Antibiotics: Types, Functions, and Resistance

in STEMGeeks4 months ago

Honestly speaking, antibiotics are medications that treat infections by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria. They come in many different forms and work in different ways, which is to fight infections caused by bacteria.

There are many different types of antibiotics that I'll be sharing with you. But you must understand that each of the antibiotics is designed to target a specific type of bacteria. The ability you know the type of antibiotic you're taking and how it works is essential to getting the most out of your medication.

Possibly right, I'll take a closer look at the different types of antibiotics and what they treat to enable you to have the knowledge of what you take.

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What Are Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are commonly regarded as the type of medication that is used to treat and prevent infections. There are many different types of antibiotics, and each one of them is used for the prevention and treatment of a particular infection caused by bacteria.

The composition of antibiotics is what makes them so effective in fighting infections. Each antibiotic comprises different molecules that work together to kill the infection commonly caused by bacteria.

Whenever you take antibiotics, the molecules in the medication are expected to work together in killing the cause of the infection. After you must have taken the antibiotics, your body system is expected to be free from the bacteria and also helps to prevent others from penetrating.


How Do Antibiotics Work?

Antibiotics are prescribed to kill bacteria. How this works, is by making sure that the bacteria are prevented from building a cell wall. As a result, the antibiotic will gain access to penetrate the bacterium and stop it from reproducing.

There are many different types of antibiotics, and each one is designed to treat a particular type of infection. For instance, erythromycin is used to treat respiratory infections, while amoxicillin is used to treat ear infections. It's advisable to take antibiotics according to a doctor's prescription in order to get a good result.

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The Different Types of Antibiotics

There are five main types of antibiotics and there are mainly: Penicillins, erythromycin, tetracyclines, sulfonamides, and quinolones. Each one treats bacteria according to their functions.

Penicillins work by attacking the cell walls of the bacteria. Erythromycin and tetracyclines both stop the bacteria from synthesizing proteins. Sulfonamides and quinolones inhibit enzymes that the bacteria need to survive.

Sometimes, it's very difficult to prescribe antibiotics that will kill a specific type of bacteria. Your doctor is expected to ascertain your age, medical history, and allergies before making a decision.

When Are Antibiotics Used?

The main function of antibiotics is to help kill bacteria infections, Such medications can also be used to treat some parasites and fungal infections. Antibiotics can't be used to treat viral infections, such as the flu, common cold, or COVID-19.

There are different types of antibiotics that work in different ways. Some antibiotics work by killing bacteria, while others work by preventing the bacteria from multiplying.

Side Effects of Antibiotics

Most antibiotics have few side effects and I'll be providing you with the most common side effects below:

  • Nausea

  • vomiting

  • diarrhea

  • rash

  • headache

Side effects of antibiotics differ based on the type of antibiotic you are taking. For example, quinolone antibiotics may cause tendinitis and tendon rupture. Macrolide antibiotics may cause QT prolongation, which can lead to life-threatening irregular heartbeats. And sulfonamide antibiotics may cause Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a potentially fatal condition characterized by skin blistering and shedding.

If you experience any of the side effects mentioned above, it'll be essential to contact your doctor immediately for proper corrections.

Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria evolve to become resistant to an antibiotic. And it's a big problem because it simply means that the antibiotic can no longer fight the infection effectively.

If there's antibiotic resistance, what you can just do? First, make sure you only take antibiotics when they're prescribed by a doctor. And if you are prescribed antibiotics, make sure to take them according to the instruction given.

Additionally, it's important to practice good hygiene and cleanliness, since this can help prevent the spread of infection. And finally, be sure to cook meat and poultry thoroughly, since this can help kill bacteria that might cause food poisoning.


Antibiotics are powerful medications that can save lives when it comes to bacterial infections. They make sure that bacteria are prevented from spreading. Antibiotics work differently according to their prescribed bacteria. Antibiotics are classified based on their chemical structure, mode of action, and spectrum of activity. This is the main reason, one must take specific antibiotics prescribed by a doctor or pharmacist.

Source for further studies:


antibiotics are very important! but also they are also the cause of new super resistant bacteria

That's the reason why people must get a prescription for the drugs from their doctor.


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It is essential to avoid taking antibiotics without doctors prescription as this contributes to resistance. Most people take drugs over the counter and this poses a great threat to their life when they come down with sepsis as they're already resistant to most antibiotics. Thanks for this post

You're welcome with the observations about antibiotic resistance.

 4 months ago Reveal Comment