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Mnemonics for Antibiotics

Found most of these online, but made a few of my own. Hope they help in your studies!

Antimicrobial agent MOA’s (mechanisms of action):

Mnemonic combines two mnemonics into one: first part stands for drug MOA’s, and second part stands for classes of drugs that follow the particular MOA:

"CLIP Married Guys Seeking Fun!"

"British People C Police SueD ClimS-ChLiMaTe Aiming For Virtual MeRi!" Beta-lactams Polypeptides/Polyenes/Polymyxin Sulfonamides, Diaminopyrimidines Clindamycin, Streptogramins, Chloamphenicol, Linezolid, Macrolides, Tetracyclines Aminoglycosides Fluoroquinolones antiViral agents Metronidazole (Nitroimidazoles), Rifampin

Cell wall synthesis inhibited Leakage from cell membranes Intermediate metabolism inhibited Protein synthesis inhibited

M-RNA code misread Gyrase (DNA gyrase) inhibited Synthesis of DNA inhibited Function of DNA inhibited

Penicillinase-resistant penicillins:

"PeRP, Motha Fucka Does Negatively Omit" Penicillinase-Resistant Penicillins Methicillin (not used in U.S.) Flucloxacillin (replaced Methicillin in U.S.) Dicloxacillin (replaced Methicillin in U.S.) Nafillin Oxacillin Also, Negative Omitted = Gram-negative bacteria omitted from treatment; i.e., only treats Gram-positive bacterial infections

Extended-spectrum penicillins:

"ESPecially Gram, Negative, Always A Sensitive Boy" Extended-Spectrum Penicillins Gram-Negative Ampicillin Amoxicillin Sensitive to Beta-lactams

"APPear Gram. Now, So Lost. Piple (people) Ti (to) Call?" Anti-Pseudomonal Penicillins Gram-Negative Sensitive to beta-Lactams Piperacillin Ticarcillin Carbenicillin

Penicillin analogs/derivatives:

PCN AnD CaST” PCN = Penicillin Analogs/Derivatives Clavulanic acid Sulbactam Tazobactam


1st generation:

All cephalosporins sound like CEF, except 1 st generation. In 1 st generation, there is PH rather than CEF, like:

- CePHalothin ,CePHaprin, CePHradine, CePHalexin

- exceptions: CeFAZoline, ceFADroxil

Mnemonic: Dr faz and fad did PHD in 1st class (generation)

2nd generation:

Mnemonic: After doing second step u celebrate with ur FAMily ,some wear FON color FUR coats and u MET ur FOXy cousion who drinks TEA, FOR a toast to ur achievement

- CeFAclor, ceFAMandole, ceFONicid, ceFURoxime, cefMEtazole, ceFOXitine, cefoTEtan, ceFORanide

3rd generation:

TRI for third; most have T in their name.

- CefTRIaxone, cefTAZidine, cefoTAXime, cefTIzoxime

- exceptions: Cefixime, cefoperazone, moxalactam

Big Mac for MAC Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC) is usually found in HIV+ patients with a CD4 count <50. Prophylaxis against MAC is a MACrolide (clarithromycin or azithromycin). These are used instead of the usual TB drugs to avoid creating MDR-TB.

Antibiotics contraindicated in pregnancy:






Primarily bacteriostatic antibiotics:

“Stop SuCh TeEthEry Daps!” Stop = Static Sulfonamides Chloramphenicol Tetracyclines Ethambutol Erythromycin Dapsone

Tetracycline MOA:

“TetrA” Tetracyclines bind to Thirty S (30 S) ribosome submit and e(i)nhibits trna attachment to the A site.

