types of antibiotics and some examples of them

types of antibiotics vary, and their classifications vary in terms of effectiveness and manner of action. 


However, the consensus is that it can only be taken with a prescription.


 How antibiotics work

 Although there are many types of antibiotics, they all work in one of two ways :


  • Bactericidal antibiotics : such as penicillin, kill bacteria by preventing the bacteria from building the cell wall or from building the components of the cell.


  • Antibiotics that suppress bacteria that stop bacteria from multiplying.


 What are the types of antibiotics


1)- Penicillins




2)- Cephalosporins




3) – Macrolides group




4)- Fluoroquinolones “broad-spectrum antibiotics”




5) – Sulfonamides




6) – Tetracycline group




7)- Aminoglycoside group




8) – Many other groups ,ex) Chlorafenicol

1)- Penicillins :

  • Examples include Penicillin, Fluoxacillin, Ampicillin, Amoxicillin, and Penicillin G.


  • Penicillin I led to the emergence of a whole class of antibiotics known as penicillin. Penicillin is derived from a template for a “fungus”, which is Penicillium.


  • They are widely used antibiotics, which are often a doctor’s first choice for many types of infections.


  • This includes the skin, respiratory system, ear, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).


  • The bacteria began to recognize this group and resist it, so the pharmacists had to add a camouflage substance to it, and they called it Augmentin, which is composed of (Amoxicillin + Clavinc acid).
  • These valleys are one of the most important and oldest antibiotic groups and are effective against G + bacteria.


 2)- Cephalosporins :

  •  Such as cefixime, cefodoxime, cefuroxime, and cephalexin.


  • Cephalosporins are related to penicillins, both of which belong to a larger class called “beta-lactam”, and there are five generations of cephalosporins.


  • Each gel covers different types of bacteria, so the separation can treat a variety of infections.  From sore throats and bacteria to extremely dangerous infections like meningitis. 


  • Due to its association with penicillin, some people with a penicillin allergy may interact with cephalosporins.


Types of antibiotics

 3) – Macrolides group :

  • It is a completely different class of antibiotics, and it is a beta-lactam. 


  • This group is the alternative to the first two groups of patients allergic to penicillin or cephalosporins. 


  • Where it performs almost the same pharmacological action, such as “erythromycin, azithromycin, and clarithromycin”.


4)- Fluoroquinolones “broad-spectrum antibiotics” :

  • Fluoroquinolones or quinolones activate against a very large group of bacteria.  This makes them useful in treating infections when other antibiotics have failed.


  • It is also an alternative when people suffer from allergies to other antibiotics.


  • They can treat anything from eye infections to pneumonia, to skin and sinus infections, joint and urine infections or gynecological diseases and many more. 


  • However, this anticonvulsant can be a problem for people with some heart conditions and some other medications.


  • Examples of fluoroquinolones include : Ciprofloxacin, Levofloxacin , and Moxifloxacin.


 5) – Sulfonamides :

  • Sulfonamides are derived from the chemical sulfanilamide, and have been around since the existence of penicillins.


  • Technically speaking, sulfonamides don’t kill bacteria the way other antibiotics do, and instead, they stop the growth of the bacteria. The immune system is based on supplement resistance. 



As sulfonamides are very good topical treatments for burns and infections of the vagina or eyes, they can also treat urinary tract infections.


However, resistance is common in this class. Examples of sulfonamides include: Sulfacetamide, Sulfadiazine, Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim.


 6) – Tetracycline group :

  • These antibiotics come from types of bacteria called the tetracycline group such as doxycillin.


  •  These drugs stop the growth of bacteria.  They are called broad-spectrum antibiotics due to their ability to fight both types of bacteria G + and G-, for example: “tetracycline, doxycyclines.”


  •  It seems strange that bacteria can produce an antibiotic that kills other bacteria, but this is true because tetracyclines are germs, like sulfonamides, that treat various infections, such as infections of the respiratory system, skin and genitals. 
  • It is also used to treat unusual infections, including Lyme disease, malaria, anthrax, cholera, and the plague.


 7)- Aminoglycoside group :

  • Such as “gentamicin and amikacin”.


