How are antibiotics made?

how, where, with what, and by who are antibiotics made? links are helpful!

Answer by Melvan M. on Oct 14 2009


The overwhelming majority of antibiotics are made from living organisms such as bacteria about 90% of antibiotics are isolated from bacteria fungi, and molds. Others are produced synthetically, either in whole or in part.

At one time all antibiotics were made from living organisms. This process, known as biosynthesis, is still used in the manufacture of a number of antibiotics. In this method, it is actually the organisms themselves that manufacture the antibiotic. The laboratory technician merely provides favorable conditions for the organisms to multiply, and then extracts the drug. For example, mold organisms are placed in a medium (a substance used for the growth of microorganisms) such as corn liquor to which milk sugar has been added. This mixture forms a liquid that is put into a tank, which is kept at a temperature of25 degrees Centigrade (77 degrees Fahrenheit) and shaken for over 100 hours.The mold organisms multiply rapidly in this warm liquid, producing penicillinin the process.

All types of penicillin have an identical ring. However, in each type of penicillin, the chemical chain attached to the ring is different. By modifying the molecules of the chain, scientists are able to create drugs with a wide range of effects on a variety of organisms. Some of these drugs are useful in treating infections.

Pharmaceutical companies use computer-generated images of the rings and experiment with a countless variety of possible chains. Researchers have developed antibiotics with long half-lives (period of effectiveness), which means that the medication can be taken every 24 hours instead of every few hours. The newer antibiotics are also more effective against a wider range of infections than were earlier drugs.


The body's balance between health and illness is called homeostasis. Homeostasis largely depends on the relationship of the body to the bacteria with which it lives. For example, bacteria are always present on human skin. When the skin is cut, the bacteria are able to enter the body and may cause infection.The invading bacteria are usually destroyed by blood cells called phagocytes and by various actions of the immune system. However, when there are too many bacteria for the system to handle, illness results and antibiotics are needed to help restore homeostasis.

Antiobiotics can be bacteriostatic (prevent bacteria from multiplying) or bactericidal (kill bacteria). For most infections, these two types of antibiotics appear to be equally effective, but if if the immune system is impaired orthe individual has a severe infection, a bactericidal antibiotic is usually more effective. Bactericidal drugs, however, may be bacteriostatic against certain microorganisms, and vice versa.

In most infections, including certain types of pneumonia (pneumococcal) and urinary tract infections, there seems to be no advantage of bactericidal overbacteriostatic drugs. However, bactericidal activity seems to be necessary in infections in which host (the organism from which the bacteria obtains its nourishment) defense mechanisms are at least partially lacking locally or systemically (in the whole system), for example, endocarditis (inflammation of the lining membrane of the heart), meningitis (inflammation of the membranes of the spinal cord or brain), or serious staphylococcal infections.

Each of the various types of antibiotics kill microorganisms in a unique way.Some disturb the structure of the bacterial cell wall; others interfere with the production of essential proteins; and still others interfere with the transformation (metabolism) of nucleic acid (substances found in the cells of all living things).

It is believed that antibiotics interfere with the surface of bacteria cells,causing a change in their ability to reproduce. Testing the action of an antibiotic in the laboratory shows how much exposure to the drug is necessary to decrease reproduction or to kill the bacteria. Although a large dose of an antibiotic taken at one time might kill the bacteria causing an illness, the dose would most likely cause severe side effects. Therefore, antibiotics are given in a series of smaller doses. This method assures that the bacteria are either killed or reduced enough in number so that the body can repel them. on the other hand, when too little antibiotic is taken, bacteria can develop methods to protect themselves against it. Thus the next time the antibiotic is needed against these bacteria, it will not be effective.

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Answer by Tecla J. on Oct 14 2009

Antibiotic is a substance which is derived from living thing and used against living thing. So antibiotics are made by living fungi and used against bacteria.
The first antibiotic was penicillin prepared from fungus penicillinum notatum.
After that many antibiotics have been discovered.

From penicillin many other broad spectrum antibiotics have been formed through structural modification in laboratory. E,g amoxillin, ampicillin and cephalosporins are made from penicillin.