Cell wall inhibitors:

“Pleasing Seth-sparring, Back-tracing, Vanquishing, Fo’ Mike In, Serine-psycho PCN Cephalosporin Bacitracin Vancyomycin Fosfomycin Cycloserine


“Vanquishing used Positive Gram Toxins, Back to Resisting Meth and Lactose allergyVancomycin, used for Gram-Positive (bacteria) Toxicity (high) Bactericidal Methicillin-resistance beta-Lactam allergic patients

Bacitracin characteristics:

“Back the Topic of Toxic Gram; he’s Positively a Negative Cock.” Bacitracin/Bactericidal Topically used due to Toxicity Gram-positive organisms Gram-negative cocci

Polymyxin characteristics:

“Poly’s mixes BE Top Toxins and Negative Cats Deter Back” Polymyxin B & E Topical use due to Toxicity gram-Negative Cationic Detergent Bactericidal

“Dap To My Sin, OK Jean Stop a Positive SSEC” DapToMyCin Hyperosmosis with K + efflux (leads to depolarization and eventual cell lysis) Jean(Gene) Stop (Inhibited DNA, RNA, Protein synthesis) gram-Positive bacteria: specifically, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Enterococcus and Corynebacteria

“To Stop Protein, use TeAm 30 and take 50 CC’s of Macro Lined Streps.” Protein inhibitors 30S ribosomal subunit: are Tetracycline and Aminoglycoside 50S ribosomal subunit: Chloramphenicol, Clindamycin, Macrolides, Linezolid, Streptogramin

Macrolides drugs and property:

At 50, Stop Macking CATE, See it’s My Sin” 50 = 50S ribosomal subunit Stop = stops growth = bacteriostatic Macking = Macrolides CATE = Clarithromycin, Azithromycin, Telithromycin, Erythromycin See = C, for Clindamycin My Sin = refers to omycin suffix of all 4 drugs

Remember (not a mnemonic, just know):

If a drug binds to bacteria irreversibly, then it is bactericidal. If a drug binds to bacteria reversibly (non-permanently), then it is bacteriostatic.

Rifamycin/Rifampin “Riff my sinful Transcript or Stop you Positive Cock, TB.” Rifamycin Transcription Stopped (inhibited) gram-Positive Cocci Tuberculosis microbacteria


“Flour is Negative to Aerobics and Stops Super Gyrations.” Flour = Fluoroquinolone Negative Aerobics = gram-negative aerobes Stops (inhibits) Super (referring to supercoiling of DNA) Gyrations = DNA Gyrase, which supercoils DNA

Metronidazole “the Metro is Difficult First for Pro Anaerobics” Metronidazole Difficult First = referring to first drug of choice for treating Clostridium difficile Pro Anaerobics = referring to treatment for protozoans and anaerobic bacteria

Antibiotics used to treat TB:







Not a mnemonic, but easier way to remember effects of Sulfonamides and Trimethoprim:

Sulfonamides / Sulfas with “S” in the drug name inhibits DHP Synthase

Without Sulfas:

PABA + DHP Synthase DHP

(1 st step of bacterial nucleic acid synthesis; Dr. Gonzalez stated this) Trimethoprim with “R” in the drug name inhibits DHF Reductase

Without Trimethoprim:

(important step in bacterial nucleic acid synthesis; Dr. Gonzalez stated this)

DHF + DHF Reductase THF

Routes of entry: most rapid ways meds/toxins enter body "Stick it, Sniff it, Suck it, Soak it":

Stick = Injection Sniff = inhalation Suck = ingestion Soak = absorption

2 antifungal treatments:

“The 2 antifungal ‘flu’ drugs, flucanazole and flucytosine, can easily flu (flow) in the CSF and the urine.”

