Active Ingredients

Azlocillin – Effect, Application & Risks


Azlocillin is a subgroup of the acylaminopenicillins . These are certain beta-lactam antibiotics that are particularly effective against gram-negative pathogens. Azlocillin is administered parenterally, which is typical for members of its group. The medicinal substance is used to combat various infectious diseases .

What is Azlocillin?

Azlocillin is one of the acylaminopenicillins, along with apalcillin, mezlocillin and piperacillin . This is a group of broad-spectrum antibiotics that belong to the penicillins and go back to the starting substance 6-aminopenicillanic acid. The group of acylaminopenicillins has a beta-lactam ring in their molecular structure, which is why members of the group are also known as beta-lactam antibiotics.

Azlocillin has a wide spectrum of activity, which is typical for representatives of its drug class. However, it is primarily used to combat gram-negative bacteria . In human medicine, biology and pharmacology, bacteria and pathogens are referred to as gram-negative if they stain red when a differential staining procedure is carried out under the microscope. This distinguishes them from so-called gram-positive pathogens, which turn blue when the procedure is carried out.

The most important pathogens against which azlocillin can be used include the bacteria of the Proteus and Pseudomonas types, which can cause respiratory diseases, among other things . Proteus pathogens are intestinal bacteria that are ubiquitous in nature. Pseudomonads, on the other hand, are described as aerobic bacteria that move actively and are mainly found in water and on plants.

The molecular formula of azlocillin is C 20 – H 23 – N 5 – O 6 – S. This corresponds to a moral mass (molecular weight) of approx. 461.49 g/mol. In human medicine, it is administered parenterally, i.e. bypassing the intestines .

Pharmacological effect on body & organs

The pharmacological action of azlocillin corresponds to the typical characteristics of a beta-lactam antibiotic. The drug attacks the metabolism of infectious gram-negative bacteria immediately after ingestion. Azlocillin penetrates inside and blocks the essential enzyme D-alanine transpeptidase. As a result, the pathogenic bacteria are no longer able to renew their cell wall independently. Multiplication stops and the bacteria eventually die.The mechanism of action of azlocillin can thus be described as bactericidal. It is excreted renally, i.e. mainly via the kidneys .

Medicinal Application & Use for Treatment & Prevention

The bactericidal active ingredient azlocillin is primarily used to combat gram-negative pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa , enterococci or proteus. Accordingly, azlocillin is used to combat infectious diseases. Typical areas of application include respiratory diseases and infections of the urinary or abdominal cavity.

Although azlocillin is primarily used against gram-negative bacteria, it can also be used to kill gram-positive pathogens. In the literature, however, the effectiveness against gram-positive bacteria is described as being significantly lower, so that other active ingredients are preferred for combating gram-negative pathogens.

Since azlocillin is less common than other representatives of its drug class, it can be used to treat hospital germs. In the case of severe infections, a combination with other medications may also be indicated.

Azlocillin is typically administered parenterally, i.e. bypassing the intestine. This is because the antibiotic is neither beta-lactamase stable nor acid stable. Through an injection , the drug gets directly into the bloodstream , which significantly increases the onset of the effect.

Risks & side effects

Undesirable side effects can also occur after taking azlocillin. However, this is not mandatory. The majority of the income is free from unwanted effects.Before using the device for the first time, it must always be checked whether an intolerance to penicillin or related drugs is known. Because intolerances or allergies are contraindications. From a medical point of view, the intake should therefore be avoided, as it is associated with high risks. This also applies to cross allergies with other beta-lactam antibiotics.

The most common side effects that can occur after taking azlocillin include skin reactions (e.g. itching , redness , swelling or rash ), fever or headache. In addition, inflammation of the kidneys , the development of anemia and vascular inflammation are also conceivable. However, these side effects are rare.

Azlocillin should be used with extreme caution during pregnancy and lactation . An extensive risk/opportunity assessment must always be carried out. Obtaining multiple medical opinions may also be advisable. The same applies to people who suffer from kidney failure, as the active ingredient is mainly broken down in the kidneys.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.