescriptions and help us wait out whatever it was we had. But we were blessed – my sister and I both hardly ever got sick.
    Yesterday, I had the exact same experience again – went to a party, woke up the next morning with a nagging sore throat on the right side. This tends to happen after being out late and talking a lot with friends, being in the city around second hand smoke, laughing and getting on, or yelling over noise at a bar. So I thought it would pass after some rest. Instead it got worse, and FAST. Within 7 hours the pain had spread to my entire throat and I couldn’t swallow without wanting to cry. I couldn’t talk. I knew from the last time in 2005 that this had to be strep. I waited another few hours to see if the pain would plateau and it just kept getting worse and worse. I couldn’t take it. It was late Friday night and I decided to go to the ER with my husband. We had to wait 2 hours to be seen (now living in Canada, moved from the US in 2010), but I told the doctor my symptoms and he looked at my throat and said “It’s most likely strep throat considering how your throat looks upon inspection and judging by your symptoms. You don’t have any congestion or coughing or sinus problems and your throat is extremely red. I could test for strep but it’ll take at least another hour to get the results back and I’m certain they’ll show up positive. I’m just going to give you a prescription for 600mg penicillin and give you the first dose here so that you can get started now.”
    I know how horrible antibiotics are but I have been an avid user of probiotics for the last 2-1/2 years and am going to be diligently repopulating my gut flora as soon as I finish the round of penicillin with things like kombucha, water kefir (made at home), bone broth, probiotics, etc. Antibiotics are not evil as long as you take them as rarely as possible, only when truly needed. I hadn’t had them since my first run-in with strep in 2005 and I know how important they are in treating strep. It’s only been 6 hours since I left the ER and my symptoms have already dwindled significantly. I knew they would. There was no way I was going to try to fight this alone. I’m a trooper when it comes to forgoing medicine otherwise. I hate conventional medicine. I’ve thrown out the majority of my prescriptions and treated any small things naturally. But I have a pretty healthy immune system – have only ever had the flu once in my life, around the age of 25. Haven’t had even so much as the common cold in over 2 years. So I allowed myself this treatment because strep just isn’t to be messed with and I was truly suffering and I know how contagious strep is. You’re contagious basically as long as you have it, but taking antibiotics stops you from being contagious within the first 24-48 hours (so they say). I didn’t want to worry about infecting everyone I know. I wish I knew why I picked it up both times at a party. Yuck. I’ll nurse my gut back to health as soon as my penicillin runs out.

    • Hey jessica, I really enjoyed your story. I feel like there are three views to this antibiotic debacle as I like to call it lol. One side is quick to take one, the other will swear them off entirely and then the other take the happy median. I see some of these posts from people who swear of antibiotics entirely saying, “your body doesn’t need an antibiotic. It naturally will fight off strep in 3 to 7 days.” so not true. I can speak from experience. I have had several confirmed cases of strep in the last 8 years so I know all to well. There is no fighting through one strep out break as some anti-antibiotic individuals may want you to believe because there are many strains of strep. Also, something to think about. I decided the last time I had strep to let my body fight it off. I dealt with a sore throat and a mild strep infection for two weeks not 3 to 7 days and my untreated strep caused a guitar psoriasis outbreak! My daughter also got scarlet fever around this time before we caught her strep. There are so many things one can do after taking a course of antibiotics that not take one would just be ignorant and possibly life threatening. People who don’t take antibiotics for strep are contagious up to two weeks and maybe they kick the infection to the curb but that next person who catches it from them might not be so lucky

  37. I wouldn’t mess with strep. My mother almost lost her kidneys and had to take steroids for a long time. I now have a friend who might have rheumatic fever….

  38. Yeah, so thanks to this theory, I was sick for 6 months and hospitalized 3 times with a 103+ fever and severe dehydration. They knew the whole time that I had strep C, but claimed that it was just a strain that colonizes and shouldn’t be treated. I had NEVER had strep, nor had I had tonsillitis before, but yet still, no treatment. When they FINALLY gave me penicillin, hey, guess what? I was better in a week! I lost my job and was bedridden for 6 months and all it took was a round of penicillin.

    How about we stop giving antibiotics to people who don’t want to take them (because they won’t finish them) and give them to people who are dying and therefore want them. It’s poor medicine to recommend not giving antibiotics. Shame on you!

  39. The last time I had strep I ignored it but it never cleared up on its own. After 6 weeks with a sore throat I got some antibiotics and that did the trick. Now I have it again and would like to avoid antibiotics but I’m afraid it won’t go away, so I’ll probably seek treatment as this idea that it clears after a week to 10 days isn’t true in my experience.

