Quinolones are synthetic antibiotics with a broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. This class of antibiotics is prescribed to treat serious bacterial infections of various localization in humans and animals.
The quinolones class is represented by a variety of antimicrobials. The mechanism of action of antibiotics of this group is based on the violation of DNA synthesis of pathogenic bacteria that hinders their growth and division.
Since, most quinolones used in medical practice contain a “fluor” molecule in their structure – they are called Fluoroquinolones.
Non-fluorinated quinolones have a limited spectrum of antimicrobial activity and low bioavailability. They are used mainly to treat uncomplicated urinary tract infections.
Today, non-fluorinated quinolones are rarely used in clinical practice. They are replaced by less toxic and more effective antimicrobial agents with a wide spectrum of action – fluoroquinolones.
To date, it has been proposed to classify fluoroquinolone antibiotics for “Old” and “New ones”.
Older group Fluoroquinolones
They are most widely used for the treatment of uncomplicated or complicated infections of the urinary tract, pyelonephritis, otitis media, inflammations of the outer shells of the eye, prostatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, skin and soft tissue infections, as well as osteomyelitis.
Newer group Fluoroquinolones
Due to a wide spectrum of antimicrobial activity, antibiotics of this group are most often used in the therapy of acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, community-acquired pneumonia, acute sinusitis, appendicitis, and peritonitis.
Typical features of new fluoroquinolones are low toxicity, the presence of post-antibiotic effect and slow development of antimicrobial resistance.
Fluoroquinolones well penetrate into tissues and fluids of the body, into the lungs, respiratory and urinary tracts, pelvic organs, and bile. Antibiotics have a long half-life that allows to decrease the frequency of their use and increase the patient’s adherence to treatment.
Some new fluoroquinolones, such as Trovafloxacin, Lomefloxacin, and Temafloxacin were withdrawn from the US market because of their high toxicity. Antimicrobial agents approved today for use in the USA, are low toxic and safe.
The list of most popular Quinolones & Fluoroquinolones:
Antibiotics of the group fluoroquinolones can be prescribed for the treatment of infectious diseases caused by bacteria of the genus:
- Chlamydia spp.
- Mycoplasma sp.
- Chlamydophila sp.
- Moraxella catarrhalis
- Klebsiella pneumoniae
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Streptococcus pneumoniae
- Legionella sp.
- Streptococcus pyogenes
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis
- Some atypical mycobacteria
- Methicillin-sensitive staphylococci
Recently, these antimicrobial agents have not been recommended for gonorrhea treatment because of the frequent development of resistance of strains of infectious agents to Fluoroquinolones action.
High bactericidal activity, bioavailability, good tolerability and penetration into the organs and cells of the body allow to use fluoroquinolones to treat bacterial infections that affect:
Currently available in the United States, fluoroquinolones are produced in a variety of dosage forms that can be administered orally, parenterally or locally.
At pharmacies, fluoroquinolone antimicrobial agents are sold as:
- immediate release tablets
- extended-release tablets
- otic solution
- ophthalmic solution
- ophthalmic ointment
- solution for intravenous administration
- oral suspension
All dosage forms of Fluoroquinolone are highly effective and can be used to treat a wide range of hospital- and community-acquired infections.
Currently, Fluoroquinolones are considered as an alternative to other broad-spectrum antibiotics in the treatment of severe infections.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration calls for limiting the use of these antibacterial agents in the therapy of uncomplicated infections and recommends to use them for the treatment of drug-resistant infections only.