Antibiotics


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What you need to know about Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are common medicaments, and there is hardly anyone who has never taken a dosage or two in their lifetime. From the treatment of ear infection to itchy skin infections, or from burning urinary tract infections to painful strep throat, Antibiotics are the commonest and most widely used medication in the history of medicine.

There are huge types of Antibiotics that have been developed overtime to take care of numerous infections. In the category of Antibiotics, there are also anti-infectives which are used for the treatment of a wide range of infections such as bacterial, fungal, protozoal, and viral infections. HIV, Athletes foot, bladder infections, and head lice are all usually treated with antiviral and Antibiotics medications. It is important to note that there is no one single kind of Antibiotics that cures all types of infection.

Antibiotics are specially designed for the treatment caused by bacteria like E.coli. Staph., and Strep. It works by either killing the bacteria, or keeping it from growing, or reproducing. It is critical to point out at this point that Antibiotics are not effective treatment for viral infection.

When should you use Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are made to treat specific bacteria, thus, their usage cannot be interchanged. In other words, you cannot use an antibiotic for a particular infection for another. Using Antibiotics in the right way and the right dosage is usually safe with little or no side effect. This does not presuppose that Antibiotics do not cause any side effect. Like most drugs, it can also lead to some adverse effects ranging from mild to more severe and life-threatening side effects.

Doses of Antibiotics are usually adjusted specifically in accordance to a patient’s health conditions, especially with infants, elderly, pregnant or breastfeeding women, patients with liver or kidney disease, and other patients with specific health issues. One other common side effect of Antibiotics is interaction with other drugs. It is therefore very important that physicians and health care provider conduct a proper assessment of the patient’s health before administering Antibiotics. Common infections that Antibiotics are usually administered for include Bronchitis, Acne, Strep Throat (Streptococcal Pharyngitis), Ear Infection (Otitis Media), Skin and Soft Tissue Infection, Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis), and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Others include Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), Traveler’s Diarrhea, and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection.

Top Classes of Antibiotics

Most Antibiotics are usually classified into classes. An antibiotic class refers to a group of various medications that have related pharmacologic and chemical properties. These chemical structures can sometimes be comparable and the drugs in the same class may be effective against the same category of bacteria. It is however essential to mention that Antibiotics should not be used for an infection without a doctor’s prescription. They are designed for specific bacteria and should not be interchanged for other bacteria treatment. It is also important that you finish a course of Antibiotics for it to effective against your infection. Below are some top classes of Antibiotics.

Penicillin

Penicillin, also known as beta lactam Antibiotics, is named according to their structural formula. This class of Antibiotics has five different groups of Antibiotics namely antipseudomonal penicillins, penicillinase resistant penicillins, amonopenicillins, beta-lactamase inhibitors, and natural penicillins. Antibiotics that can be found in this class include amoxicillin, penicillin V Potassium, and amoxillin/Clavulanate, also Augmentin.

Cephalosporins

Cephalosporins class is made up of five different generations with a wide coverage that includes gram-negative infections. Cephalosporins class of Antibiotics are effective in the treatment of different infections such as ear infections, skin infections, strep throat, urinary tract infections, and meningitis. Teflaro, which is the fifth generation of Cephalosporins is very effective against methicillin resistance Staphylococcus aureus. Common drugs in this class of Antibiotics include cefdinir (Omnicef), cefuroxime (Ceftin), and ceftriaxone (Rocephin).

Tetracyclines

These are broad spectrum class of Antibiotics that fight against different types of bacteria and treat several conditions like UTIs, acne, intestinal tract infections, STDs, eye infections, periodontitis, and many other bacterial infections. Some of the common drugs in the class of Tetracyclines are doxycycline, minocycline, and tetracycline.

Quinolones

Also known as fluoroquinolones, the quinolones are a synthetic, bactericidal antibacterial group of Antibiotics with a broad spectrum of actions. This class of Antibiotics are used for serious case of bacterial infections where other medications are not effective. Conditions that are usually treated with quinolones include bacterial prostatitis, hospital-acquired pneumonia, plague, or anthrax. In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration issued a serious warning regarding the usage of this class of medications. Drugs in this class of Antibiotics include Moxifloxacin (Avelox), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), and Levofloxacin (Levaquin).

Lincomucins

Lincomycins are very active against gram-positive (bacteria that can survive without oxygen such as anaerobes and aerobes). They are also effective against some gram-negative anaerobes. The derivate from Lincomycin can be used for the treatment of severe infections such as intra-abdominal infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, bone and joint infections, and lower respiratory tract infections. Drugs in this class of Antibiotics include Lincomycin (Lincocin), and Clindamycin (Cleocin).

Antibiotics - Yes or No?

It is crucial to point out that Antibiotics are not the perfect option for all kinds of infections. Infections such as acute sinusitis, sore throats, flu, colds and colds for instance have viral origin therefore do not need Antibiotics for their treatments. These infections are viral, thus, they’re self-limiting. This means that the immune system has the capacity to fight against the virus without any external help. As a matter of fact, treating a viral infection with Antibiotics can sometimes enhance the risk of antibiotic-resistance which reduces the options of Antibiotics for subsequent treatment when needed. Usually, antibiotic resistant bacteria cannot be completely killed or inhibited by an antibiotic even if the antibiotic medication has been effective prior to when the resistance developed. It is therefore important that you consult your physician when you feel any symptoms of infection. It is also important that you do not share your antibiotic medication with someone else and do not save it for use at a latter day.