  40. I’m all about not abusing antibiotics, but if you suspect you have strep throat you really should see a doctor or nurse practitioner. True strep is caused by a bacteria. It’s not a virus. If you are diagnosed with strep and decide not to treat it with antibiotics, please do the world and yourself a favor and stay quarantined for a few weeks. No school, no work, no time with your children. The infection is airborne and infectious through contact with contaminated surfaces. Just because you eat healthy does not mean you can’t get sick. People with compromised immune systems and the elderly do not need your infection. School aged children should be kept home for a few weeks and monitored closely. Don’t spread strep to the rest of the class. If you are on antibiotics eat yogurt or take a probiotic. Before antibiotics people used to die when an infection grew out of control. They weren’t just “sturdier”. As a health professional some of these comments scare me. I understand not wanting to use antibiotic treatment, but if that’s your choice, also choose to take every precaution to keep anyone else from your infection, who may not fight it off as well as you do.

  41. I agree with Nurse M above ^^^ Im 37, and have never had strep throat until last Friday. I didn’t know I even had it until today which is Saturday-a week from last Friday when the symptoms started. The first symptom for me was extreme tiredness (not so much a body ache) then my throat got VERY sore…so hard and painful to swallow. Then my sinuses were TOTALLY stopped up then the following Tuesday morning from left field my right ear started hurting extremely bad. That’s what sent me to the Dr. Up until that point, I didn’t go. The pain was so bad in my ear, It felt like something g would have burst. Just unbearable. So I went thinking ear infection. I didn’t have a temp, they didn’t do a strep test, but sent me home with Cefdinir (an antibiotic) I haven’t taken antibiotics in two years so I thought this time I would. I came home, took the antibiotic, vomited, and realized it was probably strep. So yesterday (Saturday) I went back to the Dr. They did a strep test and it was positive. It is now Sunday, my right ear still feels funny (a full feeling), and it makes me dizzy at times. I’m feeling better I must say bit still stuffy and she said both my ears have fluid in them but especially the right one. So now Im just wondering when will all this go away? I am glad though, for me anyway, that I got the antibiotic. For one, I have a 3 yr old and a 17 month old, number 2, the ear horrendous ear pain went away slowly within 2 days, and number 3 Im feeling much better than I did. Yes, my right ear is still bothering me but I said all of that to say this. I am a TOTAL believer in naturopathy, alternative medicine, and being as healthy as possible BUT there are times that I believe antibiotics WILL help you. Whenever that time is though is your decision. But as Nurse M stated above ^^^ you better be ready to quarantine yourself because YOU WILL spread it to all you are around. Here’s some proof for you ****In my efforts to not go to the Dr because I thought I had a sinus infection at first, my husband now has strep throat and feels so HORRIBLE that now he can’t go to work.**** He is taking antibiotics (which is something he doesn’t do and hasn’t done in SEVEN years but something on the inside unctioned him to go to the Dr. So yes, do what you know to do, eat healthy, exersise, use a
    Probiotics to keep your immunity strong but at certain times and with certain things IT IS WISE to let a GOOD Dr check you out. It’s your health you are dealing with here and It’s your decision.

  42. I thought I would share my experience and see if anyone has had the same issue. In mid November 2015 I woke up with the worst sore throat of my life. It was a Saturday so I just tried to take it easy and nurse myself with fluids and vitamins. I went to work Monday and my neck was so stiff that I could barely turn my head. The sore throat was still there too and the pain was so intense that I could barely sleep. So I decided to go to the CVS minute clinic. They did a rapid strep test and said it was positive. The sent me on my way with 10 days of amoxicillin. I immediately started to feel better but then on day 8 of the medicine I felt the sore throat again. It wasn’t as bad but it was something. About 5 days later the horrible throat pain came back with a fever. Again it was the weekend and I waited until Monday and was seen again at CVS. This time they did the rapid test again and prescribed Penicillin VK. Again I felt better. Then about 14 days after taking that medicine the pain came back again. Now I was starting to freak out. I started researching all about strep and did everything the articles suggested from throwing out the toothbrush to trying all kinds of natural remedies. This time my health insurance just kicked in so I went to my primary care doctor who swabbed my throat and put me on a higher dose of amoxicillin 875. Again I felt better for about 12 days. He also sent me to see an ENT because he was concerned. The ENT said we would just wait and watch what the meds are doing. In the mean time I bought a super RAW probiotic, garlic tablets, organic apple cider vinegar and basically everything under the sun to help me fight this. I soak my toothbrush in vinegar every time I use it and disinfected everything I could think of from my phone to remotes. So then it came back the day after Christmas when of course everyone is closed and I had to go to a walkin centra care clinic. I live alone so I was too afraid to just fight it out after hearing about all the complications that strep can cause. I brought a complete history to the clinic and they prescribed Cefdinir, a different type of antibiotic and swabbed me again. This time they grew the culture and tested it for sensitivities to all the different meds. They called and said it was definitely strep A and it was indeed sensitive to all the meds I have been taking. At this point they also tested me for mono which was negative. All these tests were forwarded to my ENT. I met with him today and he said my throat is swollen but no signs of pus or anything. So here I am now about 36 hrs after this last course of antibiotics. I feel ok at the moment but I am scared to death about the imminent return of strep. Again I have disinfected everything and have even become somewhat of a hermit because I am so paranoid about where this came from. I am totally weak and burnout from anxiety and being sick. The ENT said I would have to have this repeatedly happen 7 times for him to recommend a tonsillectomy. I have lost numerous days of work. I’m so over this! Please pray that I have whipped it for good this time!

