MOA of Cephalosporin Antibiotics - P2
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Prokaryotic Cell, Mariana Ruiz

Sources & Resources
  • Bauman, R. (2014) Microbiology with Diseases by Taxonomy. Pearson Benjamin Cummings.
  • ​Park Talaro, K (2008) Foundations in Microbiology, McGraw Hill.

* The information in this article is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment of illness. If you are sick, seek help from a trained medical professional, not a computer.​

Cephalosporin core structure, where "R" is the variable group.
Cephalosporin core structure, where "R" is the variable group.
Page last updated: 8/2015

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Cephalosporin Mode of Action 
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Type of Infections Cephalosporins Are Used Against
Cephalosporins are used to treat a wide range of infections, including pneumonia, strep throat, various staph infections including those of the skin, tonsillitis, bronchitis and gonorrhea. Cephalosporin is also commonly used prophylactically with surgical procedures, as a preventative measure to avoid infection.

Antimicrobial Spectrum of Cephalosporins
First-generation cephalosporins are mainly effective against Gram-positive bacteria

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The generations to follow have successively increased activity against Gram-negative bacteria, with the trade-off of then being less effective against Gram-positive microbes.

Side Effects of Cephalosporins
Cephalosporins are similar to penicillin in action and side effects, and are often used in patients with and allergy to penicillin. The most common side effects of cephalosporin are mild diarrhea, headache, sore mouth or tongue, vaginal itching and discharge, white patches in the mouth and/or tongue. These vaginal and oral side effects are due to an increase in yeast population when competing bacteria are removed.