How is rheumatic fever treated?

Rheumatic fever is usually treated by a 2-prong approach:

  1. A course of antibiotics is used to treat the group A Streptococcus bacterial infection.
  2. Anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin are used to treat the body’s fight against itself. If the aspirin does not help, corticosteroids may be prescribed.

Depending on an individual’s particular complications, further treatments may be recommended. Rheumatic fever can recur in affected individuals through their lifetime, so low-dose antibiotics may be prescribed on a long-term basis.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/15/2017.

References

  • Binotto M, Guilherme L, Tanaka A. Rheumatic Fever. Images in Paediatric Cardiology. 2002;4(2):12-31.
  • National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. Rheumatic Fever Accessed 9/14/2017.
  • Sika-Paotonu D, Beaton A, Raghu A, et al. Acute Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease. 2017 Mar 10 [Updated 2017 Apr 3]. In: Ferretti JJ, Stevens DL, Fischetti VA, editors. Streptococcus pyogenes : Basic Biology to Clinical Manifestations [Internet]. Oklahoma City (OK): University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; 2016-.
  • Centers for Disease Control. Group A Streptoccal (GAS) Disease Accessed 9/14/2017.

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