Brand Name(s): Penicillin G, Penicillin V
Drug Class: Penicillin antibiotics
Treats: Bacterial infections, skin infections, pneumonia
Penicillin is actually a group of antibiotic medicines used to address different kinds of conditions caused by bacteria. There are a number of different kinds of Penicillin medicine and each is used to address a different kind of bacterial infection. Penicillin medicine is widely used and very effective in the battle against staphylococci and streptococci bacteria.
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Penicillin use is prescribed to fight bacteria in the body. Doctors prescribe Penicillin to treat a variety of infections such as ear infections, throat and skin infections, scarlet fever and pneumonia. Penicillin medication is also used to prevent diseases such as cholera, rheumatic fever and other conditions. However, Penicillin is not effective against common cold, flu and other conditions caused by viruses. Doctors may, in some cases, prescribe use of Penicillin for purposes not mentioned here. It is important to note that Penicillin is prescription only medication not available as over-the-counter drugs but must come with a doctor's prescription.
- Ear infection
- Throat infection
- Skin infection
- Scarlet fever
- Rheumatic fever
Penicillin dosage will depend on a number of factors including the age of the patient, the condition being treated, response to medication and their medical history. Patients are advised to adhere strictly to the Penicillin dosage prescribed by their doctor and to take the medication exactly as indicated. Dosage should not be altered, changed or substituted without the express authorization of the doctor. Common Penicillin dosages are indicated as follows;
- Bacterial infections: adults and children over 88 pounds or 40 kg; 250, 500 mg every 8 hours
- For duodenal ulcers: adults and children above 88 pounds, 40 kg; 1000 mg twice daily
Different kinds of Penicillin drugs will come with different dosages depending on the condition being treated.
Penicillin Side Effects
While Penicillin medicine provides great medical benefits in patients, it sometimes produces some side effects. Not all patients suffer the same Penicillin side effects and some may be more severe than others. Mild side effects usually go away after a few days once the body gets used to the Penicillin medication. If these do not go away within a week or so then medical help should be sought. Patients who suffer an allergic reaction to Penicillin or severe side effects should seek immediate medical attention at the nearest health facility. The following is a list of possible Penicillin side effects.
- Upset stomach
- Diarrhea, vomiting
- Mild skin rash
- Severe skin rash
- Itching, hives
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Wheezing, vaginal infections
Other serious side effects not indicated here can be reported to a doctor or the US FDA.
Drug interactions may affect the way a drug and may even result in an allergic reaction. Some Penicillin interactions with foods or medicines may render it ineffective. Patients are highly advised to list down all the products and medicines they may be currently taking and then share this list with the doctor. This is so that any possible Penicillin interactions are checked against the following products. However, this is not a complete list and patients should carry a list of all products with them all the time.