What is the Strongest Antibiotic for Bacterial Infection?

Wednesday 7 July 2021
Antibiotics
4 minute(s) read

Table of Contents


I. Effectiveness of Levofloxacin

II. What Does Amoxicillin Treat?

III. Using Keflex for UTI

IV. Retapamulin for Impetigo

V. Monitoring Bacterial Infection Symptoms


Bacteria can be found in the air, water, or soil. They perform many vital functions in both the environment and in the body. Most bacteria are harmless and beneficial to humans, helping with digestion and vitamin production. Despite most strains of bacteria being beneficial, several harmful strains are capable of causing infections. [1]

Harmful bacteria strains can lead to skin, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Antibiotics are commonly used to treat these types of bacterial infections. Read on to learn about common types of antibiotics and their strengths, effectiveness, and side effects. 

Effectiveness of Levofloxacin 

Levofloxacin is a popular antibiotic for bacterial infections. It is a type of medication known as quinolone antibiotics. Levofloxacin treats infections by inhibiting bacteria growth. This antibiotic is only for treating bacterial infections and will not work for viral infections like the common cold or the flu.

pills on a spoon with pill bottles blurred in the background

Levofloxacin (generic) comes in a brand-name version called Levaquin. This drug is highly effective at stopping the growth of bacteria, but several other products can reduce its efficacy when taken concurrently. For the full benefit of levofloxacin, avoid taking the following at the same time:

  • Vitamins and minerals (including iron and zinc)
  • Products that contain magnesium, aluminum, or calcium
  • Quinapril and sucralfate

For the best effect, levofloxacin should also be taken at evenly spaced times. To help with doing so, doctors often recommend taking this drug at the same time daily. [2]

What Does Amoxicillin Treat?

Like levofloxacin, amoxicillin is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. Amoxicillin can treat chest infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and skin infections. However, amoxicillin differs in that it is a penicillin-type antibiotic, which means it can also be used to treat bacteria-related intestinal ulcers.

For the best effect with amoxicillin, it is important to continue taking this antibiotic until the prescribed amount is finished. If you stop taking amoxicillin too early, a bacterial infection may return.

When taking amoxicillin, side effects like nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting may occur. These side effects do not affect many people, but it is still important to monitor your condition and contact your doctor if symptoms worsen. [3]

Using Keflex for UTI

Keflex (cephalexin) and its generic version are commonly prescribed to those diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. Cephalexin is known as a cephalosporin antibiotic. This antibiotic is most effective when taken every six to 12 hours without food. [4]

a white washroom sink

For the full benefit of Keflex for UTI, it is essential to avoid drug interactions. Inform your doctor if you are taking vitamins, minerals, or herbs before starting treatment with Keflex. This medication can interact with probenecid and certain birth control pills. [5]

Although rare, serious side effects can occur. Serious side effects of Keflex include severe allergic reactions and kidney damage. More common side effects of this antibiotic include tiredness, headache, and an upset stomach. [5]

Retapamulin for Impetigo

Unlike the above-mentioned antibiotics, retapamulin isn’t taken orally. Instead, retapamulin is a cream made for use on the skin only. For bacterial skin infections like impetigo, retapamulin may be the most effective antibiotic because it can stop the growth of skin bacteria like staphylococcus and streptococcus. [6]

For proper use of retapamulin, ensure the affected area is dry and clean before applying. This antibiotic is potent, so avoid applying large amounts to large areas of the skin. Additionally, avoid using this medication on the nose, mouth, vaginal area, or around the eyes. Within three to four days, improvements should be evident, and redness should decrease. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve after four days. [6]

a splotch of antibiotic cream on a light background

Monitoring Bacterial Infection Symptoms

You should always monitor your condition closely whenever you are taking antibiotic medication. If your bacterial infection symptoms worsen or do not improve, contact your doctor.

You may ask, “why do I need to tell my doctor if my condition stays the same? Can I simply continue my treatment?” You shouldn’t prolong using antibiotics if the treatment is ineffective. This is because the bacteria in your body may develop antibiotic resistance, making the bacteria near impossible to treat. [7]

In summary, it is more useful to use the right antibiotic for your condition than to choose the strongest antibiotic. Always monitor your symptoms and communicate with your doctor should new side effects arise. If you have been diagnosed with a bacterial infection, ask your doctor about the right type of antibiotic for you today.

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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