Rx Bricks Podcast: Penicillins

Welcome to the fascinating world of cell wall synthesis inhibitors, where we will venture into the realm of one of the most clinically used antibiotics, the penicillins. They are broad-spectrum antibiotics, meaning they attack more than one species of bacteria. We’ll explore each drug, its mechanism of action, its side effects, and so on.

Penicillin structure consists of a fused ?-lactam ring (so it’s also called a ?-lactam antibiotic) and a thiazolidine ring (Figure 1). An amide and a carboxylic acid group are also present. The variation is mostly limited to the side chain (R) group of the amide, but prodrugs have been developed by modifying the carboxylic acid.

After listening to this AudioBrick, you should be able to:
  • Describe penicillins and list common examples.
  • Describe the pharmacokinetics and mechanism of action of penicillins.
  • Describe the major mechanisms of resistance of bacteria against penicillins and how they developed.
  • Differentiate the types of penicillins.
  • Describe the major clinical uses of penicillins, including major types of susceptible bacteria.
  • Describe the adverse reactions of penicillins.

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