Several antibacterials (but not antibiotics) are made in laboratory from chemicals.

If you have an infection with a resistance to common antibiotics, do you need IV treatment always?

I am a school teacher that acquired microplasm pneumonia this past December 2007. SInce then, I have had a lung infection that did not repond to 4 different antibiotics. After a sputum culture, it was determined that the bacterial growth I have is resistant to most antibiotics. It is only suseptible to Gentamicin and Vancomycin. I need a course of IV antibiotics. Wondering if once you are treated with IV antibiotics you will always need an IV course of antibiotics???

Not always. Different antibiotics treat different types of bacteria. The one that is causing your pneumonia is resistant to most antibiotics, and so for this you will probably need IV antibiotics (you can also get nebulised antibiotics, which can treat bacteria in the lungs).

If you get an infection in the future (pneumonia, or anywhere else in the body), the bacteria that causes this may be a different one, and may therefore be able to be treated with some other oral antibiotics.

What antibiotic is prescribed to treat bronchitis?

Can Clindamycin be used to treat bronchitis? What's the best way to get rid of bronchitis?

If you have no other health problems, experts recommend that antibiotics not be used for acute bronchitis. Whether your doctor prescribes antibiotics and what type depend on the type of infection you have, your age, any other medical conditions you have, and your risk of complications from acute bronchitis, such as pneumonia.

How Well It Works

Research on antibiotics and acute bronchitis reports that:

* Antibiotics reduce coughing slightly, but most people who have bronchitis improve without antibiotics.

* In people who also have symptoms of a common cold but have no signs of pneumonia, antibiotics generally are not effective.

In case you need antibiotics, Clindamycin is O K, but there are better antibiotics.

Antibiotics? Yes? No???????????????

i want to know some more about antibiotics -what purposes are antibiotics used for? -why have some antibiotics stopped working as effectively? -what other ways can cure illnesses besides antibiotics? -why are antibiotics given to farm animals -should antibiotics be given to animals and sprayed on fruits and vegetables? - what would happen if all the antibiotics stopped working? - what has caused an increased resistance to some antibiotics throughout the world? can someone help me find sites with more information.?

Antibiotics are used to treat infection due to bacteria. They are also used prophylactically to prevent postoperative infection, or infection of implants or damaged heart valves when bacteremia is anticipated.

Antibiotics work less effectively because bacteria evolve quickly, gain resistance, and can share that resistance amongst themselves.

Bacterial illnesses require antibiotics. Non-bacterial illnesses should NOT get antibiotics, but many people want them to "treat" colds, even though they do no good.

I don't like the practice of factory farming, and feeding our beef and poultry antibiotics, and there's no good reason that I know of to spray them on fruits and veggies. That reminds me to plant a garden this year.

Many antibiotics have already become ineffective for a lot of infections. This means that infections get more difficult to treat, and require stronger antibiotics or combinations of antibiotics. If all antibiotics stopped working, we'd be back to 1800's conditions, with more deaths caused by pneumonia and other infections that we can treat now.

Can you drink while on Antibiotics?

Can you drink on antibiotics? I'm on Azithromycyn and been for 3 days, can I drink alcohol? Thanks?

I do not think that actually drinking alcohol while taken antibiotics is dangerous. I have had two dental surgeries in the last month by two different dentists that prescribed antibiotics, and neither dentist warned me to not have a drink. If you, your wife or girlfriend is taken birth-control medication and antibiotics at the same time, you could become a new father or mother. My sister-in-law once did the same and took birth-control medication after breakfast, took antibiotics for an infection, and had a drink to cheer-up, and became pregnant. The alcohol was mute, but the antibiotics killed the effect of the birth-control pills.

Why do antibiotics work against bacteria but not against viruses?

The title says it all. This is not for homework or anything, but I heard my doctor say that if I take antibiotics for viral infections they won't do any good with treating them.

All antibiotics work by interrupting some process within the bacterial cell. Some antibiotics disrupt the formation of the cell wall, some interfere with protein synthesis, and some interfere with DNA replication. The reason that antibiotics do not work on viruses is because both viruses and animal cells lack the specific cell machinery that antibiotics work on.

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