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Difference Between Steroids and Antibiotics

Steroids vs Antibiotics

Antibiotics and steroids are very important drugs in many clinical illnesses. Antibiotics are substances or compounds that terminate bacterial growth or the bacteria themselves. They are used to treat infections caused by microorganisms like fungi and protozoa. Steroids are fat-soluble organic compounds that practically mimic the action of the adrenal glands which is the body’s most powerful regulator of general metabolism. It is highly potent in treating inflammatory and allergic conditions. There are indeed functions that steroids can do that antibiotics aren’t capable of and vice-versa. And this is due to a range of differences in structure, properties and their physiological approach to the body.

Steroids can be classified to sex steroids, corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. All three are used as medical aids in different kinds of illnesses or dysfunction. Sex steroids, testosterones for instance, are widely being employed in reproductive regulation like contraception and correction of hormonal imbalances. Anabolic steroids, the most popular type, aid in muscle and bone synthesis and boost strength. Lastly, corticosteroids regulate metabolism, immune function, blood volume and renal excretion of electrolytes. Most medical steroids fall under the last category. They are intended for illnesses that involve inflammation in the body like asthma, arthritis, eczema, and even cancer like leukemia. Steroids suppress the body’s ability to demonstrate a normal response to foreign stimuli, giving the body a chance to heal itself. Furthermore, is highly recommended to apply steroids directly onto the area that needs treating, for instance by inhalation into the lungs for wheezing, as eye drops for eye inflammation, or as an injection directly into an inflamed joint. Some are ingested as pills or are injected into muscles or veins. They also come in forms of eye or nose drops and ‘enema’ to treat bowel conditions. Medical experts are keen in keeping steroid dosages in control. High intake of this may cause long-term drawbacks. Some of these are eye cataract and glaucoma, muscle weakness, high blood pressure, weight gain, inhibited growth in children, thinning of bones, skin problems like bruising, acne, and worst of all immune system failure.

Antibiotics, on the other hand, are either bactericidal or bacteriostatic in nature. Bactericidal antibiotics target the bacterial cell wall, membrane or enzymes. Examples of which are penicillin, cephalosporin, quinolone, and sulfonamide. Bacteriostatic refers to those that directly aim protein synthesis such as tetracycline and aminoglycoside. As one may notice, both types directly and specifically target the bacteria. For this, antibiotics are nicknamed ‘magic bullets’ and have proved to be effective in treatment of any bacterial infection. On the contrary, they are not capable of healing viral, fungal or other nonbacterial diseases like common colds. Although they are frequently prescribed, misuse of these drugs can contribute in the emergence of resistant bacteria that will definitely be more difficult or impossible to combat later on. It is also likely to have a negative effect on the immune system. For instance, during the bacterial attack, some good bacteria are also being killed. Most common of these good guys are responsible in the production of B vitamins and lactase, aids fight tumors, lowers high cholesterol levels and improve digestion. Without these friendly bacteria, the body will be more susceptible to other pathogens that can cause immunological, neurologic, or endocrinologic problems. This overgrowth of such pathogens, as yeast (Candidiasis) has been linked to food allergies, autoimmune disorders, and chemical sensitivities among others.

Summary

1) Antibiotics and steroids are drugs used o treat a wide range of medical conditions.

2) Antibiotics treat bacterial infection by directly targeting and killing the bacteria. Steroids heal inflammatory and allergic ailment by suppressing the body’s response to foreign stimuli, buying it time to heal itself.

3) Misuse of both types of drugs can lead to adverse side-effects such as deterioration of the immune system.


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1 Comment

  1. dear!
    i cant understand the diffrence between antibitics vs steriods.
    dr hanif NIH islamabad

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