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Overuse of Antibiotics Doesn’t Apply to Strep Throats

Dr. Howard Bennett
Author Dr. Howard Bennett
Submitted 02-05-2008

In the past few years, more and more has been written about the overuse of antibiotics. In most cases, this applies to the use of antibiotics for viral infections. This practice is not recommended for two reasons:
1. Antibiotics do not kill viruses and
2. Using antibiotics needlessly increases the risk for getting bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotics.

However, it is important to realize that a strep throat is a different animal. If your doctor recommends letting a cold get better on its own, that is because we have research supporting this approach. A strep throat is different because if it goes untreated it can lead to rheumatic fever. Therefore, if your child has symptoms of a strep throat or is acting sick and has been exposed to someone with strep, it is important to make an appointment to see your doctor.