Strep throat is inflammation and swelling of the throat, tonsils and lymph nodes due to infection with group A streptococcus bacteria. Strep throat is very contagious and the bacteria responsible for causing the illness can be easily acquired by entering in contact with contaminated people. Streptococcus bacteria are airborne and they can be transmitted through droplets of mucus produced by cough or sneezing. The incubation period of strep throat is around three days and most symptoms of the illness emerge after this period of time. Strep throat usually generates symptoms such as cough, throat inflammation and pain, nausea, fatigue, weakness, headache and moderate to high fever. In order to prevent the occurrence of complications, doctors recommend treating the illness with antibiotics.

Can the newer antibiotics help strep throat?

Although they have been used in strep throat treatments for decades, some old-fashioned antibiotics such as penicillin and amoxicillin seem to be less effective in overcoming the illness these days. Doctors claim that bacterial strains have mutated and evolved considerably lately, rendering some forms of treatment ineffective in fighting infections. The primary cause for the increased resistance of bacteria to penicillin and amoxicillin is inappropriate treatment. Physicians explain that the misuse of antibiotics allows bacteria to adapt and even become immune to various types of medications.

While in the past penicillin and amoxicillin could successfully cure strep throat, nowadays more and more patients experience a recurrence of the illness soon after the treatment is completed. Recently conducted research results estimate that around 30 percent of patients who are prescribed penicillin or amoxicillin experience a relapse of the illness. Due to their decreased potency in fighting bacteria, physicians strongly recommend not to use penicillin and amoxicillin-based antibiotics any more.

Modern medicine has quickly come up with more reliable replacements for penicillin and amoxicillin. The age of antibiotics has provided us with a wide range of new, more effective drugs such as cephalosporins. Doctors claim that cephalosporins are nowadays the best alternative to old-fashioned antibiotics. Cephalosporins are stronger, more reliable and safer than penicillin and amoxicillin and they can completely overcome strep throat in a shorter amount of time. Physicians state that cephalosporins can cure bacterial infections in 4 to 5 days of treatment, instead of 10, as in the case of other antibiotics. Also, patients who are prescribed cephalosporins in the treatment for strep throat are less likely to experience a relapse of the infection.

Cephalosporins are available under the form of tablets or capsules and they can be purchased from any drugstore. However, just like other antibiotics, cephalosporins are only released with medical prescription and they shouldn�t be used without the doctor�s recommendation.

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