Health A-Z

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Treatment

Scarlet fever is treated with antibiotics, usually penicillin or azithromycin.

In addition to antibiotic treatment, patients with scarlet fever and severe throat symptoms may try:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin and others) to relieve pain and reduce fever

  • Soothing gargles to fight sore throat (in adults and older children who can gargle safely)

  • A cool-mist humidifier to soothe the breathing passages and throat

  • A liquid diet, including warm soups or cold milkshakes, if the patient's sore throat makes it difficult to swallow solid foods

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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