Difference Between Steroids and Antibiotics

Main difference

The main difference between steroids and antibiotics is that steroids treat the inflammatory condition and antibiotics treat bacterial infections.

Steroids versus antibiotics

Steroids are organic compounds while antibiotics are organic or inorganic compounds. Steroids are used to treat inflammatory diseases like arthritis, gout, etc., on the other hand; Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. Steroid therapy does not develop resistance, while antibiotic treatment leads to the development of resistance. Steroids are involved in building muscle while antibiotics are not involved in building muscle. Steroids are used in chemotherapy to help destroy cancer cells, while antibiotics are the main part of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells.

Comparison chart

steroids antibiotics
Steroids are lipids containing 17 carbon atoms that are arranged in four fused rings that are used to treat inflammatory conditions. Antibiotics are chemicals used to treat bacterial infections by inhibiting the growth of bacteria or killing them.
Action mode
Steroids act by forming a steroid receptor complex. Each class of antibiotics has a different mode of action, such as cell wall synthesis inhibitors, protein synthesis inhibitors, etc.
Side effects
Acne, blurred vision, increased body hair, insomnia, high blood pressure Diarrhoea, vomiting, skin rash, upset stomach
Steroid metabolism takes place in the liver through the process of reduction, hydroxylation, and conjugation. The metabolism of antibiotics takes place in the liver and kidney.
food effect
Steroids are not taken on an empty stomach because they irritate the lining of the stomach. Different antibiotics act differently in the presence of food in the stomach, such as penicillin G and penicillin V taken on an empty stomach, while aminoglycosides can be taken with food or on an empty stomach.
effect on appetite
Steroids increase appetite. Antibiotics stimulate appetite due to the production of ghrelin.
Effect on body weight
Steroids increase the risk of weight gain. Antibiotics increase the risk of weight gain.
Administration route
Oral, parenteral, topical Oral, parenteral, topical
therapeutic uses
Treatment of inflammatory diseases including arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, gout, lupus Treat all bacteria that involve an infection.

What are steroids?

Steroids are synthetic drugs and are similar in structure to cortisol, which is a hormone from the adrenal glands. steroids. Steroids have four rings that are arranged in a particular molecular configuration. Steroids have seventeen carbon atoms in their backbone. The four fused steroid rings contain three six-membered cyclohexane rings and one five-membered cyclopentane ring. Steroids have their own nomenclature for naming. Steroids are found in plants, animals, and fungi and are called plant steroids, animal steroids, and fungal steroids, respectively. Steroids are also named based on their function. The main classes of steroids, based on their function, are corticosteroids, glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids and sex steroids. Steroids are also classified as anabolic steroids and catabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are natural or synthetic performance-enhancing drugs that mimic the effects of testosterone. Anabolic steroids have deadly side effects, which is why they can only be purchased with a prescription. Steroids, along with their metabolites, are important signaling molecules. Steroids are also a component of the cell membrane along with phospholipids. Steroids are important because they are concentrated energy stores. Steroids also play a role in neoplasms, especially prostate cancer, where the aggressiveness of cancer cells is increased by the production of steroids inside and outside the tumor. Steroids are made up of lanosterol in animals, fungi, and cycloartenol in plants. Steroids are produced through steroidogenesis where steroids are produced from cholesterol and then transformed into other steroids.


Glucocorticoids, Mineralocorticoids.

What are antibiotics?

Antibiotics are drugs that inhibit the growth of bacteria or kill them. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections that do not affect viral infections, but some antibiotics have antiprotozoal activity. Antibiotics today are mostly synthetic. Antibiotics are prescribed based on the pathogen as definitive therapy, but when the pathogen is not identified, empiric therapy is given, involving the administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Antibiotics are given not only for the treatment of bacterial infections, but can also be given as preventive measures when there is a weak immune system or when the patient is taking immunosuppressive drugs. Antibiotics can be administered through various routes of administration. Antibiotics are mainly administered orally, but if the patient is unable to take medicine orally, then antibiotic injections can also be used. Antibiotics in case of systemic infections are administered only intravenously. Antibiotics are also administered topically, as in the case of the ears, eyes, and nose; this helps prevent systemic toxicity. Antibiotics, if applied topically to surgical wounds, help reduce the chance of infection. Antibiotics are safe and well tolerated even though these antibiotics are associated with a certain type of side effects. Antibiotics show side effects mainly like diarrhea and other effects like fever, nausea and some show hypersensitivity reactions. Antibiotics also show interactions with other drugs. Antibiotics have a different type of mechanism of action depending on the class of antibiotics. Antibiotics present a problem of resistance when used improperly or in case of excessive use.


Aminoglycosides, quinolones.

Key differences

  1. Steroids are organic in nature while antibiotics are both organic and inorganic.
  2. Steroids resemble the natural hormone cortisol, on the other hand; Antibiotics do not resemble any natural hormone.
  3. Steroids do not develop resistance while antibiotics show resistance phenomenon.

Final Thought

The conclusion from the above discussion is that steroids and antibiotics are a separate class of drugs used to treat the different ailments, and both have their own therapeutic significance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button