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List of general Antibiotics

Antibiotics are primarily used to treat bacterial infections. They may have secondary uses - treatment of the Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH) secretion with Declomycin. Some antibiotics are also used to prevent infection (antibiotic prophylaxis) before any surgery or in the case of weakened immune systems. There was a study which indicated that about 300 million prescriptions for antibiotics are issued every year in the US alone and the wide spread use or abuse of the antibiotics is a serious issue. For example, an antibiotic can seriously deplete the normal intestinal micro flora which can result in vaginal yeast infection in susceptible women. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics can bring about increased incidences of Streptococcal disease in children apart from enhanced drug resistance.

Antibiotics Families : Penicillins | Cephalosporins | Macrolides | Quinolones | Aminoglycosides | Tetracyclines | Sulfonamides | Other Antibiotics : Antibiotic Side Effects | Antibiotic Interactions | Antibiotics with Alcohol

Antibiotics Classification: Antibiotics are classified under many categories. Commonly they are grouped based on chemical structure and Antibiotics within the same class exhibit similar kind of effectiveness, allergic potential and toxicity. The exhaustive list below also contains drug allergy or other reactions possible for susceptible individuals as appropriate under each class.

Other types of classification:
Bacterial Spectrum: Broad Spectrum Antibiotics are capable of targeting many types of bacteria while narrow spectrum antibiotics target specifically a single class of bacteria. It is generally preferable to use a specific antibiotic for the specific class of bacteria.

Type of Activity: Bactericidal drugs are intended to kill bacteria while bacteriostatic drugs are intended to inhibit the growth of bacteria.

Broad Spectrum Antibiotics: According to a Swiss Study, this class of Antibiotics which act against Gram+ and Gram- bacteria is prone to misuse. Broad Spectrum Antibiotics - specifically the antipseudomonal agents (i.e. cefepime, ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, imipenem, meropenem, piperacil lin/tazobactam) plus trovafloxacin were found to be misused.

The following list shows the generic names of common antibiotics prescribed and available under various trade names in the US. We have broadly classified them under the common 'family' names.

Broad Spectrum Penicillins / Amoxicillin : Penicillin Family Antibiotics List

Penicillins - one of the oldest type of broad spectrum antibiotics, share common chemical structure with Cephalopsorins. They are classified as Beta-lactam antibiotics. Aminopenicillins such as Ampicillin and Amoxicillin have extended spectrum of action. Extended Spectrum Penicillins are effective against a broad range of bacteria including Pseudomonas Aeruginosa which affect patients with weakened immune systems.

Allergic reactions are common with Penicillins for susceptible individuals. Cephalosporins can cause seizures or affect the blood clotting time for susceptible patients.

  • Ampicillin
  • Bacampicillin
  • Carbenicillin Indanyl
  • Mezlocillin
  • Piperacillin
  • Ticarcillin

Penicillins and Beta Lactamase Inhibitors

  • Amoxicillin-Clavulanic Acid
  • Ampicillin-Sulbactam
  • Benzylpenicillin
  • Cloxacillin
  • Dicloxacillin
  • Methicillin
  • Oxacillin
  • Penicillin G
  • Penicillin V
  • Piperacillin Tazobactam
  • Ticarcillin Clavulanic Acid
  • Nafcillin
  • Procaine Penicillin - Injectable form of penicillin that contains an anesthetic to reduce the pain of the injection. Procaine Penicillin dosage is usually between 600000 to 1 million units per day Intramuscular (IM) for about 10 days for most Upper respiratory tract infection and other simpler bacterial infections. P Penicillin must never be administered intravenously as it can result in anaphylactic shock.


Cephalosporins, one of the largest classes of Antibiotics are used to treat a long list of bacterial infections from around the year 1950. The latest in this class, Ceftaroline is a new fifth generation Cephalosporin - a broad spectrum Antibiotics that shows promise against Gram + bacteria including Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA),Vancomycin Intermediate S.Aureus (VISA), Vancomycin Resistant S.Aureus (VRSA)and Heteroresistant VISA (hVISA).

