Penicillin is a substance that produces certain fungi that destroys microorganisms, mainly bacteria. It was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928. However, the confirmation of the effectiveness of this product in the medical field was carried out by Cecil George, in 1930, applying the substance in neonates who presented inflammation in the eyes, obtaining effective results and achieving the cure.

It is used as a powerful broad-spectrum antibiotic. However, some people are allergic to this drug, so special care should be taken with its use and any symptoms that occur.

What is penicillin used for?

Penicillin acts as a weakening of the bacterial wall, favoring the bursting of its cells due to an excess of fluid. Currently, two strategies are recognized to produce this substance: biosynthetic, through the fermentation process of mushroom cultures; and the semisynthetic, through the chemical modification of the derivatives of penicillin G.

Penicillin, despite having been discovered many years ago, is still used to treat diseases such as respiratory infections, be it tonsillitis, bronchitis, pharyngitis, meningitis, laryngitis; also for sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis or gonorrhea.

Other pathologies that it can treat are skin infections, such as abscesses; and infections caused by streptococci, pseudomonas, neisserias, and staphylococci.

What is penicillin pills used for?

Penicillin tablets are recommended for mild conditions, such as tooth attacks; minor infected wounds; ear infections; sinusitis, and sore throats.

It is expected that with the supply of an adequate dose of the medicine in pill, its effect will appear in 2 or 3 days, otherwise it is necessary to consult with the specialist to change the treatment or the dose.

What is penicillin ointment for?

In the cream presentation, penicillin is used for external conditions that are highly focused on the body, such as acne and bacterial dermatitis, among others. It is recommended that its application should be done 2 or three times a day in the affected area.

Generally, this product has an expiration period of 2 to 3 years, counted from the date of manufacture, and should be stored in a low humidity environment with a temperature of 15 ° C to 25 ° C, in a suitable container. for its conservation.

There are no clinical contraindications that outline the restriction of its use, and its application is possible, even in periods of pregnancy and lactation. However, read the instructions that come with the product to learn more about it.

What is injectable penicillin for?

Injectable penicillin is prescribed for cases of moderate to severe infections caused by bacteria, since the drug enters the bloodstream more quickly and its use becomes more effective.

Both the dose, the duration of the treatment, and the area of ​​the body where the liquid will be injected, depend on the type of infection presented by the patient and the reaction that is present to the drug. Due to such conditions, the application of this drug should be monitored by continuously conducting bacteriological studies and observing its effects on the patient.

In people who have presented asthmatic symptoms, its use is not recommended, and certain types of injectable penicillin, such as benzathine penicillin G, should not be applied intravenously, intra-arterially or near the nerve path, as it can cause neurovascular damage.

When applied to infections caused by certain microorganisms that must be completely eradicated from the body, the treatment must be followed rigorously and for the time necessary for its action to achieve its extermination, since otherwise it could manifest aftermath of the infection presented. by the patient that will be more difficult to attack.

Even so, long-term use of this injectable medication can lead to resistance in certain fungi, which can overgrow and cause unwanted secondary damage. For this reason, it is important that a specialist supervise this treatment to control all the variants that may arise.

Like the contraindications presented in other types of penicillin, the injectable drug can cause rashes, vomiting, nausea, fever and diarrhea, which in case of its manifestation, should be treated by a specialist immediately. Likewise, it is not recommended during pregnancy and during lactation periods.

Types of penicillin

So far two types of penicillin have been developed: natural and semi-synthetic. Penicillin of natural origin are those that are extracted directly from the cultivation of mushrooms.

Semisynthetics, on the contrary, require the application of technological procedures, achieving improvements in the production performance of the product and its quality.

Natural penicillin can be found in its two forms: oral and injectable. For oral use it can be found as: phenoxymethylpenincillin, phenoxyethylpenicillin, and azisocillin. In its injectable presentation, it can be found as: sodium or potassium penicillin G, clemizole, procaine, and benzathine.

Like natural penicillin, semi-synthetic also has the two forms of presentation and mentioned: oral and injectable.

How to take penicillin?

This type of penicillin, that is, the one that is ingested orally, is indicated only for non-serious infections, and for bacteria that are very susceptible to the drug. It should be administered one hour before eating, or two to three hours after consuming food, mainly in children and the elderly.

In the case of dose prescription, this must be provided and supervised by a specialist. However, this is generally calculated, in children under 12 years of age, according to their body mass.

In those cases of throat infection, pharyngitis, skin infection, mild or moderately serious respiratory tract conditions, including otitis, the indicated dose is 50 ml / kg / day, divided into two equal doses for 10 days.

The recommended dose for adults and children over 12 years of age is 125 – 250 mg every 6 to 8 hours for 10 days.

Side effects of penicillin

Although they are not frequent, the application of penicillin in certain people can generate adverse side effects. The most common intolerances to this drug are: mild diarrhea, headache, pain and / or white patches in the mouth or on the tongue, vaginal discharge.

Among the less frequent, but which may be an indication of intolerance to penicillin, are: tenderness and cramps in the abdominal area; seizures; diarrhea; vomiting or nausea; bruising on the skin; anxiety; confusion; yellow eyes or skin; dizziness or fainting; joint pain; acne.

It is recommended that when some of these symptoms occur, the intake of this medicine is stopped and that one go immediately to the nearest medical center to receive the required emergency help.

Contraindications of penicillin

Penicillin is contraindicated in those people who react negatively to drugs with powerful bactericidal activity, in patients with impaired kidney function, or altered heart function.

In the case of a pregnant or lactating woman, its use is restricted, recommending previously evaluating its usefulness against the probable risks that the drug presents.

Likewise, its use is contraindicated in those cases where treatment with drugs or substances that inhibit penicillin is followed, or where it inhibits the effect of the drug supplied. This medicine should be kept out of the reach of children, in a dry place and protected from heat, at temperatures below 25 ° C.

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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