Characteristics of an Ideal Chemotherapeutic Drug

(There are No Perfect Drugs)


Selective Toxicity Against Target Pathogen But Not Against Host

Favorable Pharmacokinetics: Survive in high concentration and reach the target site (site of infection)

Would Like the Drug to be:


Spectrum of Activity (Broad vs. Narrow) Coordinated with Diagnosis

For example:

 a broad-spectrum antibiotic would be indicated against a polymicrobial infection, e.g., an intrabdominal anaerobic infection

 a narrow spectrum antibiotic would be ideal for an infection caused by a single pathogen, e.g., a staphylococcal skin infection.

Lack of "Side Effects"

Able to Cross Outer and Cytoplasmic Membranes

No or Low Level of Antibiotic Resistance in Target Pathogen and Lack of Cross-Resistance in Closely Related Strains

Resistant to Inactivation by Microbial Enzymes

   Go to Chemotherapy of Bacterial Infections



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Revised: August 2000