The prevalence of invasive strains that are highly resistant to Penicillin or cephalosporins in Melbourne remains low. A third generation cephalosporin remains the drug of first choice for the empiric treatment of meningitis. However, Vancomycin should be added if S. pneumoniae is suspected (/vanco). This should be stopped if sensitivity to a third generation cephalosporin is shown, as will be the case with most isolates. The prevalence of resistant strains is being monitored and this recommendation may change.
Penicillin remains the drug of first choice for the empiric treatment of suspected pneumococcal pneumonia and other non-CNS infections, regardless of susceptibility. High doses of penicillin overcome resistance in this setting and should be used for confirmed non-CNS infection caused by penicillin-resistant pneumococci.
Antibiotics, particularly those in the penicillin and sulfa groups, are the most common cause of drug allergies.  Most drug allergies are usually limited to hives, swelling, and skin rashes, but some people experience rare and life-threatening reactions, called anaphylaxis.  Drug allergies are caused by your immune system mistaking the antibiotic for a foreign substance, inflaming your skin or, in more severe cases, restricting airways and causing shock, which can lead to unconsciousness or death.  If you experience the symptoms of anaphylaxis, it's crucial that you seek medical help immediately, as it is a medical emergency. Learning how to treat skin rashes and recognize the signs of a more severe reaction can help you feel your best, and could save your life.
Although antibiotics are prescribed frequently, misuse of these drugs can contribute to the emergence of resistant bacteria that is more difficult, or even impossible, to combat. It is also likely to have a negative effect on the immune system. For instance, during the bacterial attack, some good bacteria are also killed. The most common of these good guys are responsible for the production of B vitamins and lactase, as well as aiding in fighting tumors, lowering high cholesterol levels, and improving digestion. Without these friendly bacteria, the body is more susceptible to other pathogens that can cause immunological, neurological, or endocrinologic problems. This overgrowth of pathogens such as yeast (Candidiasis) has been linked to food allergies, autoimmune disorders, and chemical sensitivities, among others.