Antibiotics – part 1

AB

 

Various infections are going round these days, and people are picking up antibiotics at our pharmacy quite often. In this article, I will inform you about the different groups of antibiotics, and things you need to know while using one of them.

 

First of all, penicillin

Examples include Apocillin, Amoxicillin, Selexid and Diclocil among others.

This is an old group, discovered by Alexander Fleming, which gave the breakthrough of antibiotic research.

Need-to-know: They are often dosed very frequently, like 3-4 times daily because of their short half-life. They’re often a first choice because of their regularly narrow range of action.

 

Macrolides

Examples include Ery-max, Klacid and Azitromax

This drug group is often used for patients with penicillin allergies. Their dosage frequency varies a lot.

Avoid grapefruit-juice when using Ery-max and Klacid, because it affects the metabolism of the drugs and can give an increased amount of side effects among other things.

 

Tetracyclines

Examples include Tetralysal, Tetracycline and Oracea.

This is a group with broader range of activity. They are often used against acne or airway infections.

When using all kinds of tetracyclines, be aware of the effect ions like calcium, magnesium or iron can give, because they bind up and inactivate the drug. Let it be at least 2 hours between intake of tetracyclines and dairy products, iron supplements etc.

Also, be careful with sunbathing because these drugs may increase the risk of photosensitivity reactions. Use sun block.

 

Fluoroquinolones

Examples including Ciprofloxacin, Tarivid

Avoid dairy products at the same time; let it be at least 2 hours in between.

Be careful with sunbathing.

 

Lastly, it’s important to follow what you physician prescribed regarding length of treatment and dose frequency. If you end your antibiotic course before what was planned, the infection may flare up again and resistance may take place which can make the infection harder to cure.

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