Common Varieties of Antibiotics

Antibiotics are referred to those types of drugs that are used for the treatment of infections resulting from germicides (bacteria and parasites). Parasites are a variant of germs that need a host or another living organism to survive. At times, antibiotics are also referred as antibacterials or antimicrobials. They are available in different forms like capsules, liquids, tablets, and injections.

Antibiotics are usually given to patients in the form of injection when the infection is severe. They may also need to be hospitalized. Skin infections that are mild in nature can be treated using ointments, creams, and lotions. It is necessary to be aware that antibiotics can be used for curing infections that are caused only by bacteria and parasites. They are not useful when the infection is caused by virus or fungus.

Varieties of Antibiotics

The Different Types of Antibiotics

The market has antibiotics that go by several trade/brand names. According to their unique course of action, antibiotics are grouped together. Certain antibiotics only work against certain bacteria and parasites only. This is why the categorization is so important. Some of the popularly used antibiotics are mentioned below:


They are also referred as beta-lactum antibiotics. It comprises of 5 categories of medications such as, beta-lactamase inhibitors, penicillinase resistant penicillins, antipseudomonal penicillins, aminopenicillins, and natural penicillins. The names of a few drugs that fall under this class include:

  • Penicillin V potassium
  • Clavulanate/amoxicillin (Augmentin)
  • Amoxicillin


This class also constitutes of 5 different groups that target gram-negative infections. Some of the infections that are treated using this class of antibiotics include urinary tract infections, meningitis, ear infections, skin infections, strep throat infections, and so on. The drugs falling under this class are:

  • Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)
  • Cefuroxime (Ceftin)
  • Cefdinir (Omnicef)


The drugs present in this class are used for conditions such as eye infections, sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections, intestinal tract infections, acne, and periodontitis (gum disease). Some of the names of drugs in this class include:


Lincomycins are those drugs that are required for the treatment of some severe forms of infections that include bone infections, joint infections, lower respiratory tract infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, and intra-abdominal infections. Some of the drugs falling under this class are:

  • Clindamycin (Clocin)
  • Lincomycin (Lincocin)


This class is also called as fluroquinolones which is considered to be a broad activity spectrum. When certain types of urinary tract infections cannot be easily treated using other antibiotic medications, quinolones are administered. Some other conditions that can be cured with these drugs are bacterial prostate, hospital-acquired pneumonia, anthrax, and plague. Despite of being useful, the FDA has issued a strong warning against this class in the year 2016. Some of the drugs falling under this category are:

  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • Ciproflaxacin (Cipro)
  • Moxifloxacin (Avelox)


Sulfonamides are commonly used against UTIs, pneumocystis pneumonia, and ear infections. The drugs falling in this category are:

  • Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
  • Sulfisoxazole


Macrolides can be used for the treatment of certain susceptible skin infections. The drugs prescribed from this category are: