About all

List of different types of antibiotics: What Are the Most Common Antibiotics?


What Are the Most Common Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are a common, important group of medicines that treat bacterial infections. Some antibiotics attack or break down the cell walls of bacteria, while others inhibit their protein production. This kills the bacteria or keeps it from reproducing and spreading.

Oral antibiotics are available in liquid, tablet, and capsule form. Topical antibiotics include skin creams, sprays, and ointments. Eye ointments, eye drops, and ear drops are also available. Severe infections may require injected or intravenous antibiotics.

Healthcare professionals prescribe different antibiotics to treat conditions such as strep throat, bronchitis, and inner ear infections. In this case, these infections are moderate to severe and have not improved with other treatments.

Antibiotics do not treat viral illnesses, such as a cold, the flu, or mono.

These drugs are grouped according to their antibacterial activity and chemical structure. Specific antibiotics fight certain bacteria, which makes it important to take the right kind. A healthcare professional may ask for a lab culture test to determine which antibiotics you need.

Read on to learn more about the most common types of antibiotics and which infections they treat. We also explore the common side effects of antibiotics, which can include gastrointestinal problems like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as more serious effects.

Here are some types of antibiotics that doctors prescribe most often.


Penicillins are a common treatment for a variety of skin conditions. They also treat middle ear, kidney, and blood infections. Penicillin antibiotics are effective at killing Staphylococci and Streptococci infections. But some bacteria are resistant to penicillin, due to overuse.

Common penicillin antibiotics include:

  • phenoxymethylpenicillin
  • dicloxacillin
  • amoxicillin with clavulanic acid
  • ampicillin
  • nafcillin
  • oxacillin
  • penicillin V
  • penicillin G

Potential side effects include:

  • nausea
  • abdominal discomfort
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • yeast infection
  • liver disease

Penicillin may cause allergic reactions, such as rashes, hives, and breathing difficulties.

Some medications that may interact with penicillin include oral contraceptives and the anti-inflammatories aspirin and probenecid.


Cephalosporins often treat gonorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease, and sinusitis. They also treat urinary tract infections (UTIs), epididymo-orchitis, and cellulitis. Often, doctors prescribe cephalosporins to people who are allergic to penicillin.

Common cephalosporin antibiotics include:

  • cefaclor
  • cefazolin
  • cefadroxil
  • cephalexin
  • cefuroxime
  • cefixime
  • cefoxitin
  • ceftriaxone


Tetracyclines are a group of antibiotics with anti-inflammatory properties that can treat several bacterial infections. They commonly treat chest, urethral, and pelvic infections. Tetracyclines also treat inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea, and perioral dermatitis.

Common tetracycline antibiotics include:

  • doxycycline
  • minocycline
  • sarecycline

Children under 12 and pregnant or breastfeeding people should not take tetracyclines because they have the potential to stain developing teeth.

They can also cause inflammation or irritation of the esophagus. To prevent this, make sure to take doxycycline while sitting or standing upright, and have plenty of water. Also, it’s a good idea to avoid sun exposure, since doxycycline causes photosensitivity, which can lead to sunburn.

Finally, it’s best to take this type of antibiotic after eating to prevent nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Minocycline has more potential side effects than doxycycline, though it’s less likely to cause photosensitivity. Possible adverse effects of minocycline include drug hypersensitivity syndrome, autoimmune reactions, and dizziness and headache. Also, using it for a long period may cause blue pigmentation of skin and nails.

Medications that may interact with tetracyclines include:

  • systemic retinoids, such as acitretin, isotretinoin, and alitretinoin
  • diuretics
  • lithium
  • anticonvulsants
  • rifampicin
  • celestipol
  • oral contraceptives


Macrolides are an antibiotic group with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. They can treat strains of bacteria that are resistant to penicillin. They are also a suitable option for people who are allergic to penicillin or cephalosporin.

These antibiotics commonly treat skin, soft tissue, respiratory, and sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia. Healthcare professionals use them, for example, to treat skin conditions like acne, rosacea, erythrasma, and pityriasis lichenoides.

Types of macrolides include:

  • erythromycin
  • clarithromycin
  • azithromycin
  • fidaxomicin
  • roxithromycin

Macrolides, especially erythromycin and clarithromycin, can adversely interact with certain medications. Reactions and toxicity are more common in older adults and people with renal or liver dysfunction.

