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Will all antibiotics kill a bacterial infection no matter where it is?

(10 Posts)
Kneehigim Sun 03-Mar-19 02:39:51

Or do you need specific ones for different infections?
So for e.g. A chest infection or a UTI, will the same antibiotic work?

nocoolnamesleft Sun 03-Mar-19 02:42:06

It's not the location, it's the type of bacteria.

Ifonlybatshadhats Sun 03-Mar-19 02:44:08

Your doctor will give you the right antibiotics for the problem, leave it to them to decide. Please don't take antibiotics if you haven't been prescribed then for a specific problem.

Ifonlybatshadhats Sun 03-Mar-19 02:44:40


Weenurse Sun 03-Mar-19 02:46:30

Yes you need different antibiotics for different infections.
That is why often samples will be sent to the laboratory to see what bugs grow and what antibiotics will be required.

RedRedBluee Sun 03-Mar-19 04:00:19

Different infections are caused by different bacteria and different antibiotics have varying mechanisms of action.
For example some antibiotics target the cell wall of bacteria and that would be no use for a Gram negative bacteria such as Chlamydia or E. coli.

But some areas of the body can be affected by the same bacteria as other areas so those antibiotics will work on both areas.
And some antibiotics are broad spectrum so can work against lots of different types of bacteria so it depends.

PregnantSea Sun 03-Mar-19 04:30:13

No. You need different ones for different kinds of infections.

TheLovleyChebbyMcGee Sun 03-Mar-19 04:48:27

Yup, as PP have said you need specific antibiotics depending on what type of bacteria it is. There's also issues with some antibiotics getting to the right therapeutic levels in the right area.

So like if you have a UTI, antibiotic A reaches high levels in your urine so can be used, but if the same bacteria is giving you an ear infection then a different antibiotic may be used as drug A doesn't get to a high enough level in your ear to be effective. Joint infections are notoriously difficult to treat due to poor blood flow to the area, and some antibiotics don't pass through the blood-brain barrier to treat meningitis say.

Nothinglefttochoose Sun 03-Mar-19 05:04:15

Yes and No. it depends. If the antibiotic is “broad spectrum” it can kill a lot of things. But some antibiotics are better for specific bacteria

SoyDora Sun 03-Mar-19 05:08:58

As above. DD once had recurring ear infections. After the third time taking a broad spectrum antibiotic, the GP took a swab. Turned that particular strain of infection was resistant to the antibiotic she’d been taken so was prescribed a specific one. Never had an ear infection again.

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