Antibiotics News

Antibiotics are medications that are used to treat bacterial infections, as well as certain fungal or parasitic infections. They do not fight infections that are caused by viruses, such as those that cause colds and flu. Though they are common, antibiotics are generally regarded as a strong medication. They are available only with a prescription from a health care provider.

Types of Antibiotics

Antibiotics are typically classified based on the type of organism that they're designed to kill. For example, antibacterials are the most commonly prescribed type of antibiotic. Ampicillin and penicillin are two of the many examples of antibacterial antibiotics. There are also antibiotics designed to fight fungal infections (antifungals) or parasitic infections (antiparasitics).

Some antibiotics are designed to fight many different types of organisms. These are known as broad-spectrum antibiotics. Others, which fight just a few types of organisms, are classified as narrow-spectrum antibiotics.

Concerns About Antibiotics

Antibiotics are useful drugs, and there’s no question that they have saved many lives. For example, 90 percent of children who developed bacterial meningitis used to die before the development of antibiotics. Strep throat was also sometimes a fatal disease. This is rarely the case today thanks to antibiotics.

However, antibiotics have led to some concerns in recent decades, and that’s because of the development of strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In some cases, the development of these bacteria can be tied directly to the overuse of antibiotics, as well as antibiotics being prescribed incorrectly. These bacteria can be dangerous because the typical medication to treat them may no longer be effective. In many instances, though, an alternative antibiotic may be helpful in ending the bacterial infection. The situation with antibiotic resistance has been improving thanks to health care providers cutting back on unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions (such as for viral infections like the cold and flu).

SOURCES: American Academy of Family Physicians; American Academy of Pediatrics

Date Posted
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9/5/2018
8/29/2018
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5/11/2018
Antibiotics and Kidney Stones

Using certain antibiotics may increase the risk of kidney stones, new study finds.

4/27/2018
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10/9/2017
Penicillin Misconceptions May Raise Post-Op Infection Risk

Many patients wrongly report a drug allergy, leading doctors to use inferior meds, study finds

10/5/2017
Helping Preemies Avoid Unnecessary Antibiotics

3 factors predicted when infant was at low risk of serious infection called sepsis

10/4/2017
Coming Soon: A Faster Test for Antibiotics Against UTIs?

In the future, identifying which drug works best might take minutes rather than days, research suggests

9/8/2017
Guinea Pigs Harbor a Hidden Health Hazard

Three Europeans were hospitalized due to infections from these pets

9/8/2017
Health Tip: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

How you can help prevent health risks

9/5/2017
Throat Bacteria Linked to Bone and Joint Infection in Kids

Study found one particular germ in 70 percent of children with additional infections

9/5/2017
White Kids More Likely to Get Unneeded Antibiotics

Study finds more evidence of racial disparities in ERs

8/30/2017
Antibiotic Vabomere Approved

For complicated urinary tract infections

8/8/2017
Antibiotic Doesn't Prevent Lung Complication After Stem Cell Transplant

Findings were so dismal that clinical trial was stopped early

7/17/2017
Some Medicines Boost Sensitivity to Sun

When taking medication, check with pharmacist to see if sun exposure is an issue

7/3/2017
Is Your Child's 'Penicillin Allergy' Real?

Follow-up of 100 kids found none were allergic

6/29/2017
Antibiotics Improve Treatment of Skin Abscesses

Drainage alone resulted in worse recovery rates, study finds

6/15/2017
U.S. Hospitals Still Prescribe Too Many Antibiotics: Study

1 in 5 patients experiences side effects from the drugs, which often aren't necessary

6/14/2017
Hospitals Get Good News About Fighting Staph Infections

Resistance to key antibiotic treatments decreased -- a rarity, experts say

5/31/2017
1 in 4 Nursing Home Residents Has Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

More infection-prevention education and policies are needed, study findings suggest

5/30/2017
Scientists Tweak Antibiotic to Boost Power Against 'Superbugs'

New form of vancomycin hits bacteria in 3 ways, helping curb the threat of microbial resistance

5/22/2017
Overcrowded ERs Risky for Some Seriously Ill Patients

People with sepsis had to wait almost an extra hour for antibiotics in busy hospitals, study finds

5/22/2017
First-Try Antibiotics Now Fail in 1 in 4 Adult Pneumonia Cases

Patients typically helped by other means, but levels of drug resistance are concerning, researchers say

5/16/2017
Houston, You Have a 'Superbug'

Researchers don't know why strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is affecting this one U.S. city

5/1/2017
Some Antibiotics Linked to Miscarriage Risk

Study finds certain meds seem safer than others, but overall danger is low, researchers say

4/26/2017
Ick! Synthetic Mucus Could Battle Dangerous Bugs

Researchers are working on lab-grown versions to control disease-causing bacteria