  • The uses of this group are limited to some serious diseases.


  • such as blood poisoning and meningitis, because of its effect on the kidneys and it is very effective against infections caused by bacteria G-.

types of antibiotics

 8) – Many other groups :

  •  such as the chloramphenicol group, the metronidazole group, and others:


 Chlorafenicol : 
  • This drug is a broad-spectrum inhibitor, but less effective than penicillin and tetracycline against G + bacteria.


 Every antibiotic, whether in a specific class or not, has different dosage requirements, some need to be taken on an empty stomach and some with food.


  • Therefore, you should ask the doctor or pharmacist about the best way to take the antibiotic.


  • it is also important to finish the full dose that the doctor prescribes, and this ensures proper treatment and prevents antibiotic resistance.


  examples of antibiotics


1) – Azidocillin




2) -Tetracycline




3) – Gramicidin




4) – Oxytetracycline




5) – Kanamycin




6) – clindameysin




7) – Doxycycline


  •  1) – Azidocillin :
Azidocillin is a penicillin antibiotic that is used to treat respiratory infections, gastrointestinal tract infections, urinary tract infections, meningitis due to E. coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus.


  •  2) -Tetracycline :

 A broad spectrum antibiotic, as it is used to treat many bacterial diseases, and it is one of the oldest antibiotics.


Tetracycline is found in the form of capsules and skin creams, and is also used in the treatment of acne.


  •  3) – Gramicidin :

 It is a mixture of six compounds of the antibiotic Gramicidin A, B and C, which is used effectively against germs with the exception of bacilli.


But it is only used topically without any side effects and cannot be taken.


  •  4) – Oxytetracycline :

Oxytetracycline is an antibiotic from the group of tetracyclines.


Oxytetracycline is used to treat infections caused by mycoplasma.  It comes in capsules or injection form.


  •  5) – Kanamycin :

 It is an antibiotic from the broad spectrum Minoglycoside group, and is used in the treatment of many skin and joint infections. 


It can be used intravenously, intramuscularly, or by swallowing.


  •  6) – clindameysin :

 It is an effective antibiotic in treating aerobic, and anaerobic infections in the mouth and abdomen in the form of capsules or injections. 


And female genital diseases, such as an ointment or lotion, and in treating acne as a liquid or skin gel.


  •  7) – Doxycycline :

 It is a broad spectrum antibiotic against a group of germs, as it is used to treat tonsillitis and pharyngitis, respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, gum infections, malaria, acne, and anthrax.


 How do you use an antibiotic?

  • 1) – In order to achieve the maximum goal of the antibiotic, the doses must be taken on time.


  • 2) – Use it as directed, in other words, to complete the entire period even if you feel better.


Because if you take an antibiotic, the bacteria weaken and the person starts to feel better.  


as soon as he leaves it, the disease will return again, and resistance is generated by the bacteria, which becomes more harmful to humans and prolongs the duration of treatment.


  • 3) – Ask the doctor or pharmacist, can the antibiotic be taken on an empty stomach or not? . what types of food should I avoid.


for example tetracycline, affected by products that contain calcium, such as dairy and cheese, as well as quinolones.


  • 4) –  The amount of salts in penicillin medicines must be taken into account, in the case of patients with heart disease and hypertension.


  • 5) – You should not crush or break some pills, either because they are not stable, or because the medicines have a slow dissolving system to give a prolonged effect.


  •  6) – If the medicine is in liquid form, shake well before use.


  • 7) – It is preferable to use the scale supplied, in the package, in order to take the correct dose.


  • 8) – The medicine should not be used after its expiry date has expired.


  • 9) – Some antibiotics have a different shelf life after dissolving or adding water to them. 


As the expiration date is often two weeks after the drug is dissolved, and the medicine may need to be stored in the refrigerator.


  • 10) – Doses of antibiotics differ from person to person according to the type of disease, age, weight, and the patient’s health status such as kidney and liver functions.


  What are the side effects of antibiotics?

  • Nausea and vomiting can be alleviated by eating multiple meals, or chewing gum.


  • Diarrhea, which results from killing the beneficial bacteria in the intestine, and in order to be compensated by eating yogurt, or milk ferments.


