ANTIBACTERIALS – INTRODUCTION
Antibiotics, also known as antibacterials, are types of medications that destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria.
ANTIBACTERIALS – INDICATION
Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Bacteria are microscopic organisms, some of which may cause illness. The word bacteria is the plural of bacterium.
Such illnesses as syphilis, tuberculosis, salmonella, and some forms of meningitis are caused by bacteria.
Certain bacterial infections (eg, abscesses, infections with foreign bodies) require surgical intervention and do not respond to antibiotics alone.
ANTIBACTERIALS – INFORMATION
Antibacterial drugs are derived from bacteria or molds or are synthesized de novo. Technically, “antibiotic” refers only to antimicrobials derived from bacteria or molds but is often used synonymously with “antibacterial drug.”
Antibiotics have many mechanisms of action, including inhibiting cell wall synthesis, l, increasing cell membrane permeability, and interfering with protein synthesis, nucleic acid metabolism, and other metabolic processes (eg, folic acid synthesis).
Antibiotics sometimes interact with other drugs, raising or lowering serum levels of other drugs by increasing or decreasing their metabolism or by various other mechanisms (see Table: Common Effects of Antibiotics on Other Drugs). The most clinically important interactions involve drugs with a low therapeutic ratio (ie, toxic levels are close to therapeutic levels). Also, other drugs can increase or decrease levels of antibiotics.
Many antibiotics are chemically related and are thus grouped into classes. Although drugs within each class share structural and functional similarities, they often have different pharmacology and spectra of activity.