Antibiotics Introduction

Antibiotics are among the most frequently prescribed medications in modern medicine.
Antibiotics cure disease by killing or injuring bacteria. The first antibiotic was penicillin,
discovered accidentally from a mold culture. Today, over 100 different antibiotics are available to
cure minor, as well as lifethreatening infections.
Although antibiotics are useful in a wide variety of infections, it is important to reali!e that
antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics are useless against viral infections "for
e#ample, the common cold$ and fungal infections "such as ringworm$. %our doctor can best
determine if an antibiotic is right for your condition.
Types of Antibiotics
Although there are well over 100 antibiotics, the majority come from only a few types of drugs.
These are the main classes of antibiotics.
• &enicillins such as penicillin and amo#icillin
• 'ephalosporins such as cephale#in"(efle#$
)acrolides such as erythromycin "*)ycin$, clarithromycin "+ia#in$, and
a!ithromycin ",ithroma#$.
• -luoroquinolones such as ciproflo#acin "'ipro$, levoflo#acin ".evaquin$, and
oflo#acin "-lo#in$.
• /ulfonamides such as cotrimo#a!ole "+actrim$ and trimethoprim "&roloprim$
• Tetracyclines such as tetracycline"/umycin, &anmycin$ and do#ycycline"0ibramycin$
• Aminoglycosides such as gentamicin "1aramycin$ and tobramycin "Tobre#$
)ost antibiotics have 2 names, the trade or brand name, created by the drug company that
manufactures the drug, and a generic name, based on the antibiotic3s chemical structure or
chemical class. Trade names such as (efle# and ,ithroma# are capitali!ed. 1enerics such as
cephale#in and a!ithromycin are not capitali!ed.
How do antibiotics work?
/ome antibiotics work by killing bacteria or the parasite. This is often done by interfering with
the structure of the cell wall of the bacterium or parasite. /ome work by stopping bacteria or the
parasite from multiplying.
New Antibiotics
Class Generic/Brand
.ipopeptides 4aptomycin "'ubicin$, 2005
-luoroquinolone 1emiflo#acin "-active$, 2005
.ipoglycopeptides Telavancin "0ibativ$, 2006
"7th generation$
'eftaroline "Teflaro$, 2010
)acrocyclics -ida#omicin "4ificid$, 2011
ß-Lactam Antibiotics
+etalactam antibiotics include penicillins, cephalosporins, monobactams, and carbapenems.
Generic Brand Name
Amo#icillin Amo#il, &olymo#, Trimo#, 8ymo#
Ampicillin 9mnipen, &olycillin, &olycillin:,
&rincipen, Totacillin
ntibiotics work in two different ways either by killing the bacteria or blocking its function.
They only attack the bacterial population present in the body and causing the disease, they
do not affect the cell of the body. It is an unfortunate fact that though antibiotics are being
used constantly but now bacteria have developed resistance against these drugs. It is a very
natural process that new antibiotics with more effectiveness are being developed and
bacterial genome is revolutionizing against these newly synthesized antibiotics.
An antibiotic has also the ability to convert glucose in the body into energy. It produces a
protective wall against bacteria and does not allow them to enter the cell. It also protects
the body from further infection and prevents the bacteria to multiply in number.
Though antibiotics are useful in curing the human body against bacterial infections but
they also have some side effects. A patient can suffer from slight headache to extreme
allergic reaction. Another side effect is diarrhea in which the balance of the intestinal flora
gets affected and disrupts the function of the useful bacteria present in the intestine. In
some cases, antibiotics can react with other drugs administered along with them and cause
other infections.