Cephalosporins (generations and spectrum of activity)

Cephalosporins work much like penicillins, inhibiting peptidoglycan cell wall synthesis in bacteria (remember those sites of action and mechanisms?)

Of course the issue is that they just keep making new cephalosporins and each generation is a little bit different in terms of its spectrum and whether it’s better at fighting Gram positive or Gram negative bacteria. Generally the newer the generation, the more broad spectrum and less Gram positive coverage. To add another layer to the confusion, there are separate oral and IV cephalosporins for each generation and all of the cephalosporins are usually recognizable by starting with “CEF-” or “KEF-” (except for Suprax and Ancef, who ever came up with those brand names didn’t get the memo)

 

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5 thoughts on “Cephalosporins (generations and spectrum of activity)

  1. your drawings are awesome thank you for sharing….i have added them to my pinterest acct under medicine….you are MUCH appreciated….

  2. Nice pics! Very cool website…
    The only thing I would say about this one is that though ceftazidime has poorer gram positive coverage and has pseudomonas coverage, it is still considered a 3rd generation ceph. Cefepime would be considered the 4th generation with pseudomonas coverage and a bit better gram neg coverage than ceftazidime. Ceftaroline is the 5th generation, touted for its very broad spectrum including its MRSA and enterococcal coverage; it does not however cover pseudomonas. Hope this helps :)

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