The main difference between antibiotic and anti-inflammatory is that antibiotic is used against bacterial infections whereas anti-inflammatory drugs reduce inflammation or swelling.
Antibiotic and anti-inflammatory are two types of drugs important in treating bacterial infections and inflammation, respectively. These come as tablets, capsules, liquids, creams, lotions, sprays, drops, and infections.
Key Areas Covered
- What is Antibiotic
- Definition, Characteristics, Importance
- What is Anti-inflammatory
- Definition, Characteristics, Importance
- Similarities Between Antibiotic and Anti-inflammatory
- Outline of Common Features
- Difference Between Antibiotic and Anti-inflammatory
- Comparison of Key Differences
What is Antibiotic
An antibiotic is an antimicrobial substance that is active against bacteria. Therefore, it fights against bacterial infections. Hence, it is important in the treatment and prevention of bacteria. Antibiotics kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria. Although antibiotics possess some antiprotozoal activity, they are not active against viruses such as the common cold or influenza.
Furthermore, antibiotics are naturally produced by microorganisms to fight against one another. However, some antibacterials are synthetic; hence, they are non-antibiotics. Penicillin is an example of an antibiotic while sulfonamides are non-antibiotic and fully synthesized. However, both agents can kill or prevent the growth of microorganisms. Therefore, they are antibacterial chemotherapy.
What is Anti-inflammatory
Anti-inflammatory refers to substances that treat inflammation by reducing inflammation or swelling. However, inflammation is a complex biological response of body tissue to harmful stimuli. Usually, these harmful stimuli can be pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. Moreover, it is a protective response of the body and it involves the immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators.
The main function of the inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cell injury, clearing out necrotic cells, and tissues damaged by the initial cause in order to initiate tissue repair. There are five cardinal signs of inflammation: heat, pain, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation is an innate immunity mechanism, and therefore, it is non-specific. More importantly, half of the anti-inflammatory drugs are analgesics.
Similarities Between Antibiotic and Anti-inflammatory
- Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are given to treat bacterial infections and reduce inflammation, respectively.
- They come as tablets, capsules, liquids, creams, lotions, sprays, drops, and infections.
Difference Between Antibiotic and Anti-inflammatory
Antibiotic refers to medicine (such as penicillin or its derivatives) that inhibits the growth of or destroys microorganisms, while anti-inflammatory refers to a drug or substance that reduces inflammation (redness, swelling, and pain) in the body.
Mode of Action
Usually, antibiotics mainly work against bacteria while anti-inflammatory works against inflammation.
Antibiotics kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria while anti-inflammatory reduces inflammation.
Moreover, antibiotics are naturally synthesized by bacteria while anti-inflammatory can be either natural or synthetic.
Some examples of antibiotics are penicillin, tetracycline, aminoglycosides, and cephalosporin, while aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and diclofenac are examples of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Antibiotics are natural compounds synthesized by a particular bacterial strain against another bacterial strain. Generally, antibiotics are antibacterial and they either kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria. However, not all antibacterials are antibiotics and non-antibiotic antibacterials are synthetic. Anti-inflammatory substances, on the other hand, reduce inflammation or swelling. Most anti-inflammatories are painkillers. Apart from the pain, other signs of inflammation include heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. However, anti-inflammatories initiate tissue repair. Therefore, the main difference between antibiotic and anti-inflammatory is their mode of action.
- Wikimedia Foundation. (2022, September 3). Antibiotic. Wikipedia. Retrieved September 14, 2022.
- Wikimedia Foundation. (2022, September 4). Anti-inflammatory. Wikipedia. Retrieved September 14, 2022.
- “Staphylococcus aureus (AB Test)” By CDC – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
- “Allergy to Antibiotic Cefaclor ” By Dr.Harry Gouvas, – Own Work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia