Asked in Medication and DrugsBiologyAntibioticsChemotherapy
How is antibiotic differ from chemotherapeutic agents?
March 28, 2009 3:21PM
Antibiotics are effective against bacteria, usually by breaking down the cell wall. These are given to ward off infection after surgery or injury, or for diseases like TB that are caused by bacteria.
Chemotherapeutic agents are poisons used to fight cancer. Cancer cells are "young" because they are rapidly dividing. "Young" cells are more vulnerable to poisons, and also radiation in radiation therapy.
Antibiotics are fairly safe, although their misuse or overuse can be disastrous. They also kill "friendly" bacteria that inhabit every inch of your body. These friendly colonies help keep malicious bacteria from getting a foothold.
Chemotherapy can be a very difficult experience. Although the target is cancer cells, the whole body is poisoned. This and radiation is why cancer patients so often lose hair, are nauseated, etc.
A newcomer on this field is interferon. It is an effective antiviral. This type of drug gives therapy for diseases like HIV and hepatitis which are caused by viruses and are not treatable with antibiotics. Side effects can be bad flu like symptoms for 3-5 days after the weekly shots. Antibiotics are agents that are derived from certain microorganisms, and are used to kill or inhibit certain microorganisms, which is not synthesized in the laboratory.
On the other hand, Chemotherapeutic are agents that are synthesized in the laboratory.