Many readers have asked us to explain the class names of antibacterial drugs and below we list some of the more familiar groups classified according to their different structures. Members of each group have the same mechanisms of action, in general are handled by the body in a similar way and have similar unwanted effects. An alternative classification is one based on clinical usage, for example antituberculous agents. The only characteristic that drugs in such a group need have in common is that they are effective against the named bacteria.
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