Antibiotics Hormones & Contraceptives Essay Examples & Outline

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Antibiotics & Contraceptives

Question 1

ANTIBIOTICS & CONTRACEPTIVESBroad-spectrum antibiotics are used in the treatment of a wider range of diseases caused by bacteria. They are appropriate in use when the physician is unable to identify the bacteria that caused the infection. Broad spectrum antibiotics, therefore, can act on both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. They find application in situations when there is super-infection, a condition when the disease is caused by different types of bacteria (Anderson, 2012). Such situation warrants administering of broad-spectrum antibiotics or a combination of the antibiotic therapy. The clinician can administer the broad spectrum antibiotic when there is drug resistant bacteria that does not respond to narrow spectrum antibiotics.

It is inappropriate to administer broad spectrum antibiotics for relieving cough, cold and flu symptoms. Broad-spectrum antibiotics are readily available even as over the counter medicine, a worrying situation that could lead to drug resistance (Anderson, 2012). Development of multidrug-resistant strains of the bacteria places the risk not only at the community level but also at the globe. This is due to the fact that bacteria spread quickly, and their infective rate is also high. Such resistant strains pose a problem especially in the hospitalization costs and research. Furthermore, most of colds and flu are caused by influenza viruses (Edmunds & Mayhew, 2013). It would be ineffective to treat virus diseases with antibiotics since most of the viral infections are managed by immunization.

Common cold and flu keep most people away from jobs and even school. The symptoms associated with the common cold make individuals seek medical attention. Symptomatic treatment is the best approach against the common cold (Edmunds & Mayhew, 2013). The symptoms of flu or the common cold include headache, congestion, muscle ache, fever, and lacrimation among others. Some of the symptoms can be managed by administering painkillers, zinc supplements and decongestants. The health practitioner may recommend close monitoring in situations when there is severity of the symptoms.

Question 2

A female patient taking oral contraceptives should engage in discussion with the doctor. This is of relevance when the patient is taking antibiotics together with oral contraceptives (Coates, 2012). There is possible drug interaction between the contraceptives and antibiotics taken by the patients. In such cases, the patient should be forewarned of the impending dangers of getting pregnant. Caution needs to be taken in the dosing of oral contraceptives to avoid the associated side effects (Edmunds & Mayhew, 2013). The patient needs to understand that the low dosage of the contraceptives has a decreased efficacy when used concomitantly with the antibiotics.

Antibiotics interact with the oral contraceptives to result in low efficacy. Most birth control pills contain estrogen, and when used in combination with antibiotics, enzymes present in the liver contributes to the breakdown of the hormone. Some of the antibiotics kill the normal flora in the stomach which serves the primary role of activating the pills (Edmunds & Mayhew, 2013). Spotting is the first sign that indicates interaction of birth control pills and antibiotics. Examples of antibiotics that interact with oral contraceptives includes rifampin, sulfamethoxazole, ampicillin, minocycline among others.

Several considerations need to be put in place when discussing the issue of oral contraception and its interactions with antibiotics (Coates, 2012). In many societies, men become the primary decider of ways of having sex and may not recommend the use of alternative contraceptives such as condoms. Furthermore, personal values and beliefs can find an influence from the media and peer pressure. It is under the normal practice to give the patient information beforehand on the contraceptive choices for the best option (Coates, 2012).

Managing such drug interaction requires back up birth-control when antibiotics are administered at the same time. Backup methods of birth control have been recommended as ways of reducing the risk of getting pregnant while taking antibiotics (Anderson, 2012). Such approaches include abstinence, use of condoms or spermicide.


Anderson, R. J. (2012). Antibacterial agents: Chemistry, mode of action, mechanisms of resistance, and clinical applications. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.
Coates, A. R. (2012). Antibiotic resistance. Heidelberg: Springer.
Edmunds, M. W., & Mayhew, M. S. (2013). Pharmacology for the primary care provider. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier-Mosby.



What discussion should be had with the female patient taking oral contraceptives?

CONTRACEPTIVESThe use of contraceptives has increased numerously over the past few years. When prescribing patients with contraceptives, it is important to engage them in a patient education regarding contraceptives. The physician should explain the various available methods of using contraceptives to the patient. For instance, contraceptives can be dosed using sterilization, use of oral contraceptives and also emergency contraceptives among other methods. In order to ensure that the patient avoids misusing the contraceptive, the physician should explain the effectiveness of contraceptive methods to the patient and also the risks involved (Lipsky & Ovid, 2011).

What are the cultural considerations that should be made when having this discussion?

