Macrolides - Antibiotics for Respiratory and Skin Infections

Macrolides are a group of antibiotics that inhibit bacterial protein synthesis by binding to the 50S ribosomal subunit.
Where to get
Prescription medication found in pharmacies.
Prepared by Shruti Sahoo, reviewed by Dr. Eugene Smith

Macrolides FAQ

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What is a macrolide antibiotic?

What are Macrolides? Macrolides are a class of antibiotics derived from Saccharopolyspora erythraea (originally called Streptomyces erythreus ), a type of soil-borne bacteria. Macrolides inhibit protein synthesis in bacteria by reversibly binding to the P site of the 50S unit of the ribosome.

What are macrolides used for?

Macrolides are also commonly used to treat sexually transmitted infections such as gonococcal and chlamydial infections. This activity reviews the mechanism of action, indications, contraindications, and other key factors (e.g., off-label uses, dosing, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, monitoring, relevant interactions) related to macrolides.

Are macrolides bactericidal?

Macrolides are bacteriostatic agents as they only inhibit protein synthesis, although, at high doses, they can be bactericidal.

Do macrolides inhibit protein synthesis?

Macrolide antibiotics inhibit protein synthesis by targeting the bacterial ribosomes (responsible for the synthesis of cellular proteins) and occluding the nascent peptide exit tunnel of the bacterial ribosome. Therefore, macrolides are often referred to as “tunnel plugs”. Macrolide antibiotics are known to have antiviral effects.

How do macrolides work?

Macrolides work by binding to a specific subunit of ribosomes (sites of protein synthesis) in susceptible bacteria, thereby inhibiting the formation of bacterial proteins. In most organisms this action inhibits cell growth; however, in high concentrations it can cause cell death.

Macrolides References

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