  • You must be careful from exposure to the sun if you are taking tetracyclines, and it is preferable to use a sunblock.


  •   Some antibiotics may cause a change in the color of the urine, and this is normal because the medicine contains pigments and this is not a cause for concern.


 such as nitrofurantoin, Rifampin and rifabutin cause redness in urine, sulfonamide causes darkening of urine.


  • Some antibiotics cause a change in the color of the stool, for example, rifampin causes redness. while the medicines clindamycin and tetracycline may make the stool dark.  And all antibiotics may cause white stool color.


 When should I contact my health care provider?

  •  If you feel you have taken an overdose, call the Poison Center or emergency room.


  • If you develop serious signs such as chest tightness, fever, itching, bluish skin, or difficulty breathing.


  •  If your health condition does not improve within 3 days, contact your physician.


  • Before you take the medicine, tell the doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to this antibiotic.  


what other drugs may cause an allergy as well? , The penicillin and cephalosporin combinations cause joint sensitivity.


  • If you are taking other medicines, you must inform the doctor or pharmacist.


As antibiotics increase the effect of blood thinners and warfarin, reduce the effectiveness of contraceptive drugs and interfere with antacid drugs.


  • In the case of taking tetracycline drugs, you should not be exposed to the sun directly, and it is preferable to use sunscreen.


  •  For the elderly, antibiotics are generally considered safe, but kidney and liver function must be taken into account.


use of antibiotics in pregnancy, lactation and children?

  •  In case of pregnancy, you must inform the doctor.


  • Most cephalosporins and penicillins are considered safe for pregnant women, followed by drugs (macrolides such as erythromycin, azithromycin) in terms of safety.


  • Tetracyclines, quinolones, trimethoprim, and sulfamethoxazole should be avoided, as they affect pregnancy.


  • In the case of breastfeeding: Although the quantities of antibiotics that are found in breast milk are small, some of them may cause harm to the infant, such as (penicillin) that may cause allergic reactions, diarrhea, or a rash.


  • For children, most antibiotics are generally considered safe in children. except for tetracycline drugs, which should not be used until after the age of eight, as they cause permanent staining of children’s teeth.


  • As for quinolones, they should not be used unless after consulting a doctor, because they may cause damage to the joints. 


  • Trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole should not be used in children less than 2 months old.


 Interactions of antibiotics with medications

  • Patients who are taking any type of antibiotics should not take any other medicines, or natural prescriptions before consulting the doctor first.


  • Even drugs that you can buy over the counter (OTC) can interact very badly with antibiotics.


  • Some antibiotics may reduce the effectiveness of some oral medications.


  • if the antibiotics have caused you problems in the digestive system in the first place (such as: vomiting and nausea), this often means that the oral medications you took were not absorbed well in the digestive tract as well.


 antibiotics and allergies

  • Some patients may develop sensitivity to antibiotics, especially penicillin.


  • Here, many symptoms may begin to appear on the patient, such as: swelling of the face and tongue, breathing difficulties.


  • The symptoms of antibiotic allergy may appear immediately after taking the antibiotic or after a while.


  • It is worth noting that an emerging allergic reaction may cause death, although this happens in rare cases.


  •   antibiotics must be treated with extreme caution with full medical follow-up, if the patient:


 Have impaired liver or kidney function, pregnant woman, breastfeeding woman.


 Antibiotic resistance

 In recent years, there has been a fear of a phenomenon that scientists called antibiotic resistance.


It is a phenomenon that began due to the overuse of antibiotics in situations that do not need them and without consulting a doctor first.


The persistence and worsening of this problem may put us a few years away from a world where antibiotics will not work. 


Official statistics issued by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control in 2012 found that about 25,000 people die annually, in European Union countries, as a result of infection or bacterial infections resistant to antibiotics.


 In 1945, Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin and a Nobel Prize winner, had warned in his award acceptance speech of this phenomenon.


saying: ” here appears the danger of ignorance of a person who might use low doses of antibiotics, which are doses that will not fight infection or protect it from it,”


Rather, it contains small amounts of enough bacteria to develop a kind of immunity against this type of medicine. “

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