Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Homebreast cancerWhat Is Penicillin Used For? Antibiotic Types, Classification & Side Effects

What Is Penicillin Used For? Antibiotic Types, Classification & Side Effects

Who discovered penicillin?

In 1928, Alexander Fleming noted that
mold belonging to the genus Penicillium inhibited the growth of bacteria.
Fleming called this unknown antibacterial substance penicillin. Ten years later,
a group at Oxford University began to investigate penicillin in laboratory mice.
Penicillin was hailed as a miracle drug and saved countless lives in World War

What are penicillin antibiotics?

Penicillins are antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections that are
derived from the antibiotic penicillin.

What are the uses for penicillin antibiotics?

Today, many derivatives of penicillin have been developed that inhibit more
types of bacteria than the original life-saving drug. Penicillin itself is
active against

  • streptococci (including Streptococcus pneumoniae),
  • Listeria,
    Neisseria gonorrhoeae,
  • Clostridium,
  • Peptococcus, and
  • Peptostreptococcus.

However, most
staphylococci now are resistant to penicillin.

Other penicillin antibiotics are
effective against

Penicillin antibiotics are used to treat many types of infections caused by
susceptible bacteria. They are used to treat
infections of the middle ear,
sinuses, stomach and intestines, bladder, and kidney. They also are used for

What are examples of penicillin antibiotics available in the US?

  • penicillin V
  • penicillin G (Pfizerpen, Permapen)
  • amoxicillin (Amoxil)
  • amoxicillin/clavulonate (Augmentin)
  • ampicillin (Unasyn)
  • nafcillin (Nallpen)
  • oxacillin (Bactocill)
  • dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen are discontinued brands in the US; generic is
  • cloxacillin (discontinued in the US)
  • piperacillin (Pipracil)
  • piperacillin/tazobactam (Zosyn)
  • ticarcillin (Ticar) (Discontinued in the US; ; generic is not available))
  • ticarcillin/clavulonate (Timentin) (Discontinued in the US and a generic is
    not available.)


What causes tooth decay?
See Answer

What are the side effects of penicillin antibiotics?

Side effects of penicillin antibiotics include

Individuals who are allergic to the cephalosporin class of antibiotics, which
are related to the penicillins, for example, cefaclor (Ceclor), cephalexin
(Keflex), and cefprozil (Cefzil), may or may not be allergic to penicillins.

Serious but rare reactions include

Like other antibiotics, penicillin antibiotics can alter the normal bacteria
in the colon and encourage overgrowth of some bacteria such as Clostridium
which causes inflammation of the colon (C. difficile colitis or
pseudomembranous colitis).

Signs and symptoms of C. difficile colitis include

Latest Infectious Disease News

Trending on MedicineNet

What drugs interact with penicillin antibiotics?

Penicillin antibiotics have few important drug interactions.

  • Probenecid (Benemid) causes an increase in the amount of penicillins in the
    body by preventing excretion of penicillin by the kidneys.
  • Combining ampicillin with allopurinol (Zyloprim) can increase the incidence
    of drug-related
    skin rash.
  • Penicillin antibiotics may reduce the effect of BCG live vaccine and typhoid
    live vaccine.

What formulations of penicillin antibiotics are available?

Penicillin antibiotics are available as

  • tablets,
  • capsules,
  • powder for oral suspension, and
  • powder for injection.

Are penicillin antibiotics safe to take during pregnancy or while

  • Penicillin antibiotics are considered safe to use
    during pregnancy.
  • Although
    small amounts of penicillins pass into breast milk they are considered safe to
    use while breastfeeding.

How do penicillin antibiotics work?

Penicillin antibiotics stop bacteria from multiplying by preventing bacteria
from forming the walls that surround them. The walls are necessary to protect
the bacteria from their environment, and to keep the contents of the bacterial
cell together. Bacteria cannot survive without a cell wall. Penicillin
antibiotics are most effective when bacteria are actively multiplying and
forming cell walls.


Most Popular