Saturday, March 1, 2008

How Do Drugs Work - Antibiotics - Aminoglycosides

Hello Everyone,

It's time to get back to how antibiotics work. Today we are going to talk about a class of antibiotics that many people don't know about or hear about often. The reason is that these drugs are given intravenously (IV). So, unless you or a family member have been sick with with an infection that required an aminoglycoside like gentamicin, tobramycin or amikacin, you will not be familiar with them. Neomycin is also an aminoglycoside and is mainly given for bowel prep before surgery.

Mechanism of Action: Aminoglycosides irreversibly bind to the 30S subunit of the bacterial
ribosome, which results in the bacteria being unable to synthesize certain proteins.

Spectrum of activity: gram-negative bacteria

Toxicity: Aminoglycosides can be toxic to the kidneys and can also cause hearing loss. Therefore when a patient is taking these medications, they are monitored closely for the amount of aminoglycosides in their blood. When these antibiotics are monitored properly they can be safely given.

Aminoglycosides are often given with other antibiotics. When combined, they have a synergistic effect. That means that both antibiotics dosed together are more effective than either antibiotic if given alone.

Stay tuned for the next post. Thanks,

Dr. Paul

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