When a person becomes ill, it may be due an infection, in other words, a rapidly reproducing body of bacteria in the body. To help counteract this bacterial growth, which may severely impact a person's health in a negative way, medical professions may prescribed an antibiotic. Two commonly prescribed antibiotics are azithromycin and doxycycline, and although both act to combat bacteria, they are different in chemical structure, mechanism of action, and spectrum of susceptible bacteria.
Azithromycin and doxycycline are powerful tools for winning the war against infection. Azithromycin is commonly known as a Z-Pack or Zithromax and belongs to a class of antibiotics known as macrolides. It is utilized to treat ear infections, sore throats, pneumonia, and other ailments caused by bacteria. The structure of this antibiotic is complex, and its mechanism of action is protein synthesis interference, which prevents bacterial replication.
Doxycycline is an antibiotic of the tetracycline group, marketed as the common brand name of Vibramycin. This antibiotic is used most commonly in the treatment of prostatitis and sinusitis and is additionally utilized for sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis and chlamydia. Although both substances use protein synthesis interference to cease bacterial replication, they do so in different ways.
Both azithromycin and doxycycline are broad spectrum antibiotics. This basically means that they are used for many different bacteria that cause a wide range of medical conditions. There are, of course, situations that render them ineffective, such as unique strains or antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Rare strains may need to be addressed through the use of antibiotics that are of another category.
Antibiotic resistance has come to the attention of medical professionals in relatively recent times. Just as evolution suggests, organisms evolve in a manner that allows them the best chance for survival. Due to the common use of antibiotics such as azithromycin and doxycycline, bacteria too have evolved and become resistant to such treatments. This is dangerous because of the potential for bacteria that are not affected by any type of medical intervention, resulting in an infection that cannot be controlled through medicine.
Due to the risks involved with any medication, especially antibiotics, it is necessary that a patient consult a medical professional before the onset of any treatment measures. Although antibiotics may help treat potentially life-altering conditions, they may also adversely affect an individual in ways that outweigh the positives. All of these factors should be considered before making the decision to take antibiotics.