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The term broad-spectrum antibiotic refers to an antibiotic with activity against a wide range of disease-causing bacteria. It is also means that it acts against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. This is in contrast to a narrow-spectrum antibiotic which is effective against only specific families of bacteria. A good example of a commonly used broad-spectrum antibiotic is levofloxacin.
Additional recommended knowledge
Broad-spectrum antibiotics are properly used in the following medical situations:
There has been a common usage of broad-spectrum agents in treatment of community acquired infections without attempting to culture or otherwise identify the causative bacteria. Over the years, this practice has contributed to the emergence of more drug resistant strains of bacteria, necessitating the development of newer broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Ideally, the spectrum should be "narrowed down" by identifying the causative agent of an infection, and then replacing the broad-spectrum antibiotic with an appropriate narrower-spectrum antibiotic. This is believed to limit the development of antibiotic resistance, although evidence for this practice is unclear.
In medicine, amoxycillin, levofloxacin. In veterinary medicine, Co-amoxiclav (e.g. Synulox, from Pfizer) (in small animals); penicillin & streptomycin (e.g. Streptacare from Animalcare Ltd) and oxytetracycline (in farm animals); penicillin and potentiated sulphonamides (e.g. Equitrim, Boehringer) (in horses).
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Broad-spectrum_antibiotic". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|