The main antibiotic in the family (of phenicols) is chloramphenicol. These medicines have a very wide spectrum of action although there are many resistant strains of organisms. They are still used, however, particularly in Chlamydia and Mycoplasma infections.
How do the phenicols work?
This type of compound, which is mostly bacteriostatic, binds to the cell ribosome and inhibits protein synthesis in pathogenic bacteria. This therefore slows their multiplication.
Do they have contraindications or precautions?
These antibiotics have many side effects. In particular patients can develop a – reversible – problem with iron metabolism. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may also occur. Administration of excessive doses to infants may be fatal. Excessive blood concentrations lead to inability of the liver to metabolise the medicine.
Source: Merck Manual – 4th edition
The phenicols are bacteriostatic antibiotics. © Phovoir