The human body can fight off certain illnesses such as the cold or flu. Sometimes, there are specific infections or diseases that the body cannot get rid off and it needs some help. Antibiotics are a type of drug that is used to prevent and treat infections. Many people often confuse the terms antibacterial and antibiotic. Even though these words sound similar, they are not. Antibacterial are great to prevent a cold or flu and can be found in hand sanitizers and soaps. Antibiotics treat an infected and is only used in medicine. Many may believe that antibiotics have been around for ages, but they were introduced in the early 20th century and have been slightly modified since then. Antibiotics can be administered using injection, capsules and liquids. At home treatment is usually prescribed via capsule or liquids, only in a hospital setting are antibiotic injections used. There are 7 different types of antibiotics that we will review.
Types of Antibiotics
- Penicillin: The first type of antibiotics was discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming. He was a Scottish pharmacologist, physician and microbiologist who invented penicillin. Penicillin, also known as PCN or pen, is used to treat infections such as staphylococci and streptococci. Amoxicillin is a form of penicillin.
- Cephalosporins: This drug was discovered in 1945 and it is used to step Escherichia coli, Salmonella, staphylococci and Urinary tract infections.
- Sulfonamides: The most common uses of this sulfa drug are for bronchitis, bacterial meningitis, ear infections and pneumonia. There are other forms of antibiotics that are more commonly used to treat these types of infection and the sulfa drug has been rarely prescribed since 2004.
- Tetracyclines: This form of antibiotics is commonly used to treat bacterial infections. These types of infections may include syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, acne, respiratory tract infection and skin infections.
- Aminoglycosides: Since antibiotics are commonly associated with attacked bacterial infections, this form of antibiotics helps kill off bacteria from staphylococci and tuberculosis.
- Macrolides: This type of antibiotic is often used to treat autoimmune diseases such as ulcerative colitis. It has also been linked to treat respiratory infections and urinary tract infections.
- Fluoroquinolones: Urinary tract infections is treated by this form of antibiotics. This type of antibiotics is usually only given in hospital settings followed by an infection from the use of urinary catheters.
Even though antibiotics can be used to treat several infections, there are only two ways that antibiotics work properly. The first way is by using a bactericidal antibiotic and it helps kill the cell wall or the contents of this bacteria. The second way is by using a bacteriostatic antibiotic which helps cuts down the production of bacterial protein. The 7 different types of antibiotics can be used in different capacities to perform their functions.
The use of penicillin or any other types of antibiotics can cause side effects. Not everyone develops side effects from the use of antibiotics. If a person notices any of the side effects listed below then they should contact a medical professional for assistance. The list below is not a complete list of side effects that stem from antibiotic use. The side effects of using antibiotics may include:
- Skin rash
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of face, lips or tongue
- Vaginal itching
- Stomach pain
Antibiotic Fun Facts
- You cannot buy antibiotics unless you have a prescription from a medical professional.
- Only the use of the rifampicin antibiotic can cause a disruption with the use of oral contraceptive pills.
- Overusing or misusing antibiotics can harm the usefulness of other important drugs.
- Bacteria is one of the common elements in producing antibiotics.
- The last form of antibiotics, lipopeptides, was founded in 2003. Not other forms of antibiotics have been discovered since then.
- At least 10% of the human population is allergic to some form of antibiotics, especially penicillin.
- The incorrect use of antibiotics or premature ending of an antibiotic cycle is what makes up at least 15% of hospital visits be year.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, the use of certain antibiotics can harm you and/or the baby.
- Always listen to the advice of a medical professional such as a doctor before taking antibiotics.