Medications that may interact with macrolides include:

  • calcium channel blockers, such as verapamil
  • amiodarone
  • methadone
  • lithium
  • amitriptyline
  • citalopram
  • anticoagulants, including warfarin and dabigatran
  • digoxin
  • benzodiazepines
  • carbamazepine
  • cimetidine
  • clozapine
  • colchicine
  • theophylline


Fluoroquinolones, also called quinolones, can fight bacterial infections that are life threatening or challenging to treat. However, they are linked with antimicrobial resistance, so you shouldn’t take them unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Fluoroquinolones are the first-line treatment for prostatitis, along with severe cases of salmonellosis and shigellosis. Doctors also often use them to treat certain cases of epididymo-orchitis, gonorrhea, and tuberculosis. Sometimes, fluoroquinolones treat urinary, eye, and ear infections.

Types of fluoroquinolone include:

  • ciprofloxacin
  • ofloxacin
  • levofloxacin
  • moxifloxacin

For people with renal dysfunction, taking this type of drug may require adjustments to dosages of other medications. And, rarely, fluoroquinolone can cause serious adverse effects, especially in older adults.

Potential side effects include:

  • tendon rupture
  • aortic aneurysm rupture or dissection
  • aortic and mitral regurgitation
  • central nervous system excitation and seizures
  • QT prolongation
  • other cardiac conditions


Sulfonamides, also called sulfa drugs, are a type of synthetic antimicrobial that doctors prescribe when first-line treatments are ineffective or contraindicated. The most common type is sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim, called co-trimoxazole. It treats conditions such as pneumocystis pneumonia and nocardiosis in people with weakened immunity, as well as infections of the lower urinary tract in children.

Types of sulfonamides include:

  • sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim
  • sulfasalazine
  • sulfacetamide
  • sulfadiazine silver

Sulfonamides are unsafe during pregnancy because they increase the likelihood of pregnancy loss.

Potential side effects include:

  • jaundice in newborns
  • candidiasis
  • folate deficiency
  • headaches
  • anorexia
  • hyperkalaemia

Medications that may interact with sulfonamides include:

  • warfarin
  • sulfonylurea hypoglycemic agents
  • phenytoin
  • methotrexate


Glycopeptide antibiotics treat drug-resistant bacteria and gram-positive infections, including multidrug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA.

Types of glycopeptides include:

  • vancomycin
  • dalbavancin
  • oritavancin
  • telavancin

Below, find answers to common questions about antibiotics.

What is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria survive or resist antibiotic treatment. Bacteria change and mutate to protect themselves after coming into contact with an antibiotic or other bacteria. Once a type of bacteria is resistant, it passes these genes to other bacteria, which continue to grow. Eventually, they create a new strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Misusing and overusing antibiotics increases the likelihood of antibiotic resistance. Over time, this may lead to a shortage of medications that can effectively treat common infections.

How can I prevent antibiotic resistance?

To prevent antibiotic resistance, avoid taking antibiotics unless it is essential. Don’t take them for viral infections, such as a cold or the flu. Always follow the instructions from your healthcare professional about how much to take when. To prevent infections, clean your hands and living spaces regularly, and take steps to strengthen your immune system.

Are there any natural antibiotics?

Natural antibiotics include honey, thyme essential oil, and oregano essential oil. Extracts of garlic, cranberry, and myrrh also have antibiotic properties. Several herbs are effective antibiotics, including echinacea, turmeric, and ginger.

Natural UTI treatments include D-mannose and uva ursi, along with green, parsley, mint, and chamomile teas.

You can experiment with different combinations of natural treatments to find out which are most effective for your needs.

Antibiotics kill bacteria and prevent them from multiplying. They are valuable drugs that treat bacterial infections. It’s crucial to use them correctly and follow the healthcare professional’s instructions carefully.

It’s also important to be aware of the potential side effects and interactions of antibiotics. Speak with your doctor if you have any related concerns.

Metronidazole for bacterial infection (Flagyl)

Swallow metronidazole tablets with plenty of water. Take them with a meal or a snack.

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking metronidazole, and for 48 hours after finishing your course of treatment.

Space your doses evenly throughout the day, and keep taking the medicine until the course is finished.

Metronidazole for bacterial infection
In this article
  • About metronidazole
  • Before taking metronidazole
  • How to take metronidazole
  • Getting the most from your treatment
  • Metronidazole side-effects
  • How to store metronidazole
  • Important information about all medicines

About metronidazole

Type of medicineAntimicrobial agent (antibiotic)
Used forTo treat or prevent infection
Also calledFlagyl®
Available asTablets, oral liquid medicine, suppositories, and injection

Metronidazole is an antibiotic used to treat a wide variety of infections caused by certain types of germ (anaerobic bacteria) and types of micro-organisms called protozoa. These types of organisms often cause infections in areas of the body such as the gums, pelvic cavity and tummy (stomach or intestines) because they do not need oxygen to grow and multiply.