  43. I get strep 1-2 times a year, last year i decided to not get penicillin, the strep was pneumococcal it lasted 26 days and i started penicillin on day 18, it was impossible for my immune system to beat strep, i wasn’t hospitalized and i didn’t die. It’s best to wait 3-5 days and if you’re still sick without obvious strep symptoms and signs(if its obvious then take penicillin straight away) then take penicillin, because if you don’t you will get complications from it moving from the pharynx, to lung infection, blood infection, rheumatic fever and meningitis and possibly death. Penicillin saves lives, and every strep ive had always lasts 2+ week even with penicillin straight away, same length as the man flu.

  44. Since no one has provided any home method for the strep I will.

    Last year or possibly the year before I contracted strep and last week also.

    I’m not a big fan of antibiotics due to overuse in my younger years followed by continuous issues with candida overgrowth.

    As soon as I realize my body is out of balance I figure out what’s going on aka diagnosis (this may be more difficult if you’re not in tune with your body) and I look into/try the best non pharmaceutical methods to treat.

    This week I caught the strep on about day 2 (i know I contracted this from putting my hands in my mouth without washing after classes & a trip to the store). On my “worst” day I went to the local farmers market, grabbed some probiotic drinks (capsules will do just ensure your probiotics are living by testing it in milk overnight), I also got some Emergenc 1000mg vitamin c packets, cayenne pepper, lemons, raw local honey, and slippery elm lozenges.

    Day 1: mixed 1 pkt of emergenc with goodbelly probiotic drink, drank it and rested. A few hours later I sucked on a slippery elm lozenge, then drank another probiotic drinks to keep hydrated and boost my good bacteria in the gut since the gut is where some 80+% of the immune system is located. I alternated between the lozenge every 2 hours and my last probiotic drink then used water from then. I also ate natural fruit unsugared cool pops and a honey stick for funsies. And rested the entire day.

    Day 2: I had my daily vitC packet and was drinking Apple cider vinegar shots every 4 hrs often paired with raw honey, lozenges, and lots of water. I had more energy today.

    Day 3: I was feeling much better today. I consumed about a tsp of cayenne pepper follow by raw lemon juice and water, has my lozenges and repeated the cycle a few times and consumed about a tbsp of food grade diatamaceous earth.

    Day 4: I ate many oranges, drank orange juice and had French toast for breakfast must have been feeling better! Did my vitC, lozenges, routine. Had a large wine glass filed with a concoction of cayenne pepper, fresh squeezed lemon juice, tsp Apple cider vinegar, raw unrefined virgin coconut oil, salt, water. Note: concoction is spicy.

    Day 5: today, I’m nearly 100% throat pain free with minor tenderness gradually leaving my lymphs, a minor headache lingering but fading, and minor post nasal drip with color changing from the deeper green highly bacterial infected state to a more pale normal state. All symptoms were present in the beginning of the strep process and are gradually disappearing. Tomorrow will be day sick and I’m expecting to see continual dissipation of symptoms.

    I have felt great knowing that my immune system is at work without the antibiotic crutch, however I did keep the consideration for antibiotics on the back burner as a last resort in the event that my immune system couldn’t handle the bacteria on its own.

    I’m not a doctor and I do not recommend all to self diagnose and treat without pcp evaluation due to all immune systems and health qualities not being the same, however I do encourage you to pay attention to early signs and at least give your body a chance to fight off the infection on its own with natural supplementing instead of pharmaceuticals, if after 2-3 days no progression is made visit your doctor and make requests as needed.