The use of contraceptives is a sensitive issue among many people. Thus, the contraceptive discussion between a patient and a physician should be handled with great professionalism. Some patients are limited to their beliefs, personal preferences and attitudes. Therefore, when talking to these patients, one should establish if there are any cultural considerations involved.
Great professionalism should be employed in this situation. This is because some patients may feel embarrassed or disrespected. One of the most vital contraceptive talks is the patients sexual life. The physician will at most times inquire whether the patient has any ongoing sexual problems or whether the patient wants a baby soon (Aronson, 2013).

What is the interaction between oral contraceptives and antibiotics?SubT

The interaction between oral contraceptives (OC) and antibiotics can lead to harm on the patient in various scenarios. According to studies, typical use of oral contraceptives with antibiotics such as penicillins and tetracyclines can lead to pregnancy on the user. However, this depends on the frequency of these oral contraceptives. When examining a small population of patients, oral antibiotics show no effect on various pharmacokinetics such as levonorgestrel, estradiol and norethindrone. Nevertheless, this is with the exception of rifampin (World Health Organization, 2012).

What steps should be taken in order to manage this drug interaction?

Women taking oral contraceptives should not use preparations below the required level of levonorgestrel and ethinylestradiol. However, a simple solution towards reducing the danger on oral contraceptives and antibiotics, the physician should consider alternative ways of contraception when dealing with patients currently prescribed antibiotics (Aronson, 2013).


Lipsky, M. S., & Ovid Technologies, Inc. (2011). Family medicine certification review. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Aronson, J. K. (2013). Meyler's side effects of endocrine and metabolic drugs. Amsterdam, NL: Elsevier.
World Health Organization. (2012). Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use. Geneva: Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization.


Hormones are chemical messengers

HORMONES ARE CHEMICAL MESSENGERSHormones are chemical messengers found in the body. Their transmission is through the bloodstream to the cells and tissues (Porth, 2009). Hormones influence different processes including growth and development, sexual functions, metabolism and as well mood. Release of hormones used in the body is because of the endocrine system that helps regulate and maintain different functions through the synthesis and release of hormones. Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) secreted in the posterior lobe of the pituitary plays a crucial role in the human body where it stimulates the reabsorption of water in the kidney (Norman, 1997).

This hormone is important in the human body since it conserves water. Its target organ is kidneys. Thyroid hormone (thyroxin) is another hormone secreted in the human body. Its secretion is in the thyroid glands and has its target cells as most of the body cells especially located in the skin. This hormone plays a role in stimulating metabolic rates essential for the normal growth of the body. Lastly, luteinizing hormone (LH) is another important hormone among females and males. Its secretion is in the anterior lobe of the pituitary and has its target being the gonads. It stimulates ovulation and as well the formation of the corpus luteum. In males, this hormone stimulates secretion of the hormone testosterone (Welch, 2011).

Receptor cells are cells located in the target cells. They control the secretion of these hormones. ADH, secreted in the kidney, has its receptors as hypothalamic osmoreceptors. They sense an increase in osmolarity that is capable of causing a disease. Other receptors linked with the hormone are atrial stretch receptors that sense change in central blood volume. Dysfunction of these receptors leads to diabetes insipidus. Receptor related to LH is luteinizing hormone- choriogonadotropin receptor (Norman, 1997). This receptor plays a great role in successful reproduction in human beings.

Its dysfunction in the body may lead to infertility, loss of menstrual cycles in female and as well loss of sexual drive. Lastly, hypothalamus and anterior pituitary are two receptors that control the secretion of thyroxine (Porth, 2009). These receptors control the levels of iodine in the body. Dysfunction may lead to hair loss, memory loss and as well muscle weakness. Severe cases may lead to coma and as well death.


Hyperthyroidism and hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism and hyperthyroidism are two conditions arising because of secretion of thyroid hormones. Hyperthyroidism arises due to over production of thyroid hormones than the body needs (Norman, 1997). On the other hand, hypothyroidism is a condition arising due to production of low quantities of thyroid hormones that are not enough for the body. Hyperthyroidism often results from a condition called Grave’s disease while hypothyroidism results from Hasimoto’s disease. Patients suffering from hypothyroidism often experience symptoms such as uncontrolled weight gain, increased sensitivity to cold, depression, excessive menstrual bleeding in females and lastly hoarse voice. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism patients experience symptoms such as increased sweating, muscle weakness, excessive weight loss, some irregular heartbeats and among female, they experience less frequent menstrual periods (Welch, 2011).

A blood test is among the most common test taken to differentiate between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism (Porth, 2009). During the blood test, doctors often check for the thyroid-stimulating hormone in the blood and as well, the free T4 and T3 hormone levels in the blood. Patients suffering from hyperthyroidism have high levels of T4 and T3 hormones. On the other hand, they have low levels of thyroid stimulating hormones. In contrast, patients with hypothyroidism have high levels of thyroid stimulating hormone and low levels of T3 and T4 hormones in their blood (Welch, 2011).


