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Group A Streptococcal Pharyngitis Infection
(Strep Throat)

Group A Streptococcus 

Viruses are the most common cause of a sore throat. However, strep throat is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by bacteria called group A Streptococcus (group A strep).

Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a bacterium that can cause many different infections, including strep throat, scarlet fever, impetigo, and others. In general, strep throat is a mild infection, but it can be very painful. The most common symptoms of strep throat include:

  • Sore throat that can start very quickly

  • Pain when swallowing

  • Fever

  • Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus

  • Tiny, red spots (petechiae — pronounced pi-TEE-kee-eye) on the roof of the mouth (the soft or hard palate)

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck

Other symptoms may include a headache, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting — especially in children. Someone with strep throat may also have a rash; when this happens it is known as scarlet fever (scarlatina)

In the United States, group A strep pharyngitis is most common during the winter and spring.


Treatment with an appropriate antibiotic for 12 hours or longer generally eliminates a person’s ability to transmit group A strep. People with group A strep pharyngitis or scarlet fever should stay home from work, school, or daycare until:

  • Do not have a fever

  • 12 hours after starting appropriate antibiotic therapy

The use of a recommended antibiotic regimen to treat group A strep pharyngitis:

  • Shortens the duration of symptoms

  • Reduces the likelihood of transmission to family members, classmates, and other close contacts

  • Prevents the development of complications, including acute rheumatic fever

Penicillin or amoxicillin is the antibiotic of choice to treat group A strep pharyngitis. There has never been a report of a clinical isolate of group A strep that is resistant to penicillin. However, resistance to azithromycin and clarithromycin is common in some communities. For patients with a penicillin allergy, recommended regimens include narrow-spectrum cephalosporins (cephalexin, cefadroxil), clindamycin, azithromycin, and clarithromycin. Treatment duration is 10 days for most therapies.


Amoxicillin, Penicillin, Clindamycin, Cephalexin and Cefadroxil may be used during pregnancy. Azithromycin does not have enough studies or data suggests possible risk of spontaneous abortion. Clarithromycin is not recommended during pregnancy.

Following Test and Treat

The pharmacist will follow up with you in 24-48 hours of treatment for evaluation.

If you have any worsening of symptoms, complications or experiencing any side effects. Please contact your primary physician.

If you any questions or concerns please reach out to us below.

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