Cephalosporins are antimicrobial drugs with high antibacterial activity widely used to treat various bacterial infections in patients of all age groups.
Cephalosporins have a bactericidal action and inhibit the formation of the bacterial cell wall. They are similar to penicillins in structure. An important advantage of these antibacterial drugs is a high activity against microbes resistant to penicillins action.
Depending on the structure and the spectrum of action, five generations of Cephalosporins can be distinguished:
First generation Cephalosporins
These drugs are used to treat infectious and inflammatory diseases of the skin and soft tissues (pyoderma, cellulitis), as well as upper respiratory infections (tonsillitis, pharyngitis). First generation Cephalosporins can be prescribed to patients with osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, and prostatitis.
Second generation Cephalosporins
These drugs have a wide range of antibacterial activity against gram-negative microorganisms. Antibiotics of this subgroup can be used to treat respiratory tract infections (sinusitis, community-acquired pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
Third generation Cephalosporins
These drugs exceed other generations of cephalosporins against pneumococci and streptococci. They are used to treat severe infections of the urinary tract, abdominal abscess, and peritonitis. These drugs are effective in the treatment of bacterial meningitis and encephalitis.
Fourth generation Cephalosporins
This drug is used in the treatment of severe mixed community-acquired pneumonia, complicated pyelonephritis, pleurisy, and sepsis. It can also be used to treat infections in patients with neutropenia.
Fifth generation Cephalosporins
These drugs have high activity against MRSA. Due to this, they are widely used for the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections, as well as lower respiratory infections.
Pharmacies sell dozens of branded and generic cephalosporins; the most popular antibiotics among them are as follows:
Some cephalosporins are included in combination antibiotics used to treat complicated abdominal cavity or urinary tract infections. The most popular combined antibacterial drugs based on cephalosporins are as follows:
Cephalosporins are active against most significant aerobic community-acquired pathogens. Newer-generation cephalosporins have a broader spectrum of antibacterial activity.
Antibiotics of the cephalosporins class can be effective in the treatment of infectious diseases caused by:
Cephalosporins have low toxicity and can be used in combination with other antimicrobial agents. They are used in the therapy of bacterial infections of varying severity, including:
- bacterial septicemia;
- bone and joint infections;
- intra-abdominal infections;
- genitourinary tract infections;
- lower respiratory tract infections;
- central nervous system infections;
- skin and skin structure infections.
For the treatment of the above-mentioned infections, the following dosage forms of cephalosporins can be used:
Oral capsules and tablets
Oral suspension is usually used for uncomplicated bacterial infections in children and adolescents. Adult patients use cephalosporins in the form of oral capsules and tablets.
Some oral cephalosporins are poorly absorbed from the digestive tract, so they are used only as injections. For example, the fourth and fifth generation cephalosporins are available only as injections today.
Cephalosporins in injections can be used at the beginning of therapy, when it is necessary to quickly obtain an antibacterial effect or in the treatment of severe bacterial infections.
Cephalosporins remain some of the most popular medicines for the treatment of bacterial infections due to their high therapeutic efficiency and good tolerability.