Active Ingredients

Spiramycin – Effect, Application & Risks


Spiramycin as a macrolide antibiotic is used in human medicine as a monopreparation with a half-life of 3 to 4 hours in the treatment of infections in children and adults. Spiramycin has also proven itself in cases of toxoplasmosis infection during pregnancy .

What is Spiramycin?

Spiramycin is a macrolide antibiotic that belongs to the macrolide group.

The half-life is 3 to 4 hours. It is used in tablet form to treat bacterial infections.

Because of the similarity of the active substance to penicillin , it can be prescribed as an alternative in the case of an existing penicillin intolerance.

Macrolides are often prescribed, especially in paediatrics. It is obtained or manufactured from certain strains of Streptomyces ambofaciens.

It is prescribed in human medicine as a monopreparation under the names Rovamycin® and Selctomycin®.

Pharmacological action

To start with a summary of the pharmacological effect on the body, it should already be mentioned that macrolides inhibit the protein synthesis of bacteria and thus prevent them from multiplying (bacteriostasis). In comparison to other antibiotic preparations of the macrolide group, the development of resistance occurs more slowly. Cross-resistance exists between spiramycin and erythromycin . This does not exist between spiramycin and penicillin as well as tetracycline and streptomycin and chloramphenicol .

It is broken down via the liver , which unfortunately can lead to interactions with other medications. Provided that these are also broken down by the liver.

When used during or after the 16th to 20th week of pregnancy, the effect of the therapy must in no case be defined as an elimination of the parasite from the fetal or child’s body. Experimental studies indicate that an induced conversion of the parasite from an aggressive tachyzoite or thrombozoite form to a harmless bradyzoite or cystozoite form is to be expected as a result of the therapy.

Medical Application & Use

Respiratory diseases such as pneumonia , whooping cough and tonsillitis can be treated with macrolides just as well as pharyngitis and an infection in the ear, nose and throat area. Superficial skin infections including acne are also treatable. Urethra infections caused by gonorrhea also respond to this treatment. This also applies to infections caused by non-tuberculous atypical mycobacteria in HIV – infected patients. In the preventive or curative treatment of gastric ulcersthe aim is to eliminate Helicobacter pylori from the gastric mucosa .

Similarly to erythromycin, there is no effect on H. influenzae . High doses are effective against Toxoplasma gondii.

Therapy with spiramycin is the treatment of choice for toxoplasmosis infection during pregnancy. This is particularly the case until the definitive serology result for the second serum is available. The frequency of congenital toxoplasmosis can be reduced by 50 to 70 percent if therapy is started in good time. An increase of up to 90 percent is apparently possible with a combined therapy of spiramycin with pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine during or after the 16th to 20th week of pregnancy. The intrauterine damage can also be significantly reduced with regard to its possible degree of severity.

Risks & side effects

The most common internal side effects include gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea and flatulence . It is not uncommon for these symptoms to be associated with nausea . Disturbances of bile and liver as well as the development of a so-called antibiotic-induced pseudomembranous colitis .

But cardiac arrhythmias are also more common and therefore unfortunately belong in the list of undesirable side effects when taking spiramycin. In the ECG , these disturbances appear as torsades de pointes. This means that the period of time between the electrical excitation of the heart chamber and the excitation recovery is longer.

Dermatologically, irritation of the skin can often be observed. Allergies , i.e. immune reactions to non-infectious foreign substances ( allergens or antigens ), also occur frequently. The consequences are signs of inflammation and the formation of antibodies .

mycosis (fungal infection), for example by pathogenic fungi from the outside, can also occur. There are general reports of tiredness on the one hand and sleep disorders on the other. Many sufferers also complain of fever .

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.