Effective Antibiotic Treatment for Common Infectious Diseases

Antibiotics are the best treatment option for common bacterial infectious diseases. Antibiotics not only kill the bacteria but also prevent them from multiplying. However, they also have some potential side effects and risks of interactions with other medications. Learn the common antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections and how you should use them in this article. Talk to a specialist for infectious diseases if you have any concerns.


Types of antibiotics

Here are the common types of antibiotics used for bacterial infections:

  1. Penicillins:

Penicillins are the most common medication for treating conditions like middle ear, kidney, and blood infections. It is very effective at killing staphylococci and streptococci infections. However, some bacteria develop resistance to penicillin due to overuse.

Here are the most common penicillin antibiotics, include:

  • Phenoxymethylpenicillin
  • Dicloxacillin
  • Amoxicillin with clavulanic acid
  • Ampicillin
  • Nafcillin
  • Oxacillin
  • Penicillin V
  • Penicillin G


You may experience some side effects with penicillin, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Yeast infection
  • Liver disease
  • Diarrhea


Penicillin may also cause allergic reactions, such as rashes, hives, and breathing difficulties. Some medications also interact with penicillin including oral contraceptives and the anti-inflammatories aspirin and probenecid.


  1. Cephalosporins:

This is often used to treat gonorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease, and sinusitis. It is also used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs), epididymo-orchitis, and cellulitis. Generally, doctors prescribe this medicine to people who are allergic to penicillin. Here are the common cephalosporin that doctors may prescribe:

  • Cefaclor
  • Cefazolin
  • Cefadroxil
  • Cephalexin
  • Cefuroxime
  • Cefixime
  • Cefoxitin
  • Ceftriaxone


  1. Tetracyclines:

It is a group of antibiotics with anti-inflammatory properties that are used to treat several bacterial infections like chest, urethral, and pelvic infections. It is also used to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and perioral dermatitis. Here are common tetracyclines doctors may prescribe:

  • Doxycycline
  • Minocycline
  • Sarecycline

Children under 12 and pregnant or breastfeeding females shouldn’t take tetracyclines because it can stain their/their baby’s developing teeth. It also causes inflammation or irritation of the esophagus. To prevent this, just take doxycycline while sitting or standing upright, and have plenty of water. It’s also a good idea to avoid sun exposure when taking doxycycline, as it causes photosensitivity, which leads to sunburn. Take this doxycycline after eating to prevent nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Minocycline has more side effects than doxycycline, while it is less risky causing photosensitivity. However, it can lead to adverse effects of minocycline including drug hypersensitivity syndrome, autoimmune reactions, dizziness, and headache. Long-term use may cause blue pigmentation of skin and nails.

Certain medications may interact with tetracyclines including:

  • Systemic retinoids, such as acitretin, isotretinoin, and alitretinoin.
  • Diuretics
  • Lithium
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Rifampcolestipoltipol
  • Oral contraceptives


  1. Macrolides:

This is also an antibiotic group of medication with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties which are used to treat strains of bacteria that are resistant to penicillin. It is suitable for people who are allergic to penicillin or cephalosporin.

These antibiotics are commonly used to treat skin, soft tissue, respiratory, and STIs including chlamydia. Doctors used them to treat skin conditions like acne, rosacea, erythrasma, and pityriasis lichenoides. Here are the common types of macrolides doctors may prescribe:

  • Erythromycin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Azithromycin
  • Fidaxomicin
  • Roxithromycin

Macrolides, in particular, erythromycin and clarithromycin, can adversely interact with certain medications. These reactions and toxicity are more common in older people who suffer from renal or liver dysfunction.

Some of the medications that may interact with macrolides include:

  • Calcium channel blockers such as verapamil.
  • Amiodarone
  • Methadone
  • Lithium
  • Amitriptyline
  • Citalopram
  • Anticoagulants such as warfarin and dabigatran
  • Digoxin
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Carbamazepine
  • Cimetidine
  • Clozapine
  • Colchicine
  • Theophylline


  1. Fluoroquinolones:

It’s also called quinolones, which fight bacterial infections that can be life-threatening or challenging to treat. However, they are also linked with antimicrobial resistance, which means you can’t take them unnecessarily unless it’s prescribed by the doctor.

This medicine is the first-line treatment for prostatitis, along with severe cases of salmonellosis and shigellosis. It is often prescribed to treat certain cases of epididymo-orchitis, gonorrhea, and tuberculosis. Sometimes, it also treats urinary, eye, and ear infections.

Here are the most common types of fluoroquinolones include:

  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Ofloxacin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Moxifloxacin

For people with renal dysfunction, taking fluoroquinolones may need adjustment to other medication dosages. And rarely, it may cause serious adverse effects, especially in older adults.

You may expect these side effects with this drug, including:

  • Tendon rupture
  • Aortic aneurysm rupture or dissection
  • Aortic and mitral regurgitation
  • Central nervous system excitation and seizures
  • QT prolongation
  • Other cardiac conditions


  1. Sulfonamides:

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

Here are the most common types of sulfonamides, including:

  • Sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Sulfacetamide
  • Sulfadiazine silver

This medication is not safe during pregnancy because it increases the risk of child loss. Its potential side effects include:

  • Candidiasis
  • Jaundice in newborns
  • Headaches
  • Anorexia
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Folate deficiency

Medications that may interact with this drug include:

  • Warfarin
  • Sulfonylurea hypoglycemic agents
  • Phenytoin
  • Methotrexate


  1. Glycopeptides:

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

It’s common types that doctors may prescribe include:

  • Vancomycin
  • Dalbavancin
  • Oritavancin
  • Telavancin


How to use them?

You should only take antibiotics when prescribed by the doctor when your bacterial infection is identified. It’s not effective on viral or fungal infections. Taking it without need can cause side effects and can lead to antibiotic resistance, which means bacteria develop resistance to the effects of an antibiotic and continue to grow.

That’s why doctors prescribe antibiotics when required. When you take antibiotics, here are certain things you should keep in mind, including:

  • Always follow the directions given by the doctor: You need to finish the medicine even if you feel better because stopping taking them too soon may cause some bacteria to survive and can re-infect you. You should also take the medication at the same time of the day, don’t skip, or take them
  • Don’t save any antibiotics for later.
  • Avoid sharing your antibiotics with others.
  • Don’t take antibiotics that are prescribed for someone else because it may delay the best treatment for you, or even make you even sicker, or cause side effects.
  • If you take metronidazole, then avoid drinking alcohol.
  • If you take tetracyclines, avoid dairy products that disrupt the absorption of the medication.


Doctors generally prescribe effective antibiotic treatment for common infectious diseases because the most common infectious diseases are bacterial infections which can be cured by antibiotics. This can kill bacteria and prevent them from multiplying. However, it needs to be correctly taken as prescribed by the doctor. You should also be aware of the potential side effects and interactions of antibiotics with other medications. Discuss them with the doctor before you take antibiotics.


Need help with infectious diseases, visit our infectious diseases specialist in Brooklyn clinic for proper professional treatment. Call us to book your appointment today. Visit our team of Specialists for infectious diseases at Doral Health & Wellness on 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212. We also offer other services, such as vaccinations, immunizations, and blood testing. Call us on 13473845690 to get a consultation from our clinic or log on to https://doralhw.org/.