ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS 1 Antimicrobial Agents Walden University Advanced Pharmacology NURS-6521N-9 Courtney D. Daniel October 25, 2015
ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS 2 Antimicrobial Agents Antimicrobial agents have the capability of saving millions of lives with their use. In order for these agents to be successful, providers must be able to differentiate between the various categories so that prescribing is done adequately to ensure patients are treated with the appropriate medication. Antibiotics can be taken orally, intravenously, intramuscularly, or topically based from the type of infection present and what medication is being used. The purpose of this paper is to discuss categories of antimicrobial agents, differentiate between viral and bacterial infections, and to expound upon the importance of distinguishing between the two so that appropriate treatment can be administered. Categories of Antimicrobial Agents A ccording to Hicks, Taylor, and Hunkler (2013), health care providers prescribed 258.0 million courses of antibiotics in 2010, and penicillins and macrolides were the most common categories prescribed (p. 1461). The appropriate class of medicines is chosen based on a variety of factors. Arcangelo and Peterson (2013) state that the efficacy, toxicity, pharmacokinetic profile, and cost ultimately determine the agent of choice (p. 96). Antivirals, such as acyclovir, may be utilized to treat a viral infection, such as herpes simplex virus (HSV). Acyclovir can be used topically, orally, or parenterally to inhibit viral DNA synthesis (Arcangelo & Peterson). Razonable (2011) states that the currently available antiviral drugs target three main groups of viruses: herpes, hepatitis, and influenza viruses (p. 1009).
ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS 3