  • Cephalosporin I Generation Antibiotics
  • Cefadroxil
  • Cefazolin
  • Cephalexin
  • Cephalothin
  • Cephapirin
  • Cephradine

Cephalosporin II Generation Antibiotics

  • Cefaclor
  • Cefamandol
  • Cefonicid
  • Cefotetan
  • Cefoxitin
  • Cefprozil
  • Ceftmetazole
  • Cefuroxime
  • Loracarbef

Cephalosporin III Generation Antibiotics

  • Cefdinir
  • Ceftibuten
  • Cefoperazone
  • Cefixime
  • Cefotaxime
  • Cefpodoxime proxetil
  • Ceftazidime
  • Ceftizoxime
  • Ceftriaxone

Cephalosporin IV Generation Antibiotics

  • Cefepime
  • Cefluprenam
  • Cefozopran
  • Cefpirome
  • Cefquinome

Fourth generation Cephalosporin antibiotics are effective in the treatment of Encephalitis and Meningitis as they cross the blood-brain barrier.

Cephalosporin V Generation Antibioticsor New Generation Cephalosporins - NGCs

  • Ceftolozane
  • Ceftaroline
  • Ceftobiprole

The New Generation Cephalosporins show considerable efficacy against a host of bacteria - from MRSA to respiratory pathogens like Streptococcus Pneumoniae, Haemophilus Influenzae and Moraxella Catarrhalis.
β lactam antibacterial resistance: These fifth generation Cephalosporins inhibit the cell wall synthesis of Penicillin Binding Proteins (PBPs). For example, Ceftaroline's anti MRSA efficacy stems from its high affinity for the MRSA associated (Penicillin Binding Proteins)PBP2a. It may have affinity greater than 256 times over other β lactams.

Ceftaroline is effective against the following:

Gram Positive Bacteria which cause skin infections:
Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and resistant isolates
Streptococcus Pyogenes
Streptococcus Agalactiae

Gram Positive Bacteria which cause Community Acquired Bacterial Pneumonia (CABP):
Streptococcus Pneumoniae
Staphylococcus aureus(methicillin susceptible isolates)

Gram Negative Bacteria:
Klebsiella Pneumoniae
Klebsiella Oxytoca
Escherichia Coli
Haemophilus Iinfluenzae
Escherichia Coli

Macrolides and Lincosamines

Macrolide Antibiotics have macrocyclic lactone chemical structure. Erythromycin and the newer antibiotics belonging to this broad spectrum class - Azithromycin and Clarithromycin are widely used for their higher level of lung penetration. Erythromycin may rarely result in Myasthenia gravis while Azithromycin may rarely result in Angioedema (Patches of swelling of the skin, mucus membranes and internal organs), Anaphylaxis (hypersensitive reaction due to contact through allergens) or other allergic reactions.

  • Azithromycin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Clindamycin
  • Dirithromycin
  • Erythromycin
  • Lincomycin
  • Troleandomycin

Quinolones and Fluoroquinolones

Fluoroquinolones are synthetically manufactured broad spectrum Antibiotics. Lomefloxacin is reported to cause increased photosensitivity and in some cases may result in convulsion.

  • Cinoxacin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Enoxacin
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Grepafloxacin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Lomefloxacin
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Nalidixic acid
  • Norfloxacin
  • Ofloxacin
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Trovafloxacin
  • Oxolinic acid
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Perfloxacin

Beta lactam Antibiotics: Carbepenems



List of Antibiotics Antibiotics list

Aminoglycosides : These antibiotics are specifically used to target aerobic, Gram-negative bacteria. Generally useful against Pseudomonos, Acinetobacter and Enterobacter amongst others. Streptomycin is effective to control tuberculosis causing mycobacteria. Antibiotic treatment with Aminoglycosides often involves the use of another antibiotics for overall better synergetic effect.

