How Do Aminopenicillins Work?
Aminopenicillins are a group of antibiotics in the penicillin family that have an additional amino group that enhances its antibacterial activity. They are used for a wide range of infections such as urinary, respiratory, skin, and gastrointestinal infections. These are chemically similar to penicillins but have a broader spectrum of activity.
Aminopenicillins were developed in the 1960s and have greater activity against gram-negative bacteria (such as Escherichia coli and Haemophilus influenzae) compared with gram-positive bacteria. Gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria are structurally different and classified depending on whether they get stained or not by a violet dye used in laboratory tests known as the Gram stain test.
Aminopenicillins work by inhibiting bacterial cell wall synthesis. The cell wall is the layer over the bacterial cell membrane, which protects them when they grow and helps maintain their shape. When the bacteria divide, it must temporarily create "holes" in its cell wall to allow for growth and separation of the cells. When a bacterium divides in the presence of aminopenicillin, it cannot fill in the "holes" left in its cell wall.
How Are Aminopenicillins Used?
- Infective endocarditis (infection and inflammation of heart lining, valve, or blood vessel)
- Meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord)
- Septicemia (a serious and life-threatening infection of the blood)
- Urinary tract infection
- Upper and lower respiratory infections (pneumonia, sinusitis, pharyngitis)
- Acute otitis media (a painful ear infection)
- Skin and skin structure infections
- Gastrointestinal infection
- Cellulitis (a painful bacterial infection of the skin)
- Bone and joint infections
- Postpartum endomyometritis (infection of the lining of the uterus after childbirth)
- Chronic bronchitis (inflammation of the bronchial tubes of lungs)
What Are Side Effects of Aminopenicillins?
Common side effects include:
- Skin rash
- Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
- Pain and redness at the site of injection
Other rare side effects include:
- Neutropenia (low levels of neutrophils which are white blood cells in the blood)
- Encephalopathy (a disease that affects the function or structure of the brain)
- Seizures (sudden uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain)
- Shortness of breath
- Oral thrush
The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.
Skin Problems and Treatments Resources