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Cephalosporins

INTRODUCTION

Beta-lactam antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs, grouped together based upon a shared structural feature, the beta-lactam ring. Cephalosporins cover a broad range of organisms, are generally well-tolerated, and are easy to administer; thus, these agents are frequently used beta-lactam drugs.

The classification, spectrum of activity, and pharmacology of the cephalosporins will be reviewed here. The mechanisms of action and resistance and major adverse reactions of the beta-lactam antibiotics, and the penicillins and other beta-lactam drugs are discussed separately. (See "Beta-lactam antibiotics: Mechanisms of action and resistance and adverse effects" and "Penicillins" and "Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases".)

CLASSIFICATION OF CEPHALOSPORINS

Cephalosporins include the closely related cephamycin compounds. The parenteral agents are commonly classified into the following categories:

First generation (cefazolin)

Second generation

              

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Literature review current through: Oct 2014. | This topic last updated: Apr 2, 2014.
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