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Beta-lactamase inhibitors

A drug may be classified by the chemical type of the active ingredient or by the way it is used to treat a particular condition. Each drug can be classified into one or more drug classes.

Beta-lactamase inhibitors block the activity of beta-lactamase enzymes.

Some species of bacteria produce beta-lactamase enzymes, which cleave the beta-lactam group in antibiotics, such as penicillin, that have a beta-lactam ring in their structure. In doing so the beta-lactamase enzyme inactivates the antibiotic and becomes resistant to that antibiotic. To avoid development of resistance, beta-lactamase inhibitors are administered with the beta-lactam antibiotics so the action of beta-lactamase is inhibited. This tends to widen the spectrum of antibacterial activity.

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