Beta-lactam antibiotic

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β-Lactam antibiotics are a broad class of antibiotics, consisting of all antibiotic agents that contains a β-lactam nucleus in its molecular structure. This includes penicillin derivatives (penams), cephalosporins (cephems), monobactams, and carbapenems.[1] β-Lactam antibiotics work by inhibiting cell wall synthesis by the bacterial organism and are the most widely used group of antibiotics.

Bacteria often develop resistance to β-lactam antibiotics by synthesizing beta-lactamase, an enzyme that attacks the β-lactam ring. To overcome this resistance, β-lactam antibiotics are often given with β-lactamase inhibitors such as clavulanic acid.

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