    I’d like to add that I didn’t have any fever beyond mild fever on day 2. If fever accompanies your strep throat for a period of 48+hrs seek help from your pco or medical advisor.

    Good healing.

  45. As someone who has had strep more times than I can count, the idea that it will “just go away” is ludicrous. If I catch it early and get antibiotics my symptoms are greatly reduced. If I don’t catch it early, it’s one of the most miserable infections to have. People used to die regularly from strep throat and even with modern medicine, some cases still get out of hand and result in death. Don’t put yourself or your child through unnecessary pain for days just to avoid harmless antibiotics. It’s not fair to you and certainly not fair to your child.

  46. The most generally used antibiotics to treat the strep throat infection are from the penicillin group of antibiotics. They are available as liquid suspensions, oral tablets, or capsules form. The benefit of penicillin use in the management of the strep throat infection was already discovered in the late 1940s as well as the early 1950s, and it continued the treatment of choice to this modern day.

    The World Health Organization (WHO), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), and the AAFP Foundation (American Academy of Family Physicians) recommend either a 10-day schedule of oral treatment such as penicillin or a single IM or intramuscular injection such as benzathine penicillin G as a first-line approach to strep throat treatment.

    If this therapy is started within the initial 48 hours of the illness, a quick resolution of fever happens, plus the spread of the Streptococcus pyogenic bacteria is contained.

    Adjunctive therapy by using anti-inflammatory drugs like diclofenac and ibuprofen, or any analgesic agents like paracetamol can help in overcoming severe symptoms as well as control high fever. However, it should be indicated that Aspirin should not be applied to children to prevent a rare, but probably fatal Reye’s syndrome.
    Reference :

  47. I have had strep for like 3 days now. I haven’t taken any antibiotics as i think it may help if i not take any. I have had a fever 1 and never got the common cold nor flu. Strep is the only illness that i got more then once. It happens 2 to 1 time ever year since i was 10(i am 13 while writing this). But this pain is worst then any other i faced i have server dehydration as even if i take a drink it feels like i havent, and i lost any will to eat food. I lost my appite and because swallowing hurts like hell. I seen all the scary stuff that could happen but this is my decesion so yeah. My mom wanted me to go to the dr. but i wanted to ride this out. Everytime i got strep i took antibiotics yet it always came back. So i was like why dont i ride this one out. Also i would like to know if tyneol could help take away the pain?

  48. Your headline is ridiculous, antibiotics work wonders on strep throat. I’ve had strep to the point that it was too painful to swallow my own saliva. Within 24 hours of taking my first dose of antibiotics I felt immense relief. The problem is doctors miss diagnosing and prescribing antibiotics for everything like viral infections.

  49. I have read that if you are colonized rather than infected with strep that antibiotics may not be successful in “treating” the colonization. The son of a friend had 3 rounds antibiotics for a positive throat culture where for at least the last 2 he had no symptoms. If you are colonized, get a sore throat, and a culture is taken it will grow strep but this does not necessarily mean it is the cause of the sore throat. Many microbes are difficult to culture. Often conditions are misdiagnosed but the misdiagnosis may only become apparent if the illness does not respond to treatment. If you get antibiotics for what is believed to be strep, and you get better, it could have been your immune system finally succeeded or because a different bacterium was killed off. Antibiotics may cure your strep throat but do they then predispose you to more sore throats by killing off protective organisms like with ear infections. Antibiotic resistance can be transferred across species, so maybe you avoided the small chance of rheumatic fever only to expose yourself to the risk of something potentially worse. Personal experiences given here are relevant but treatment decisions should be driven primarily by good data. Many doctors make decisions based on “clinical experience”, fear of litigation and whatever the attending told them 20 years ago in med school. Many doctors still prescribe antibiotics for bronchitis despite guidelines which advise none. As a healthcare professional, I am appalled and baffled by how many doctors and nurses resist taking the flu shot. Before I go to the doctor, I check PubMed, the CDC, etc. to learn all I can so I can participate in my care. Missing Microbes by Martin Blaser is a great book that gave me a healthy fear of antibiotics. The belief that you’re always better safe than sorry if you take them is clearly wrong.

