Which medications in the drug class Penicillins, Amino are used in the treatment of Cellulitis?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Penicillins, Amino

The aminopenicillins, or third-generation penicillins, are semisynthetic modifications of natural penicillin that have a broader spectrum of activity.

Amoxicillin (Moxatag)

Amoxicillin is a derivative of ampicillin and has a similar antibacterial spectrum—namely, certain gram-positive and gram-negative organisms. It has superior bioavailability and stability to gastric acid and has a broader spectrum of activity than penicillin. Amoxicillin is somewhat less active than penicillin against Streptococcus pneumococcus. Penicillin-resistant strains also are resistant to amoxicillin, but higher doses may be effective. It interferes with the synthesis of cell wall mucopeptides during active multiplication, resulting in bactericidal activity against susceptible bacteria.

Amoxicillin and clavulanate (Augmentin)

Amoxicillin inhibits bacterial cell wall synthesis by binding to penicillin-binding proteins. The addition of clavulanate inhibits beta-lactamase–producing bacteria. Resistance is caused by a change in penicillin-binding proteins. It is recommended for bites from cats, dogs, and humans.

Ampicillin and sulbactam (Unasyn)

This is a drug combination of a beta-lactamase inhibitor and ampicillin. It interferes with bacterial cell wall synthesis during active replication, causing bactericidal activity against susceptible organisms. It is an alternative to amoxicillin-clavulanate if the patient is unable to take medication orally. It covers skin, enteric flora, and anaerobes. It is ideal for mammalian bite wounds, but it is not ideal for nosocomial pathogens because of increasing rates of resistance of gram-negative organisms.

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