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Antibiotics for Anaerobic Bacterial Infection

written by: Vasanth • edited by: dianahardin • updated: 12/18/2010

Antibiotics for anaerobic bacterial infection include metronidazole and clindamycin. These drugs are used to fight bacteria that thrive in environments devoid of oxygen. Combo drugs such as Piperacillin/tazobactam, ampicillin/sulbactam, and amoxicillin/clavulanate are effective as well.

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    Metronidazole

    One of the antibiotics for anaerobic bacterial infection is metronidazole, which is the generic name of Flagyl. It is a prescription drug prescribed for individuals suffering from abscesses in the abdomen, liver, pelvis, or brain formed by anaerobic bacteria. The drug is also used to treat other types of infection such as Giardia infections and bacterial vaginosis.

    Some of the side effects of metronidazole include headaches, loss of appetite, nausea, and a metallic taste. Metronidazole interacts with other drugs including warfarin, cimetidine, cholestyramine, and amprenavir. Metronidazole should not be taken by pregnant or nursing mothers because of the risk of passing the drug to the baby. The drug isn't prescribed for those that have allergies to nitroimidazole derivatives.

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    Clindamycin

    Clindamycin is another antibiotic used to treat an anaerobic bacterial infection. The brand name of the drug is Cleocin. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of new bacteria.

    When taking this drug, there is a risk of developing a severe condition called clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are common symptoms when taking clindamycin. Clindamycin may interact with erythromycin, and the drug isn't prescribed for those allergic to clindamycin or lincomycin.

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    Piperacillin/Tazobactam

    Piperacillin and tazobactam are given together as injectable antibiotics for anaerobic bacterial infection. The brand name of the drug combination is Zosyn, and it contains the antibiotic piperacillin sodium and the β-lactamase inhibitor tazobactam sodium.

    Some of the side effects of the drug include skin rash, nausea, and vomiting. Individuals that have allergies to penicillin, cephalosporin, or β-lactamase inhibitors should not take this drug. Piperacillin and tazobactam interacts with several drugs including probenecid and vecuronium.

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    Ampicillin/Sulbactam

    Ampicillin and sulbactam are given together in an injectable form to treat bacterial infections. The drug combination is branded as Unasyn and is given either intravenously or as a shot into muscle. The components of the combination are the antibiotic ampicillin sodium and the beta-lactamase inhibitor sulbactam sodium.

    The side effects of ampicillin and sulbactam injection are rare and generally include pain at the injection site, diarrhea, and skin rash. Probenecid interacts with ampicillin and sulbactam, resulting in an increased concentration of the antibiotics in the blood. This drug is not given to individuals with penicillin allergies.

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    Amoxicillin/Clavulanate

    Amoxicillin and clavulanate are given together as a tablet to treat bacterial infections. It is branded as Augmentin and contains the antibiotic amoxicillin and the β-lactamase inhibitor, clavulanate potassium. The drug is given orally.

    The side effects of this drug occur rarely and generally include skin rash, diarrhea, and nausea. When taken with probenecid, the levels of amoxicillin increase in the blood. This drug isn't prescribed for those allergic to penicillin or have a history of cholestatic jaundice/hepatic dysfunction.

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    Reference

    1. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/810704-overview

    2. http://www.medicinenet.com/metronidazole/article.htm

    3. http://www.medicinenet.com/clindamycin-oral/article.htm

    4. http://www.rxlist.com/zosyn-drug.htm

    5. http://www.rxlist.com/unasyn-drug.htm

    6. http://www.rxlist.com/augmentin-drug.htm