Penicillin, antistaphylococcal penicillins, and broad-spectrum penicillins
- Alyssa R Letourneau, MD
Alyssa R Letourneau, MD
- Instructor of Medicine
- Harvard Medical School
- Stephen B Calderwood, MD
Stephen B Calderwood, MD
- Editor-in-Chief — Infectious Diseases
- Section Editor — Bacterial Infections
- Professor of Medicine (Microbiology and Immunobiology)
- Harvard Medical School
Beta-lactam antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs, grouped together based upon a shared structural feature, the beta-lactam ring. The classification, spectrum of activity and pharmacology of one group of beta-lactam antibiotics, the penicillins, will be reviewed here. The mechanisms of action and resistance and major adverse reactions of the beta-lactam antibiotics are discussed separately. (See "Beta-lactam antibiotics: Mechanisms of action and resistance and adverse effects".) The cephalosporins and other beta-lactam drugs are also discussed separately. (See "Cephalosporins" and "Combination beta-lactamase inhibitors, carbapenems, and monobactams".)
Penicillins can be classified into the following categories:
●Antistaphylococcal penicillins (nafcillin, oxacillin, cloxacillin and dicloxacillin)
●Broad-spectrum penicillins: second generation (ampicillin, amoxicillin and related agents), third generation (carbenicillin and ticarcillin) and fourth generation (piperacillin)To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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