Antibiotics are drugs that are used to kill the infection causing bacteria. This is done by killing the bacteria or by preventing them to replicate or reproduce further. Literally, antibiotics mean “against life”. Any medicine that results in destroying the germ cells in the body are known as antibiotics. The first antibiotics were discovered in around the year 1920. Moreover, they became easily available to the public around the time period of 1940s. As a result, life expectancy took a rise, surgeries got less riskier and infectious diseases were not seen as deadly diseases anymore.
1.How do antibiotics work
There are many different types of antibiotics, but they perform their task in two different ways:
- A bactericidal antibiotic, for instance penicillin, kills the bacteria present in the human body. These medicines are designed in a way that they will interfere with the production of the cell wall of the bacteria or even the contents of the cell. There is a molecule named peptidoglycan present in the cell wall of a bacteria that strengthens it and also helps the bacterial cell in opposing the osmotic pressure of the cytoplasm.
- On the contrary, bacteriostatic antibiotics are designed in such a way that they will stop the bacteria from any further multiplication in the body. Basically, in this process, the DNA replication of the bacteria is prevented. For example, ciprofloxacin. This method may not be effective in curing the disease but these drugs are beneficial in means of preventing the bacteria to spread in the entire body.
2.What happens when an antibiotic enters the human body
Antibiotics start their function as soon as you start to use them. But this does not mean that they will work immediately, it might take two to three days to make an infectious person feel better. This usually depends on the type of infectious disease the patient is suffering from. Antibiotics are taken orally and reach the stomach. From the stomach, the antibiotic is partially absorbed and then reaches the small intestine where main absorption occurs into the bloodstream. Now that the drug has entered the blood, it will sense the bacteria nearby it and attach to it. Now further actions depend on the type of antibiotic taken as per the infection, as mentioned above.
Antibiotic resistance is usually experienced due to misuse of the drug. The patient might feel a lot better in a few days of taking antibiotics but that definitely does not mean that they can quit the course of medicine prescribed by their doctor. This is a huge mistake done by many patients. This can result in antibiotic resistance. This means that the next time this patient gets ill with the same infectious disease, the same antibiotic may not effect them this time as it did before. This is because, leaving the prescribed medicine before time had given the remaining bacterial cells to generate resistance to the drug in the body.