Antibiotics: Introduction, Examples, Use, Misuse, Side-Effects

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Introduction of Antibiotics

  • Antibiotics can be defined as the antimicrobial drugs that are obtained from organisms like mould, fungus and some soil bacteria.

  • These are produced using fermentation process.

  • These medicines help in stopping infections being caused by bacteria.

  • Antibiotics were first discovered in 1920s.

  • Those antibiotics that target many kinds of bacteria are called “broad-spectrum” and the one who targets specific bacteria are known as “narrow-spectrum.”

  • Antibiotics cannot help in the treatment of infections caused by viruses such as infections caused by viruses- common cold, flu, most coughs, some bronchitis infections, most sore throats, etc.

  • It has been observed that though antibiotics can kill bacteria but the toxins remaining in the body may continue to cause damage.

  • A Scottish bacteriologist, Alexander Fleming in 1928 discovered the first ever “true” antibiotic called Penicillin.

Uses of Antibiotics

  • Antibiotics have helped in reducing the mortality rates thereby increasing the lifespan.

  • Microbicidal therapy is sued for killing microorganisms.

  • Micro biostatic therapy is used for preventing microorganism growth.

  • Quinolones antibiotic can inhibit or kill bacteria.

  • Penicillin V potassium is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria such as pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections. Pneumonia, strep throat, meningitis, syphilis, and gonorrhea are the other bacterial infections that may be treated with penicillin. Penicillin G acts against gram-positive and gram-negative cocci bacterial infections.

Side Effects of Common Antibiotics

  • Side effect of antibiotic is the collateral damage to our body. While treating an infection, antibiotics often attack the human digestive system.

  • Ofloxacin antibiotic causes rashes and blisters on skin and mucous membranes.

  • Cefixime antibiotic causes Pain, diarrhea, nausea, and headache.

  • Tranexamic acid can cause Diarrhea, Nausea, and seizures.

  • Quetiapine antibiotic may cause involuntary leakage of urine.

  • Antibiotic Sodium Valproate may cause Drowsiness and unsteadiness.

  • Sulfasalazine can cause decreased appetite, nausea, and headache.

  • Symptoms of the side effects are:

    • A raised

    • Itchy skin rash

    • Coughing

    • Wheezing and trouble breathing

Misuse or Overuse of Antibiotics

  • Excessive use in the livestock industry for preventing disease growth can cause serious infections in humans.

  • Antibiotics are ineffective against viral infections.

  • Antibiotics should not be used for treating apparent viral respiratory illness in children.

  • Antibiotics should not be used for treating viral conjunctivitis.

  • Oral antibiotics should not be sued for treating Eczema (a group of disease resulting in inflammation of the skin).

  • Some of the practices contributing to antibiotics misuse:

    • Failure to use stains/smears.

    • Using antibiotics with no clinical indication.

    • Inappropriate choice of empiric antibiotics drugs.

Antibiotics Resistance

  • Here the germs no longer respond to the antibiotics designed to kill them.

  • However, it doesn’t mean that the human body becomes resistant to antibiotics.

  • Extended hospital stays, additional follow-up doctor visits, and costly and toxic alternatives are required by antibiotic-resistant infections.

Antibiotic resistance occurrence

Antibiotic Resistance Occurrence

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Protection from Antibiotics Resistance

  • Cleaning hands and covering coughs.

  • Staying at home in case somebody is sick.

  • Getting recommended vaccines for e.g. the flu vaccine.

  • Taking antibiotics only when they are needed.

  • Antibiotics should be taken as per the prescriptions of the doctor and shouldn’t be shared with others.