Antifungal treatments; not mnemonics, just know:

Polyenes (Amphotericin B and Nystatin): cidal Azoles: static Flucytosine: cidal Caspofungin: cidal Terbinafine: static (Lamisil) and cidal; depends on fungi being treated Griseofulvin: static

Antibiotic-resistant organisms:

KEEP MASS SPECKlebsiella pneumoniae Enterococcus faecalis and faecium E. coli 0157:H7 Pseudomonas aeruginosa Mycobacterium tuberculosis Acinetobacter baumannii Staphylococcus aureus Salmonella typhi and enterica Streptococcus pneumoniae (aka Pneumococcus) and pyrogenes Plasmodium falciparum Enterobacter aerogenes and cloacae Clostridium difficile

Treatment for S. typhi:

2 for 1 Deal: Salmonella typhi and Ceftriaxone

Acid fast organisms:

“BSNL RIMS” Bacterial spores Spermatic head Nocardia Legionella Rhodococcus Isospora belli Mycobacterium tuberculosis, leprae, smegmatis Cryptosporidium

DNA viruses:

"Pop A Potato Hot Hot Potatoe" Pop =papova Hot =herpes A =adeno Hot =hepadna Potato =parvo Potato=pox Herpes virus says: "I am going to the cytoplasm to replicate unlike the rest of you, nuclear replicating DNA viruses" Meanwhile, parvo the pervert is playing with his single strand (all others double).

E. coli diseases caused in presence of virulence factors:

"DUNG" Diarrhoea UTI Neonatal meningitis Gram negative sepsis DUNG: since these diseases are caused by E. coli from “dung”- contaminated water.

Klebsiella: Morphology & Infections You can tell the patient:

"Fat Alcoholics Never Get UPSet" Fat = Morphology, which is fat prominent capsule Alcoholics = referring to increased risk of infection "Never Get up" = motility, which is non-motile (non-flagellated) SET = Infections, which are UTI, Pneumonia, Sepsis Klebsiella are Gram-negative, non-motile, encapsulated, lactose fermenting, facultative anaerobic, rod shaped bacterium found in the normal flora

McConkey agar- components 'PLANT' Peptone Lactose Agar Neutral red Taurocholate

Meningococci and gonococci: Fermentation properties 'MeninGococci and Gonococci' Meninigococci ferments both Maltose and Glucose; whereas Gonococci ferments only Glucose.

Microorganisms causing UTI "KEEPS" Klebsiella pneumoniae E.coli Enterococcus faecalis/ Enterobacter cloacae Pseudomonas aeruginosa/ Proteus mirabilis Staphylococcus saprophyticus/ Serratia marcescens

Mycobacterium tuberculosis: culture charactersitics ' Rough, Tough & Buff ' Rough: colony is rough like breadcrumbs and not smooth, Tough: colony sticks to the culture plate and is difficult to remove, Buff: buff is the colour. It is a yellowish brown/coffee shade.

Obligate anaerobes ' ABC ' Actinomyces Bacteroids Clostridium

Relapsing fever 'LETS' Louse borne:Epidemic Tick borne:Sporadic

Spore forming bacteria ' BSC.Chemistry ' Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis Sporosarcina Clostridium species Coxiella burnetti

Toxin producing bacteria "Say A.B.C.D.E " Staphylococcus pseudomonas Aeruginosa Bordetella pertussis vibrio Cholerae, Clostridium botulinum Diptheria E. coli

Urease positive organisms "PUNCH" Proteus Ureaplasma Nocardia Cryptococcus Helicobacter pylori

Vibrio cholerae: reactions "COINS " The biochemical reactions which help to differentiate vibrio cholera are Catalase + Oxidase + Indole + Nitrates reduced to nitrites Sucrose fermentation Vibrio cholerae causes the acute diarrheal disease called cholera.

Trypanosoma: disease caused 'I went on a TRYP to Africa' ie., Trypanosoma brucei causes African sleeping sickness

Bacteria that undergo lysogenic conversion:

"BCDEF" clostridium Botulinum (botulism) vibrio Cholerae (cholera) corynebacterium Diptherae (diphtheria) E. coli (hemorrhagic diarrhea by shiga-like toxin) F = fever (Scarlet Fever) streptococcus pyrogenes

Anti-viral drugs use “vir” in the beginning, middle or end of the drug name; list is as follows:





















MHC I and MHC II: T cell type 'MHC x T cell=8' MHC II goes with CD4 (2x4=8) MHC I goes with CD8 (1x8=8)