Cephalosporins are broad-spectrum antibiotics whose pharmacology is similar to that of the penicillins. They bind to and inactivate penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) located on the inner membrane of the bacterial cell wall. PBPs are enzymes involved in the terminal stages of assembling the bacterial cell wall and in reshaping the cell wall during growth and division. Inactivation of PBPs interferes with the cross-linkage of peptidoglycan chains necessary for bacterial cell wall strength and rigidity. This results in the weakening of the bacterial cell wall and causes cell lysis.
The excretion of Cephalosporins is principally renal.
They are classed as first, second, third, fourth or fifth generation; as indicated on the table below. Their spectrum of activity will be presented in a future post.