An antibiotic is a chemical substance derived from a mold or bacterium that kills microorganisms (bacteria) and cures infections. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1926. He observed that a substance produced by fungi actually restricted bacterial growth. It was however left to Edward Chain and Howard Florey to carry out successful trials of penicillin on humans suffering from infections that were deemed to be incurable and fatal at that time. In 1945, the three of them were joint winners of the Nobel Prize for medicine.
After penicillin, tetracycline was introduced in 1948, which became the preferred antibiotic when treating a wide range of diseases. Today there are more than one-hundred antibiotics available for curing minor and life threatening diseases. A short list of commonly prescribed antibiotics is been discussed below:
Penicillin is any of various antibiotics obtained from Penicillium molds (or produced synthetically). It is used in the treatment of various dental infections and infections in the heart. Amoxicillin is semisynthetic oral penicillin used to treat pneumonia, bronchitis, venereal disease, nasal and aural infections, and other bacterial infections like UTI and dermal infections.
Tetracycline is an antibiotic derived from microorganisms of the genus Streptomyces. It is a broad spectrum drug used to treat a wide range of infections. It is used to treat typhus fever, and tick fevers, upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, gonorrhea, amoebic infections, and urinary tract infections. It is a convenient alternate choice for those who are allergic to penicillin. Minocycline is a tetracycline antibiotic used to treat sexually transmitted diseases and acne. Doxycycline is another tetracycline antibiotic that is approved for treatment of anthrax.
Quinolones like ciprofloxacin and levoflaxacin are strong antibiotics used for urinary tract infections, bacterial prostatitis, bacterial diarrhea, mycoplasmal infections, and gonorrhea.
Macrolide antibiotics are better known by their generic names, Erythromycin and Azithromycin. These are mostly used for treating Streptococcal infections (strep throat), syphilis, respiratory infections and mycoplasmal infections.
Cephalosporin is another class of broad spectrum antibiotic substances obtained from fungi and related to penicillin with greater antibacterial activity.
Sulfonamides are antibacterial synthetic organic compounds capable of inhibiting the growth of bacteria.
This list is by no means exhaustive. Classifications, sub-classes, generic and brand names of antibiotics and their applicability, surely are medical journal subject matter.
Antibiotics are indeed what they are termed as: a wonder drug. However, there is a downside to opting for the antibiotic alternative. Each and every antibiotic carries an accompanied risk of side effects that include negative effects on immune system health.
The unrestrained use of antibiotics can be gauged by the fact that today you can buy most of them online along with a free consultation. Such careless use of antibiotics has led to many of them becoming ineffective as bacteria develop resistance to them. .
Thankfully, there has been a significant progress in the herbal antibiotics arena. However, the efficacy of natural products including herbs for immune system is consistently denied by vested interests.