Functioning Of Antibiotics

ByElsa Sc S

Doing her graduation from LUMS & a keen researcher


October 22, 2022

Functioning Of Antibiotics

Elsa Sc S describes the working pattern of the crucial healing drugs

Antibiotics are still rated as a crucial part of the arsenal of the wonder drugs that transformed medical treatment across the world. Though the Coronavirus pandemic has pointed out the severe shortcomings functioning of antibiotics arsenal to attack the offshoots of the killer virus antibiotics are still rated to be the most potential group of medicines that help the body fight bacterial infections.

Functioning of Antibiotics are dispensed in extremely large numbers to people and most of their affectivity is in place though there are occasional concerns that they are losing their complete curing capability. Unfortunately, antibiotics do not treat Coronavirus as they can help with any secondary bacterial infections that may arise.

Antibiotics were considered a wonder drug when they came to the fore in the Second World War and helped treat bacterial infections in a few different ways that involve disrupting various parts of the way bacteria survive and multiply in the human body.

Bacteria have cell walls that help protect them against the harsh environment inside them. These cell walls protect the fragile interior that contains the DNA and essential proteins that bacteria use to reproduce asexually. Antibiotics often work in one of three ways and that is by killing bacteria by rupturing bacterial cell walls, by killing bacteria by preventing them from forming cell walls in the first place and they also prevent bacterial growth by destroying the essential proteins that they use to reproduce.

In this respect, Bactericidal antibiotics are drugs that kill bacteria outright and they include penicillin, vancomycin, and cephalosporin. Bacteriostatic antibiotics are drugs that prevent bacteria from multiplying including ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, and rifamycin. Some antibiotics can both kill bacteria and prevent further growth.

Prescription For Bacterial Infection

Antibiotics are prescribed for all bacterial infections from minor strep throat or urinary tract infections to severe, life-threatening conditions such as bacterial pneumonia or sepsis. It is mentioned that the properties of some antibiotics make them amenable to other medical conditions such as quinolone and tetracycline groups that are used in anti-malarial therapy. Certain antibiotics also have anti-inflammatory effects, which may be useful in treating inflammation caused by a viral infection.

Depending on the type of infection, a physician may prescribe one of two types of antibiotics: broad-spectrum or narrow-spectrum. Broad-spectrum antibiotics affect a wide range of bacteria, whereas narrow-spectrum antibiotics attack specific types of bacteria. Physicians often try to prescribe narrow-spectrum antibiotics when they know which bacteria caused the infection because using broad-spectrum antibiotics unnecessarily can contribute to antibiotic resistance. It is also pointed out that the side effects of antibiotics must be taken into account, particularly bacterial resistance must be considered whenever using the functioning of antibiotics for non-bacterial infections.

It is agreed that antibiotics do not directly affect SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19 because antibiotics do not treat viral infections. Though Coronavirus was beyond their reach it was mentioned that China treated a large percentage of patients with severe cases of COVID-19 but it was not the virus they were aiming at but the complications it causes. Moreover, it is a secondary bacterial infection that patients develop due to a weakened immune system as was pointed out in the case of China where it was found that 15% of survivors and 50% of those who died, acquired secondary bacterial infections.

Coronavirus is not the only disease that causes dangerous secondary infections. During the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic it was estimated that globally 151,700 – 575,400 people died. Around half of these deaths were due to secondary bacterial pneumonia.

Physicians Emphasize

The best thing about antibiotics is that they start working almost immediately as amoxicillin takes about one hour to reach peak levels in the body though the patient may not feel symptom relief until later. However, it is usually observed that antibiotics will typically show improvement in patients with bacterial infections within one to three days and this is because for many illnesses the body’s immune response is what causes some of the symptoms, and it can take time for the immune system to calm down after the harmful bacteria are destroyed.

Some functioning oif antibiotics, such as fosfomycin used to treat certain cases of UTIs work immediately and usually only require one dose. Other antibiotics, including tetracycline used to treat a wide range of conditions from acne to syphilis, may take several weeks of treatment with multiple doses before the patient notices any improvement in symptoms. The timeframe, therefore, depends on the type of infection and whether the bacteria are susceptible to that particular antibiotic.

Physicians emphasize completing the full course of antibiotics, even if the patient begins to feel better beforehand. It is because if the patient discontinues the treatment early his/her body may not have eliminated enough bacteria and the condition could re-occur, as surviving bacteria multiply and also that doing so also contributes to the growing issue of antibiotic resistance. However, in the continued battle against antibiotic-resistant superbugs, researchers have started to study the dosage amount. A growing body of evidence suggests that shorter regimes of antibiotic treatment may be just as effective as the longer courses traditionally prescribed. It has been pointed out consistently that new research in antibiotics is required and much is needed to be done to fine-tune them. The Weekender


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