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, 61 (9), 2741-8

New Classification and Update on the Quinolone Antibiotics

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  • PMID: 10821154

New Classification and Update on the Quinolone Antibiotics

D E King et al. Am Fam Physician.

Abstract

The newer fluoroquinolones have broad-spectrum bactericidal activity, excellent oral bioavailability, good tissue penetration and favorable safety and tolerability profiles. A new four-generation classification of the quinolone drugs takes into account the expanded antimicrobial spectrum of the more recently introduced fluoroquinolones and their clinical indications. First-generation drugs (e.g., nalidixic acid) achieve minimal serum levels. Second-generation quinolones (e.g., ciprofloxacin) have increased gram-negative and systemic activity. Third-generation drugs (e.g., levofloxacin) have expanded activity against gram-positive bacteria and atypical pathogens. Fourth-generation quinolone drugs (currently only trovafloxacin) add significant activity against anaerobes. The quinolones can be differentiated within classes based on their pharmacokinetic properties. The new classification can help family physicians prescribe these drugs appropriately.

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