Metronidazole is commonly prescribed to treat an infection called bacterial vaginosis. It is also prescribed before gynaecological surgery and surgery on the intestines, to prevent infection from developing. It can safely be taken by people who are allergic to penicillin.

Metronidazole is also used, alongside other medicines, to get rid of Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial infection often associated with stomach ulcers.

Metronidazole is available as a skin preparation also. This leaflet does not give information about metronidazole when it is used for skin conditions, but there is more information available in a separate leaflet called Metronidazole skin gel and cream.

Before taking metronidazole

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking metronidazole it is important that your doctor or dentist knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • If you feel you will be unable to stop drinking alcohol for the duration of your treatment.
  • If you have any problems with the way your liver works.
  • If you have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.

How to take metronidazole

  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The manufacturer’s leaflet will give you more information about metronidazole and a full list of metronidazole side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take the tablets or liquid medicine exactly as your doctor or dentist tells you to. The dose you are given will depend upon what type of infection you have, and how severe the infection is.
  • As a guide, a typical dose for an adult would be 400 mg two or three times a day, but your dose may be more or less than this. Doses for children depend upon the child’s age and weight. Your doctor will tell you what dose is right for you (or your child), and this will also be printed on the label of the pack to remind you.
  • Space your doses evenly throughout the day, and keep taking the medicine until the course is finished, unless you are told to stop by your doctor. Your symptoms may return if you stop taking metronidazole before the end of the course prescribed for you.
  • Most courses of metronidazole last for around seven days, but some may be as short as three days and some as long as 14 days. For certain infections you may be given a single, larger dose of metronidazole, usually five 400 mg tablets (2 g) to take at once.
  • Take each of your doses with a snack or just after eating a meal. Swallow the tablets whole (that is, without chewing or crushing them) with a full glass of water.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember and try to space your remaining doses evenly throughout the rest of the day. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.

If you have been given metronidazole suppositories

  1. Remove the suppository from its wrapping.
  2. Using your finger, gently push the suppository into your back passage (rectum) as far as is comfortable. Many people find that inserting a suppository is easier if they squat or bend forward.
  3. Remain still for a few moments to help you to hold the suppository in place.
  4. Wash your hands.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Important: do not drink alcohol while you are on metronidazole and for 48 hours after finishing your course of treatment. This is because drinking alcohol with metronidazole is likely to make you feel very sick (nauseated) and cause other unpleasant effects, such as the sensation of having a ‘thumping heart’ (palpitations), hot flushes and headache.
  • While you are taking metronidazole your urine may look a darker colour than normal. On its own this is nothing to worry about. However, if you also experience tummy (abdominal) pain, or if you feel sick (nausea) or feel generally unwell, you should let your doctor know.
  • If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with metronidazole. Some cough and cold preparations contain alcohol and should not be taken with metronidazole.
  • If you need to take metronidazole for longer than ten days, your doctor may want you to have some tests. Make sure you keep any appointments that your doctor gives to you.

Metronidazole side-effects

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the metronidazole side-effects. You will find a full list in the manufacturer’s information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Metronidazole side-effectsWhat can I do if I experience this?
Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting)Stick to simple foods. Make sure you take your doses after a meal or a snack
Changes in the way things taste, furred tongue, sore mouthAsk your pharmacist to recommend a suitable mouthwash
Lack of appetiteThis should soon pass, but in the meantime choose food that you usually enjoy

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store metronidazole

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Important information about all medicines

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Never keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

  • Manufacturer’s PIL, Flagyl® 200 mg and 400 mg Tablets; Sanofi, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated December 2021.

  • Medicines Complete BNF 85th Edition; British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.

What are antibiotics? – article on the website Aptechestvo, Nizhny Novgorod

Antibiotics are a group of drugs that are used in the treatment of bacterial infections. Bacteria are living microorganisms that, having penetrated into the human body, begin active life and reproduction. The effect of antibiotic therapy is the direct destruction of the pathogen, as well as slowing down the reproduction of pathogens. In connection with these antibacterial drugs are divided into 2 large groups: bactericidal – destroying the bacterium itself, as well as bacteriostatic, inhibiting their growth. In addition, antibiotics have a narrow and broad spectrum of action. Narrow-spectrum drugs destroy the infection selectively, while broad-spectrum drugs destroy most of the microorganisms, including those that benefit humans. What antibiotics to take for the treatment of various diseases should be decided by the doctor after the diagnosis. Taking such drugs at your own discretion is fraught with complications.


They suppress the activity of enzymes involved in the formation of bacterial DNA, as a result of which the infection dies. The drugs are available in the form of tablets, injections, ophthalmic drops. Indications for appointment:

This group of drugs:

  • Ciprofloxacin;

  • Ofloxacin;

  • Pefloxacin;

  • Norfloxacin.


