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.

Macrolides are a class of antibiotics found in streptomycetes. They are natural lactones with a large ring, consisting of 14 to 20 atoms. Macrolides bind to the 50S subunit of the bacterial ribosome and inhibit ribosomal translocation, leading to inhibition of bacterial protein synthesis. Their action is primarily bacteriostatic but may be bactericidal at high concentrations, or depending on the type of microorganism.

Macrolides mainly affect gram-positive cocci and intracellular pathogens such as mycoplasma, chlamydia, legionella.

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