  • Amikacin
  • Gentamicin
  • Kanamycin
  • Neomycin
  • Netilmicin
  • Streptomycin
  • Capreomycin Sulfate
  • Tobramycin
  • Paromomycin

Details on Specific Antibiotic Therapy

Gentamicin: Gentamicin is the antibiotic of choice for the treatment of some kind of blood infections caused by gram negative bacilli like the following:

  • Citrobacter freundii
  • Acinetobacter species
  • Enterobacter species
  • Escherichia coli
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Proteus mirabilis
  • Providencia stuartii
  • Pseudomonas Aeruginosa
  • Serratia species

Gentamicin is often used along with beta-lactam antibiotics for better efficiency.

Conventional Dosage: It should be noted that a typical dosage of Gentamicin is usually given 2 to 3 times a day by IV (intravenous) or IM (intramuscular) injections to achieve peak blood concentration between 5.0 μg/mL and 12.0 μg/ml. The dosage mentioned here depends on the type of infection and on other factors like the patient's renal function. Gentamicin is sometimes given at a higher dose than the suggested common dosage - 5-7mg/kg of body weight once per day - termed as pulse dosing for patients with good tolerance and good renal function. Risk of excessive dosage in the case of Gentamicin is Ototoxicity (damage to the inner ear) and Nephrotoxicity (damage to kidneys).



  • Demeclocycline
  • Doxycycline
  • Methacycline
  • Minocycline
  • Oxytetracycline
  • Tetracycline
  • Chlortetracycline

Tetracyclines are not normally prescribed for children under the age of 8 due to the permanent tooth discoloration these drugs cause.


  • Mafenide
  • Silver Sulfadiazine
  • Sulfacetamide
  • Sulfadiazine
  • Sulfamethoxazole
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Sulfisoxazole
  • Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole
  • Sulfamethizole


Rifampin also known as Rifampicin (Rifadin)


Quinopristin Dalfopristin

Other Antibiotics

  • Bacitracin
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Fosfomycin, Fosfomycin Tromethamine
  • Isoniazid
  • Methenamine
  • Metronidazol
  • Mupirocin
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Nitrofurazone
  • Novobiocin
  • Polymyxin
  • Spectinomycin
  • Trimethoprim
  • Colistin
  • Colistimethate
  • Cycloserine
  • Capreomycin
  • Ethionamide
  • Pyrazinamide
  • Para-aminosalicyclic acid
  • Erythromycin ethylsuccinate

Topical Antibiotics: Many Antibiotics are available for external application on the skin which include:

Sodium sulfacetamide

Topical medications that act as Comedolytics as well as antibiotics:

Benzoyl peroxide
Azelaic acid
Benzoyl peroxide

Recommended Dosage : Antibiotics dosage is based on many factors:

  • Target Pathogen
  • Choice of Drug
  • Area of Infection
  • Severity of infection
  • Pertinent Patient conditions such as age, renal function
  • Route of administration

Many antibiotics can be administered parenterally - either through Intravenous (IV) or Intra muscular (IM) injections.

You may find some typical usage instructions, dosage, contra indications and side effects - if any for some of the antibiotics listed above in these pages.

Antibiotics for Anaerobic infections

Anaerobes - the kind of bacteria which can not grow in the presence of oxygen, can infect deep wounds and internal organs - sometimes resulting in gangrene, botulism, tetanus and almost all dental infections.
Some common Anaerobic infections

  • Pneumonia, Empyema, Bronchiectasis
  • Appendicitis, Peritonitis
  • Endometritis, Pelvic abscesses
  • Necrotizing Fascitis (destructive infection of the deep skin), Bacteremia (presence of Anaerobic bacteria in the blood)

Many antibiotics do not inhibit/control Anaerobes. But Chloramphenicol, Imipenem, Metronidazole, Clindamycin and Cefoxitin are effective against these bacteria.

New Antibiotics in pipeline: Pseudouridimycin (PUM) is a promising new Antibiotic which inhibits bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP). What is more, PUM in the research shows its ability to act against drug resistant bacterial pathogens.

