The tetracyclines are effective in the treatment of Chlamydia, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and rickettsial infections and also can be used for gonococcal infections in patients unable to tolerate penicillin. These drugs may cause gastrointestinal irritation, diarrhea, phototoxic dermatitis, and vestibular damage, and fatal reactions due to hepatotoxicity have occurred in pregnant women. Chloramphenicol has a broad spectrum of bacteriostatic activity, but its association with suppression of the bone marrow and aplastic anemia has relegated it to a historical role. Erythromycin is the drug of choice for the treatment of infections caused by M. pneumoniae, Legionella species, group A beta-hemolytic streptococci, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. The frequency of serious adverse effects associated with the use of erythromycin is low; dose-related epigastric distress may occur. Clindamycin is bactericidal to most nonenterococcal gram-positive aerobic bacteria and many anaerobic microorganisms. Although historically it was a frequent cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and colitis, clindamycin is considered an excellent alternative to beta-lactam antibiotics for treatment of many staphylococcal infections, and it has therapeutic utility in anaerobic infections and in several protozoan infections in immunosuppressed patients. Metronidazole is efficacious for treating nonpulmonary anaerobic infections, various parasitic infections (trichomoniasis, amebiasis, and giardiasis), nonspecific vaginitis, and Clostridium difficile-mediated colitis. With use of metronidazole, mild side effects such as epigastric discomfort, diarrhea, reversible neutropenia, and allergic-type cutaneous reactions may occur.