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antibiotics

What are antibiotics? Antibiotics are medicines used for the treatment of bacterial infectious diseases. Antibiotics are classified based on their strength. Bactericidal antibiotics actually kill the bacteria; bacteriostatic antibiotics only inhibit their proliferation and allow the body to de... read more

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AMOKSICILIN
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What are antibiotics?

Antibiotics are medicines used for the treatment of bacterial infectious diseases.

Antibiotics are classified based on their strength. Bactericidal antibiotics actually kill the bacteria; bacteriostatic antibiotics only inhibit their proliferation and allow the body to defeat from and eliminate remaining bacteria. These two types of antibiotics seem to be equally effective in case of most infectious diseases, but if the immune system is damaged or if the person has a severe infection, such as bacterial endocarditis or meningitis, a bactericidal antibiotic is usually more effective.

Use of antibiotics

For severe bacterial infection antibiotics are usually administered in form of injection-typical intravenous injection. When the infection is under control, antibiotics can be administered in form of tablets. Antibiotics should be taken until the infectious organism is removed from the body which can last for days after symptoms disappear. Premature termination of treatment may result in relapse or may contribute to the development of resistant bacteria. Therefore, antibiotics are usually taken a few days after all signs of the infection are gone.

Some antibiotics are used for the treatment of infectious diseases caused by rickettsiae-microorganisms that are similar to the bacteria and viruses. Rickettsiae are smaller than bacteria, but bigger than virus. As the viruses, rickettsiae can only survive within the cells of another organism, but as the bacteria, rickettsiae are sensitive to antibiotics. Chloramphenicol and tetracycline are most effective against infectious diseases caused by rickettsiae.

The antibiotics are used for the treatment of not only infectious diseases, but also for the prevention of disease. To be effective and to prevent the development of the bacterial resistance, preventive antibiotic treatment should be carried out for a short time and it must have a strong effect against certain bacteria. One example of preventive treatment is taking antibiotics during travel to prevent traveler's diarrhea. In addition, preventive antibiotics are often taken by people who are in contact with the patient who has meningitis (caused by meningococcus) because of the risk of infection.

People with abnormal heart valves take preventive antibiotics before surgery, including dental surgery. These people are at high risk of infection of the heart valves (endocarditis) by bacteria normally found in the mouth and other parts of the body. These bacteria can enter the bloodstream during surgery and travel to damaged heart valves. Antibiotics may be taken preventively by people with weakened immune system such as people with leukemia, people receiving chemotherapy for cancer or people with AIDS. Also healthy people who undergo surgery and are at high risk of developing an infection (such as major orthopedic surgery or surgery on the intestines) can also take antibiotics preventively.

Choice of antibiotics

Doctors can choose an antibiotic to treat certain infectious diseases based on their assessment which bacteria are responsible for the infection. In addition, laboratory routinely identifies the bacteria that caused the infection and thus helps the doctor choose an antibiotic. However, the results of these searches are generally ready after a day or two so they cannot help in the initial selection of antibiotics.

 

Antibiotic

Common use

Side effects

Cephalosporins

Cefaclor (Cefaclor Alkaloid, Ceclor)

Cephalexin (Cefalexin, Keflex)

Cefixime (Pancef, Suprax)

Cefuroxime (Xorimax, Ceftin, Kefurox, Zinacef)

A wide range of infectious diseases

  • gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea
  • Nausea (if taken with alcohol)
  • Allergic reactions

Macrolides

Azithromycin (Sumamed, Zithromax)

Erythromycin (Eritromicin, EryPed)

Midecamycin (Macropen)

Clarithromycin (Fromilid, Klacid, Biaxin)

Streptococcal infections, syphilis, respiratory infections, mycoplasma infections, Lyme disease

  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea (especially at high doses)
  • Jaundice

Penicillins

Amoxicillin (Amoxicillin, Ospamox DT, Amoxil)

Amoxicillin and clavulanic acid (Amoksiklav, Xiclav, Augmentin, Amoclan)

Ampicillin (Ampicillin, Ampibos, Principen)

Phenoxymethylpenicillin (Ospen, Penicillin)

A wide range of infectious diseases. Penicillin is used for streptococcal infections, syphilis and Lyme disease

  • gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea
  • Allergy with serious anaphylactic reactions
  • Damage to the brain and kidneys (rare)

Quinolones

Ciprofloxacin (Ciprol, Ciprobay, Cipro)

Norfloxacin (Nolicin, Noroxin)

Levofloxacin (Levofloxacin, Tavanic, Levaquin)

Moxifloxacin (Avelox, Cenomar)

Pipemidic acid (Palin)

Urinary tract infections, bacterial prostatitis, bacterial diarrhea, gonorrhea

  • Nausea (rare)

Sulfonamides

Sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim (Bactrim)

Urinary tract infections (except sulfacetamide and Mafenide); Mafenide is applied topically in case of burns

  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Allergy (including skin rashes)
  • crystals in urine
  • Renal failure
  • Reduction of the number of white blood cells
  • • Sensitivity to sunlight

Tetracyclines

Doxycycline (Doksiciklin, Vibramycin, Doxy Plus)

Syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, Lyme disease, mycoplasma infections, rickettsiae infections.

  • gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • Coloration of the teeth
  • During pregnancy, possible toxicity to the mother and fetus

Other antibiotics

 

 

Clindamycin (Dalacin C, Cleocin)

Streptococcal infections, respiratory infections, lung abscess

  • Severe diarrhea

Lincomycin (Lincocin, Lincorex)

Streptococcal infections, respiratory infections

  • Severe diarrhea

Metronidazole (Medazol, Flagyl)

Vaginitis caused by Trichomonas or gardanelom, infection of the pelvis and abdomen

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Metallic taste
  • Dark urine

Nitrofurantoin (Nifuran, Furadantin, Macrobid, Macrodantin)

Urinary tract infections

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Alergy

Rifampicin (Rifamor, Rifadin)

Tuberculosis and leprosy

  • Rash
  • Hepatitis
  • Red-orange saliva, sweat, tears and urine


 

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