Dicloxacillin is a beta-lactam antibiotic belonging to the penicillin group and resistant to penicillinases, enzymes that produce certain microorganisms capable of hydrolyzing and inactivating penicillin.
It is used to treat infections with gram-positive bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aerus , and to treat infections caused by group A streptococcus, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae . In this article we explain in which cases dicloxacillin is indicated and what possible side effects it could trigger.
A bit of history
The first antibiotic administered widely in medicine was penicillin G or bencilpenicillin, discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, who was awarded a Nobel Prize for this. Since that time, advances in science have allowed the development of new molecules for the specific treatment of various diseases caused by bacteria.
There are currently several groups of beta-lactamines, as well as penicillin G, such as ampicillin, amoxicillin or penicillinase-resistant penicillins, such as dicloxacillin which we are about to talk about in this article.
Therapeutic indications of penicillin
Dicloxacillin is indicated for both adults and children over 12 years of age, in the treatment of the following bacterial infections:
- Acute streptococcal pharyngotonsillitis.
- Infections of the dental and periodontal structures.
- Infections of the skin and related structures. These include scarlet fever, impetigo or boils.
Mechanism of action
The mechanism of action of penicillin is associated with the activation of enzymes that alter the cell wall of bacteria, acting as a bactericide, that is, destroying the bacteria.
Warnings and precautions for use
Before starting treatment with dicloxacillin, it is important to report any episodes of allergic reaction to penicillin or other beta-lactams. Like most antibiotics, dicloxacillin can cause Clostridium difficile diarrhea or pseudomembranous colitis .
Can dicloxacillin interact with other drugs?
When deciding to take dicloxacillin it is necessary to keep in mind, as already mentioned, that it is penicillin. The latter has been recognized as responsible for a possible reduction in methotrexate excretion when consumed together with penicillin. This reduced excretion of the drug can lead to an increase in its toxicity. Furthermore, penicillin can interact with oral contraceptives, reducing their effectiveness and, therefore, increasing the risk of pregnancy.
Pregnancy, breastfeeding and dicloxacillin
The clinical evidence currently available appears to indicate a reduced risk in pregnancy to the fetus or neonate. However, it is ideal to do a benefit-risk assessment before starting dicloxacillin treatment.
If you are breastfeeding, penicillin appears to come out of breast milk in very low amounts, so the baby is unlikely to have any harmful effects. At the same time, the doctor’s risk-benefit assessment is the best thing to do.
However, dicloxacillin is often given to treat mastitis in nursing mothers and, in some cases, the infant’s oral and intestinal microbiota may be affected, with episodes of diarrhea.
However, this effect appears to have not yet been adequately investigated and penicillin treatment during breastfeeding is still encouraged.
Side effects of dicloxacillin
Antibiotics are mainly associated with side effects involving gastrointestinal disorders, such as:
- He retched.
- Epigastric pain, with halitosis.
In addition, like other types of penicillin, this too can cause allergic reactions, with hives, itching, skin rash or anaphylactic reaction, in the most severe cases of allergy.
To conclude …
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that antibiotics indicated in the treatment of bacterial infections are not effective in cases of viral infections. Based on the above, the administration of antibiotics in the treatment of a form of flu or a cold will not be effective and, moreover, the risk is to promote a form of resistance. Always consult your doctor first.