Cat Scratch Disease

Cat scratch disease (CSD), also called Cat Scratch Fever, is a bacterial infection passed on to people from cats that are infected with Bartonella henselae bacteria, one of the most common bacteria in the world. The Bartonella genus encompasses at least 11 species out of which 4 cause infections in human. They are responsbile for diseases such as bacillary Angiomatosis.

When the cat infected with Bartonella henselae bacteria scratches or bites the person or saliva of an infected cat enters an open sore or wound of the person, the bacteria gets transmitted causing cat scratch disease. Cats are believed to contract these bacteria from infected fleas and nearly 40 percent of cats carry the bacteria at some time in their life span. When compared to adult cats, kittens are more prone to carry the bacteria and transmit the disease. Cat's sharp teeth result in deep puncture wounds which can get serious infections if left untreated.


The first symptoms of cat scratch disease surface after three to 14 days of coming into contact with the infected cat. Cat scratch disease can cause serious symptoms in people with impaired immune system such as cancer patients and HIV patients. The infection may be fatal and lead to inflammation of brain, spleen, liver, lungs, and bone marrow. Hence such cases require immediate medical attention and early treatment in case of suspicion.

  • Papular lesion of the skin, at the site of the injury
  • Swelling of lymph nodes near the bite. Most often lymph nodes located under arms, groin or neck are affected.
  • Tired feeling
  • Headaches
  • Low-grade fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss


It is difficult to establish the diagnosis of cat scratch disease as causative bacteria cannot be easily cultured from human lymph node samples. Therefore diagnosis is done based on the history of contact with a cat and the presence of a scratch or primary lesion of the skin, eye or mucous membrane. Serological test and epidemiological, histological findings are taken into consideration before conforming the diagnosis.


Cat scratch disease is self limiting and usually regresses over few weeks. The condition does not require antibiotic treatment unless the patient is suffering from weakened immune system. Analgesics along with local heat application are recommended to relieve the pain of enlarged lymph nodes.


Cat scratch disease is not contagious from person to person. The bacteria is transmitted only by the scratch or bite of an infected cat, most often kitten. Keep your pet cats free of fleas. Avoid rough play with the cats. Scratches from cat, if any, should be washed immediately and cats should not be allowed to lick open wounds.


Probiotics can be classified as a set of functional food which has live bacteria that are beneficial and not harmful to the human beings. The first ever probiotic food introduced was adding acidophilus to the milk, this helped people develop better tolerance towards milk and also helped people who found it difficult to digest milk. Majority of the probiotic food available in the market is fermented partially. Food items that contain probiotic bacteria are mainly dairy products such as probiotic added fluid milk and yogurt. Two main bacteria that are probiotic are lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. These are a component of the lactic acid bacteria and are present in fermented dairy products. Probiotics have multiple advantages as listed below:

  • Probiotics help keep up the balance between harmful and beneficial bacteria in the gut thus maintaining a healthy digestive system.
  • Helps to remove gas and decomposes waste.
  • Consumption of probiotics is very useful and beneficial for people who have taken antibiotics for a long time.
  • Traveling abroad means facing travel induced diarrhea, probiotics help the body tackle this condition with ease.
  • Probiotics help in stimulating the immune system thereby reducing infections.
  • Useful in the treatment of diarrhea and infections in the GI tract.
  • Improves digestion of lactose and deals with lactose intolerance. Also improves overall digestion and in particular is good for improving digestion of fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
  • Helps prevention of colon cancer and prevents growth of substances that cause cancer.
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure in the human body.
  • Helps improve mineral and nutrient absorption and reduces inflammation.
  • Controls growth of harmful bacteria under stressful conditions.
  • Plays a role in balancing sex hormones thus improving fertility.
  • Infections such as athletes foot, candidiasis etc that is caused by yeast is kept at bay.
  • Controls growth of pathogenic bacteria and virus.
  • Crushes toxins and produces antibodies and anti carcinogens.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 22, 2019