Antibiotics are the powerful medicines which fight against infections either by killing the microorganisms or by inhibiting their growth and reproduction. The term antibiotic was first used by Selman Waksman in 1947. Some bacteria attack on our body and start dividing; Immune system of body fights against them but in case when the attack is not controlled by the immune system, an external help in the form of antibiotics is required.

The first antibiotic was penicillin, which was accidently discovered by Alexander Fleming. Antibiotics are effective against bacteria, fungi and other parasites but they do not fight with viral infections like cold, influenza. Antibiotics are used in conditions like syphilis, tuberculosis, meningitis and many more.

How antibiotics work?

Antibiotics perform their function in two ways:

1. Bactericidal- These antibiotics kill the microorganisms like penicillin.
2. Bacteriostatic- These antibiotics either stop the growth of microorganisms or they create unfavourable conditions for their reproduction.

Categories of antibiotics

Now a day there are more than 100 antibiotics. They are classified on the basis of their structures, mechanism of action, microorganisms on which they are acting and disease for which they are used. The main classes of antibiotics are:

1. Penicillins like penicillin and amoxicillin
2. Sulphonamides like Co-trimoxazole (Bactrim) and trimethoprim (proloprim)
3. Macrolides like erythromycin (E-Mycin), Clarithromycin (Biaxin) and Azithromycin (Zithromax)
4. Fluoroquinolones such as Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), Ofloxacin (Floxin) and Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
5. Aminoglycosides like Gentamicin (Garamycin) and Tobramycin (Tobrex)
6. Tetracyclineslike tetracycline (Panmycin, Sumycin) and Doxycycline (Vibramycin) 

Antibiotics can further be classified on the mode of action 

1. Broad spectrum antibiotics- these are effective against a large variety of microorganisms like amoxicillin, tetracycline
2. Narrow spectrum antibiotics- they act on only some specific microorganisms. For example aminoglycosides.

Points to be kept in mind while using antibiotics 

1. Antibiotics are very potent drugs; they have to be taken in the right dose and at the right time. The course of treatment should always be completed even if you start feeling well because it can lead to antibiotic resistance. Next time the antibiotic will not be able to fight against same disease. It is a very serious global issue which can be controlled only by proper counselling and patient compliance.
2. Avoid over use of antibiotics, it can weaken your immune system. Use only when prescribed by doctor.
3. Some Antibiotics are used after surgery to prevent from infections; it is called as Prophylactic use of antibiotics.
4. Antibiotics are usually taken by mouth (orally); however, other dosage forms like injections, eye/ear drops, creams, ointments etc. are also available
5. Different antibiotics have different usage interactions. Always follow the given instructions so that you get the maximum benefit. Some antibiotics are taken with food 6. while others take on an empty stomach, for example do not use milk and milk products with tetracycline.
7. Tell your doctor if you have liver and/or kidney problems; you are pregnant or breast feeding. 

Side effects of antibiotic

 Unwanted effects or side effects are different with different kinds of antibiotics. However all the antibiotics have some common side effects like:

1. Nausea
2. Diarrhea
3. Other infections like infection in mouth or digestive tract.
4. Increased sensitivity to sunlight
5. Blood related disorders (Trimethoprine)
6. Blood clotting related problems (cephalosporins)
7. Kidney stones (sulphonamides)
8. Deafness ( aminoglycosides) 

These side effects can be minimized by following the instructions carefully and limiting excessive use of antibiotics. 

There are above 100 antibiotics available worldwide. Few antibiotics which are available on our site are:

1. Flagyl (metronidazole)
2. Zagam 100 mg (sparfloxacin)
3. Zagam 200 mg  (sparfloxacin)
4. Fasigyn 300 mg (tinidazole)
5. Fasigyn (tinidazole)
6. Tobradex eye drops (dexamethasone and tobramycin)
7. Tobran eye drops (dexamethasone and tobramycin)
8. Clobetasol cream
9. Althrocin 500 mg (erythromycin)

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