Porth, C.M., & Matfin, G. (2009). Pathophysiology: Concepts of altered health states. (Eight ed.) Philadelphia, PA
Norman, A. W., & Litwack, G. (1997). Hormones. San Diego: Academic Press.
Welch, C. (2011). Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life: Achieving Optimal Health and Wellness through Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, and Western Science. New York: Da Capo Press.


Amino-Acid, Steroid Hormones & Hypothyroidism

AMINO-ACID, STEROID HORMONES & HYPOTHYROIDISMThe endocrine system consists of chemical messengers, hormones, which are released into the bloodstream. Hormones control the internal body environment by regulating the body’s chemical composition. Further, hormones enable the body to respond towards environmental conditions that call for emergency demands. For instance, hormones respond to the following conditions; emotional stress, temperature extremes and dehydration. Hormones facilitate growth and development of body organs. Consequently, they regulate energy balance and organic metabolism (Porth, 2009).

There are two groups of hormones namely the amino-acid hormones and steroid hormones. Steroid hormones function through messenger mechanism, whereas steroid hormones function through direct activation of genes.

The steroid hormone enhances stimulation of specific genes in the body through entering the target cells. Further, the thyroid hormone regulates metabolism in the body. The thyroid and steroid hormone are the two hormones that enter cells. The other hormones in the body do not enter cells. They simply function by binding with receptors on the surface of the cell, and they activate second-messengers in the targeted cells. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin a hormone that regulates mineral and sugar balance in the body (Porth, 2011).
Hormones in the body have target cells. These target cells possess receptors that bind and transcript the hormonal message through receptors. Receptors are specifically modified to various target cells, and they only bind with specific hormones. Receptors only facilitate endocrine communication between the cell and the specific hormone. Different cells in various tissues in the body have different combinations of hormone receptors. The absence or presences of specific receptors determine the hormonal sensitivity of the cell (Porth, 2011).

Receptors in the cell are located inside the cell or in the cell membrane. Receptors for eicosanoids, peptide hormones and catecholamines are located at the cell membranes of the targeted cells. This is because the hormones are not lipid soluble. Therefore, the hormones bind with protein receptors on the exterior side of the cell membrane. These receptors are called extracellular receptors. On the other hand, intracellular receptors are located at the interior side of the cell membrane (Porth, 2011).

There are various diseases and disorders caused by hormonal dysfunction. Toxic adenomas, sebacute thyroiditis and pitituary gland malfunction are some of the hormonal disorders that may affect the endocrine system. Toxic adenomas develop when nodules grow on the thyroid gland and they start secreting excess thyroid hormones distracting body’s normal chemical balance. Further, subacute thyroiditis occurs when the thyroid gland leaks excess hormones due to inflammatory of the gland. On the other hand, pitituary gland malfunctions arise from hyperthyroidism (Porth, 2009).

Hypothyroidism is a condition resulting from reduced effect of the thyroid hormone on tissues. Hypothyroidism condition is either acquired or congenital depending on the site of abnormality. Hyperthyroidism condition exists where the thyroid gland overacts during hormonal reaction. The clinical manifestation of hypothyroidism depends on the age and severity of the disease. The major symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance and sleepiness. Hyperthyroidism patient symptoms include rapid heart rate, tremors, excessive sweating and enlarged thyroid gland (Porth, 2011).

Hypothyroidism can be directly measured in the blood by measuring the levels of thyroid hormone present in the blood. However, when the disease is mild or not fully developed the level of thyroid hormone in the blood may appear normal. Thus, the ideal way of testing hypothyroidism is by measuring the levels of thyroid stimulating hormone in the blood. A decrease in the blood TSH levels may lead to reduction of thyroid hormones secreted. While diagnosing hyperthyroidism, the blood test must indicate high levels of thyroid hormone present in the blood. However, the disorder may appear normal in blood test when it is in the primary stages. Thus, in this case hyperthyroidism is best measured through the thyroid stimulating hormones present in the blood. If the levels of TSH are high in the blood, then this portrays chances of hyperthyroidism (Zaidi, 2013).


Porth, C.M., & Matfin, G. (2009). Pathophysiology: Concepts of altered health states. (Eight ed.) Philadelphia, PA
Zaidi, S. (2013). Graves' disease and hyperthyroidism: What you must know before they zap your thyroid with radioactive iodine : a groundbreaking, revolutionary and comprehensive approach. Camarillo, Calif: iComet Press.
Porth, C., (2011). Essentials of pathophysiology: Concepts of altered health states. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.