Antibiotic drugs

A group of drugs used to treat infections caused by bacteria and to prevent bacterial infection in cases of immune system impairment. Most of the commonly used antibiotic drugs belong to one of the following classes: penicillins, quinolones, aminoglycosides, cephalosporins, macrolides, and tetracyclines. Some antibiotics are effective against only certain types of bacteria; others, which are known as broad-spectrum antibiotics, are effective against a wide range. Some bacteria develop resistance to a previously effective antibiotic drug. This is most likely to occur during long-term treatment. Some alternative antibiotics are available to treat bacteria that have become resistant to the more commonly prescribed drugs. Most antibiotic drugs can cause nausea, diarrhoea, or a rash. Antibiotics may disturb the normal balance between certain types of bacteria and fungi in the body, leading to proliferation of the fungi that cause candidiasis (thrush). Some people experience a severe allergic reaction to the drugs, resulting in facial swelling, itching, or breathing difficulty.


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