Broad-spectrum agents that kill most types of Gram-negative aerobic and facultative bacteria. The active substance disrupts the process of protein synthesis, as a result of which the pathogen is destroyed and dies.

Aminoglycosides are poorly absorbed when taken orally, so, as a rule, they are prescribed as intravenous or intramuscular injections. Members of this group:

  • Amikacin;

  • Gentamicin;

  • Kanamycin;

  • Neomycin;

  • Plazomycin;

  • Streptomycin.

As a rule, these drugs are used in combination with other antibiotics to treat such infectious diseases:


Bacteriostatic antibiotics that retard the growth of pathogenic microorganisms, but do not completely destroy them. As a result, the reproduction of the infection stops, and it gradually dies.

Tetracyclines have a wide spectrum of activity, with pronounced activity against aerobic gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Tetracyclines are not prescribed for children under 8 years of age, since long-term use causes a number of serious complications.

The drugs of this group can be prescribed in tablet forms and in the form of injections. For the treatment of ophthalmic infections, ointments are produced, the active substance of which is tetracycline.


  • doxycycline;

  • minocycline;

  • Tetracycline;

  • Oxytetracycline.

Diseases for which tetracyclines are prescribed:


They suppress vital activity and prevent the reproduction of anaerobic and aerobic gram-positive bacteria. Preparations of this group are used in the treatment of bronchopulmonary infections, tonsillitis, otitis, scarlet fever, intestinal infections. Medicines that are included in this group:

  • Erythromycin;

  • Azithromycin;

  • Clarithromycin;

  • Spiramycin.


A group of antibiotics produced by the fungus Penicillium. Penicilli are active against most Gram-positive and some Gram-negative bacteria. This group of drugs:

  • Amoxicillin;

  • Augumetin;

  • Amoxiclav;

  • Flemoxin Slutab.


These are bactericidal beta-beta-lactam antibiotics that interfere with cell protein synthesis. There are 5 generations of cephalosporins. The active substance penetrates well into most body fluids, having a pronounced bactericidal effect. Cephalosporins are used for uncomplicated skin and soft tissue infections caused by staphylococcal and streptococcal bacteria. This group of drugs:

  • Ceftriaxone;

  • Cefodox;

  • Cefix;

  • Tsepefim.

Bacteria are organisms that do not live long, but in order to restore their population, they multiply rapidly, and, accordingly, quickly mutate, adapting to new living conditions. Microorganisms that survive after taking antibiotics become resistant to them. Their offspring also become immune to a particular drug.

Antibiotic resistance is a common problem of modern man, which causes serious complications. A person who has tried many antibiotics, that is, self-medicated, is at risk for patients with antibiotic resistance. Very often they die before a specialist can pick up a drug that works against a specific pathogen. Therefore, it is important to follow the recommendations of the doctor and take antibacterial agents strictly according to an individual scheme.

Page not found

There is no such page, but there are many others:

How to roll in and against

Pros and cons: is it necessary meet and see off loved ones at the airport and train station

What to do?

How to make your own stickers for Telegram?

Readers opened a business

“Sold to the next test subject”: 8 stories about buying a ready-made business ve with an income of about 35,000 ₽

manager of service 112 in Krasnodar with a salary of 40,000 ₽

How does a manager of service 112 in Krasnodar live with a salary of 40,000 ₽

How does a teacher live in Montenegrin Podgorica with a salary of 1000 €

How a teacher lives in Montenegrin Podgorica with a salary of 1,000 €

How the life of a marketer in Yekaterinburg has changed with a salary of 45,000 ₽

How has the life of a marketer in Yekaterinburg changed with a salary of 45,000 ₽


How to beat burnoutHow to make money on a credit cardHow to be an adultHow to start InvestingHow to beat burnoutHow to make money on a credit cardHow to be an adultHow to start investing


Is it worth buying a used car from an official dealer?


Opinion: in the current conditions, university teachers can hardly be better

Amazing stories 900 03

How a woman tried to leave an air conditioner unit on the front of the house. But it didn’t work out

Sports news

Two title fights: Volkanovski and Moreno will defend the championship belts at UFC 290

Discover the recipe

Marbella Chicken Recipe with Dates and Olives

Pop Culture

TNT will film a sequel to Happy Together, the sitcom The Bukins. Andreasyan brothers will take care of it

Important questions for the doctor

13 questions for rheumatologist Elena Vystavkina about how not to miss the disease

Traveling around the world

10 diseases and conditions that are dangerous to fly airplane

Readers write


“It’s a shame when they call us salesmen”: how much does a pharmacist earn


How to know you’re pregnant: 11 early symptoms

What do?