Antibacterial Generic Drugs F.A.Q.
What is an antibacterial drug?
An antibacterial medication is a substance that renders activity against bacterial pathogens that cause a variety of different diseases.
The group includes antibacterials (antimicrobials) and antibiotics.
What is a definition of anti bacterial?
An anti bacterial substance is a substance that destroys bacteria or slows down its replication so that it wouldn’t be able to develop and persist into the body.
What is the difference between antibiotics and antibacterial drugs?
Some doctors and pharmacists call the same medications both antibacterials and antibiotics. Indeed, they render similar or sometimes even the same effects but the difference is in their composition. Antibacterial medications initially were given this name to be distinguished from antibiotics because they are fully synthetic substances, i.e. made artificially. Antibiotics, on the other hand, are the medications that are based on natural substances and partially changed synthetically. The majority of antibiotics are semi-synthetic.
What are bactericidal and bacteriostatic drugs?
Bactericidal medications kill existing bacteria by damaging their cells. Bacteriostatic medications stop the growth and replication of bacteria through interfering with their replication mechanisms.
What diseases are treated with antibacterial drugs?
The name of the group gives a hint what diseases are treated, antibacterial means against bacteria.
There are a variety of bacterial diseases that include:
– Airway infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and others;
– Ear, nose, and throat infections including laryngitis, tonsillitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, otitis media, and others;
– Urinary tract infections such as cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), urethritis (inflammation of the urethra), kidney infections, and others;
– Sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and others;
– Reproductive system infections such as cervicitis, inflammation of the ovaries, and so on;
– Gastrointestinal tract diseases such as gastritis or stomach ulcer caused by Helicobacter pylori.
– Skin and soft tissue diseases including acne, infected wounds, burns;
– Brain infections, spinal cord infections;
– Tuberculosis of the lungs, bones, and other organs.
What formulations of antibacterials are available?
The most commonly used forms of antibacterial medication are oral pills or capsules. For severe cases of infection injectables or infusions can be prescribed. For topical bacterial infection ointments, gels, creams, eye drops, eye ointments, and so on can be used.
How to choose an antibacterial medication?
The best way to choose the optimal treatment is to make susceptibility tests that show what pathogen has caused the diseases and to what antibiotics or antibacterials it is susceptible. However, if you know that you have, for instance, chronic bronchitis or sinusitis that usually flare-up after a common cold or flu, you can start using an antibiotic that has this disease listed in its indications once you see that the symptoms persist for more than two weeks.
But we still encourage you to visit a doctor rather than buy an antibiotic without a prescription to be sure that you have namely a bacterial infection. You should know that the same symptoms can be caused also by an allergy, viral or fungal infection that requires different treatment and the use of antibacterials can only aggravate them.
How long antibacterial medications can be used?
It is preferable to follow your physician’s recommendations on the course duration. However, the package inserts that come with the pills usually have the average courses durations that differ from disease to disease. In general, the minimum treatment course with an antibacterial medication must be from 7 days and longer. The exceptions and Azithromycin and some other medications that are appointed based on a special scheme for three or six days. In the cases of severe infection, the treatment can be extended for several weeks.
Tuberculosis requires the use of special antibiotics for months but it must be treated only under a doctor’s supervision.
How to use antibacterial medications?
It is crucial to continue using the appointed antibacterial drug for the whole prescribed period of time. Even if you feel better sooner, you must not discontinue the course earlier as it causes the survival of the most resistant bacteria that will transfer its resistance to the next generations. As a result, when they will cause an infection in the same individual or their close surrounding, the treatment would be much more difficult.
It is also very important to observe the number of times the drug must be used a day. The intervals between the intakes must be approximately equal.
If the drug is prescribed to be taken after food, you should take it only after a meal. Otherwise, the effect of the medication lowers.
What antibacterial medications can pregnant women use?
Pregnant women, in general, are not advised to take any medications.
However, if they develop a severe bacterial infection, their doctor can decide to prescribe them one of the following drugs:
– Penicillin antibiotics (Amoxicillin, Oxacillin, Ampicillin);
– Cephalosporins (Cefazolin, Cefatoxime);
– Macrolides (erythromycin, Azithromycin).
Please note that they can be used only if a doctor prescribes based on the assessment of all risks and benefits.
Antibacterial drugs must not be used in the first trimester of pregnancy but can be used if needed during the second and third trimesters.
What antibacterial medications can breastfeeding women use?
The medications of choice for breastfeeding women are the same as for pregnant: Amoxicillin, Oxacillin, Ampicillin, Cefazolin, Cefatoxime, erythromycin, Azithromycin.
Sometimes a doctor can recommend stopping breastfeeding while a breastfeeding woman takes an antibiotic and transfer a baby to bottle feeding.
What antibacterial medications are safe for children?
Today the list of antibiotics allowed to be used in pediatric practice is quite limited but a qualified doctor can always find the needed solution.
Here are some of the antibacterial drugs allowed to be used in children:
– Penicillins (penicillin, Ampicillin, amoxicillin, Oxacillin, etc.);
– Cephalosporins (Cefazolin, Cefuroxime, ceftriaxone, Cefixime, etc.);
– Carbapenems (meropenem, imipenem);
– Macrolides (clarithromycin, azithromycin, etc.);
– Aminoglycosides (gentamicin, amikacin).
Please keep in mind that there are different age recommendations for each medication and only a pediatrician can choose the correct drug and dosage for your kid.