Bacteriostatic antibiotics limit the growth of bacteria by interfering with bacterial protein production, DNA replication, or other aspects of metabolism while not necessarily directly harming the organism. Upon removal of the bacteriostatic agent, the bacteria can regrow as opposed to bactericidal agents that directly kill bacteria.
Clindamycin is a bacteriostatic antibiotic commonly used to treat infections with anaerobic bacteria. It is a bacterial protein synthesis inhibitor that binds to the 50S ribosomal subunit and inhibits ribosomal translocation, similar to macrolides. Other antibiotics that bind to the 50S subunit include chloramphenicol, macrolides, lincomycin, and linezolid.
Clindamycin inhibits protein synthesis by interfering with the elongation of the polypeptide chain of bacterial proteins and the translocation of the ribosomal subunit.
Clindamycin is typically used to treat anaerobic infections above the diaphragm, however, it can be used for other types of infections. Metronidazole is generally used to treat anaerobic infections below the diaphragm.
Aspiration pneumonia is a bronchopneumonia that is caused by the entrance of oral or gastric contents into the bronchial tree. It is commonly caused by an incompetent swallowing mechanism such as multiple sclerosis, stroke or intoxication. Generally, the right middle and lower lung lobes are the most common sites of infiltration due to larger caliber and more vertical orientation of the right mainstem bronchus. Clindamycin is commonly used in the treatment of aspiration pneumonia for coverage of anaerobic organisms.
A lung abscess is a pus filled cavity in the lung commonly caused by aspiration pneumonia. Generally, the right middle and lower lung lobes are the most common sites of infiltration due to larger caliber and more vertical orientation of the right mainstem bronchus. Clindamycin tends to be reserved for penicillin-allergic patients in such cases.
Clindamycin is associated with pseudomembranous colitis, an infection of the colon characterized by foul smelling diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain caused by Clostridium difficile infection. Clindamycin is known to be an antibiotic that can precipitate pseudomembranous colitis due to a broad spectrum that can destroy normal gut flora, allowing the gut to be overrun with C. difficile.
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