Antibiotics are a generic term for drugs used to treat infections caused by bacteria. One can also get infections caused by other microorganisms, such as viruses or fungi, but then not used antibiotics. Penicillin is only one of several different groups of antibiotics, even if it is the most important and widely used group.
Many antibiotics are originally natural substances formed by bacteria or fungi. These substances are often changed chemically, to function as drugs.
Antibiotics damage the bacterial cells but not human cells. To do this, the antibiotics act on the features that distinguish bacterial and human cells ate. Many common antibiotics, such as penicillins, prevent build-up of bacterial cell wall. Bacteria without cell wall break down and die. Another feature that is affected by antibiotics is the bacteria's ability to produce different proteins.
There are many different types of bacteria. Most antibiotics affect only part of these bacteria, while others affect many. Antibiotics that affect many different bacteria are said to have a broad spectrum, while antibiotics that affect only some bacteria are said to have a narrow spectrum.
Antibiotics with broad spectrum affect even the bacteria that you normally have in your body, such as in the intestine. It is therefore better to whenever possible use antibiotics with narrow spectrum which only kills the germs that cause a particular disease.
Choosing The Right Kind Of Antibiotic
The most important thing when the doctor chooses which antibiotic you should get is of course that it is effective against those particular bacteria causing the infection. Primarily, the physician should then choose antibiotics with narrow spectrum. If someone is very sick and it is not entirely clear what the bacteria causing the disease, you may need a medicine with a broad spectrum that appears in many different bacteria. Sometimes you need even combine different antibiotics resorts.
Other thing that the physician must take into account is where the infection is located. All antibiotics passes, for example, enters the brain from the blood and therefore cannot be used to treat meningitis.
Some Common Antibiotic Types
Penicillins are the antibiotics type used the most. The group includes the so-called penicillin V that have an effect on the most common bacteria that cause respiratory infections and amoxicillin operating in more bacterial strains than penicillin V does.
Cephalosporins are related to penicillins. They are effective against many different bacteria and can for example be used if penicillin has not worked.
Tetracyclines appear on many different types of bacteria and can be used in particular in the treatment of pneumonia, abdominal infections and acne.
Macrolides are used in certain pneumonias, and as an alternative for penicillin allergy because they have the effect of including the same bacteria as penicillin.
Fluoroquinolones have a broad spectrum, and is usually not used except in more severe infections or severe urinary tract infections.
Trimethoprim with sulphonamides may be used in severe urinary tract infections or penicillin allergy. Trimethoprim engaged only in uncomplicated urinary tract infections.
What Antibiotics Can Do
Most Commonly Used Antibiotics
Penicillins prevent the construction of the bacterial wall, which means that the bacteria die rapidly. In the group of penicillins includes several active substances that affect different bacterial communities.
The most common resort penicillin is penicillin V, also called phenoxymethylpenicillin. Penicillin V has a narrow spectrum, which means that it has an effect on a few bacterial strains. Penicillin V is used primarily by, for example, tonsillitis, sinusitis, otitis media, pneumonia, and Lyme disease.
Another kind of penicillin is amoxicillin. Unlike penicillin V, amoxicillin, appears in several bacterial strains.
Penicillins other can for example be used in the treatment of urinary tract infections or skin infection.
Antibiotics Operating On Several Different Bacteria
Cephalosporins are so-called broad-spectrum antibiotics, meaning they operate in a wide variety of bacteria. Like penicillins cephalosporins to prevent bacterial cell wall is built up, which means that the bacteria die rapidly.
Group of cephalosporins includes a dozen different active ingredients. Which bacteria are affected, differ somewhat between the different active substances. Cephalosporins can for example be used for urinary tract infection and to treat infected wounds. It can also be used to treat recurrent tonsillitis and sometimes also other respiratory infections. The most popular cephalosporins are: Cedax, Cefadroxil, Cefamox, Keflex, etc.
Acting on a large number of bacterial strains
Tetracyclines appear on a large number of bacterial strains and influences including bacterial metabolism, which means that the bacteria cannot multiply. Tetracyclines are used among other things for certain types of pneumonia, genital infections or sinusitis when an ordinary penicillin not helped, or if you are allergic to ordinary penicillin. Some tetracyclines may also be used to treat acne. Here belong Doxycycline, Doxyferm, Lymecycline, Tetralysal, etc.
Antibiotics Mostly Used In Severe Infections
Fluoroquinolones are known as broad-spectrum antibiotics, meaning that they operate on a large number of bacterial communities. Quinolones prevents bacteria divide and then they cannot reproduce. Meanwhile dies too sensitive bacteria already present in the body.
Quinolones used in the treatment of severe urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, prostate infection and severe intestinal infection. They can also be used to treat certain blood poisoning and respiratory infections or preventing meningitis.
Medicine belonging to quinolones: Avelox, Ciprofloxacin, Ciproxin, Levofloxacin Norfloxacin, and Tavanic from Canada.
Antibiotics Used For Urinary Tract Infections
Trimethoprim and sulphonamides inhibit bacterial folic acid production. It means that the bacteria cannot multiply. Therefore it is called the group sometimes also folic acid antagonists, or folic acid antagonists. Trimethoprim alone is used in uncomplicated urinary tract infection. Trimethoprim and sulphonamides in combination used most severe urinary tract infection, but can also sometimes be used in respiratory infections.