  50. 47 yr old Female on

    Urgh! Be smart people, especially with your childrens’ health! This author is not medically trained and has no business spreading false theories, except in hopes to financially profit from his actions. As noted, strep is known to respond to antibiotics and to not mutate. Furthermore, although the risks are slight, there is a very real possibility of strep becoming a chronic life threatening disease. I speak from experience; I can’t think of a worse way to die or to live. Throughout my adult life, I had horrific chronic regional pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue. Every injury or medical implant caused what seemed to be internal infections. I’ve been bedridden on & off for years. Never do Dr’s admit to possibilities of chronic infections and this creates a life of misery for sufferers who are told it’s all in their heads. I had to almost die of strep before it was ID’d as a UTI. It then spread thro my upper abdomen & I know it’s eating away at all my organs, but there is little I can do about it. Because it’s too big on an infection for oral AB’s- those are for initial infections, so Get Them!! Modern medicine only will treat with high dose IV AB’s when a person is dying. Maybe. depending on the roll of the dice if you make it to ER in time & they decide to help. Many times I went in for heart failure sx, but it wasn’t until I had no discernible pulse, 106 fever and a clearly INfected heart did I get life saving IVBA’s. That was 6 months ago. Now I have kidney failure due to their also being infected. I had also gotten PenG shots from a vet supply when the infection spread. Anything to survive. Meanwhile, no SSDI qualifications etc. bc it really doesn’t matter how ill a person gets; it’s hard to qualify & I’m too ill to fight for it. The first thing my ID Dr told me was that what I am now dying of was from having had strep as a child. I still remember my Dad telling the Dr’s he didn’t think I looked that sick, so he wasn’t going to give me the antibiotics. We don’t need less AB’s, we need to be smarter with them. We need to stop limiting them for people while giving 5x as much to farm animals. We need to use them earlier- the earlier the better in an infection. We need to treat adults with GBS with IVBA’s bc it’s a newer tougher strain for people, and there’s alot more of us getting seriously ill in the prime of our lives than people realize. We need to stop pretending we’re ‘saving’ antibiotics for those who really need them, as if we’re saving everyone. We’re not. Death by bacterial Sepsis and bacterial endocarditis are very common causes of death in the U.S. and worldwide. Yes, we need to be smart with AB’s and not take them when there isn’t a bacterial infection. But since a lot of infections do not have standard indicators, we also need Dr’s to be able to treat with AB’s according to their discretion.

  51. Step can be a very nasty bug. It is BACTERIAL, not viral. Yes Antibiotics have risks but these microbes are serious and can fatal. Not everyone has a strong immune system. You can feel perfectly healthy and still have a compromised immune system. So how do you know if your immune system is not up to par? The truth is you can not without a health screening or the onset of an illness severe enough to spark attention to something is seriously wrong. I have a family of six. Three girls, one boy, and my husband and I. I can tell you the same illness does not effect anyone of us in the same manner. Yes there are similarities, but some of us will feel better in a few days while the rest will take weeks to feel normal once again. Example: My husband who is from a small village in Mexico does not believe in many modern medicines as his village did not have access to medical treatment do to distance or the funds to cover medicines should they be able to travel to medical facilities. His mother or the village healer would treat everything from broken bones to severe infections, even childbearing with natural plant oils and herbs or manipulation much like a chiropractor does with bones and muscle. A recent case of Strep blew through our family beginning with my husband. Thought it was a cold and he used his “natural cure” of salt water and clove oil for the sore throat. In two days he was fine. My 11 year old also fell ill but again thought it was a cold. she had a headache and sore throat. I gave her a Tylenol and sent her to bed. In Three days she was fine. In the meantime my two little ones, 5 and 7 became very ill. high fevers, vomiting, and my son even hallucinated about green men in our kitchen. As we do not like to use the E.R. as a clinic we decided it would be best to take them to their PCP for treatment and control the fever trough OTC oral suspensions. I was certain that it was a strep infection by this time because my 7 year old contracts strep 5 or 6 times a year with the same tell tail symptoms. Headaches, stomachache, fever, and a very soar throat. A visit to their PCP the next day confirmed it was strep and we began the antibiotic treatment prescribed. Within the first 24 hours of giving the children antibiotic they felt 100% better. My husband’s and second eldest daughter’s immune system fought off the infection with little effort, my two smallest children could not. My 17 year old and myself never became ill at all. My point is this, you can not give or deny treatment as a blanketed decision. I believe in the benefits of antibiotics as well as the body’s natural ability to fight off illnesses, but as a mother seeing you child in the throws of an illness and knowing there is help, I will choose the help. My grandmother was born in 1917 and lost two siblings to typhoid fever and RF. She often commented that modern medicine could have saved her brothers. My husband has watched many people from his village die from illnesses completely curable with medications. When you know better you do better. Using medications wisely and being knowledgeable about the illness and the medications treating the illness is the key.

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