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 II.
Fast facts on penicillin
- Penicillins were the first antibiotic that doctors used.
- There are several antibiotics in the penicillin class.
- Experts credit Alexander Fleming with discovering penicillins.
- Penicillin works by interfering with bacteria cell walls.
- Less than 1 percent of people are dangerously allergic to penicillin.
The most commmon side effects of taking penicillins include:
Less common side effects include:
- shortness of breath or irregular breathing
- joint pain
- sudden lightheadedness and fainting
- puffiness and redness of the face
- scaly, red skin
- vaginal itching and discharge, due to either a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis
- sore mouth and tongue, sometimes with white patches
- abdominal cramps, spasms, tenderness, or pain
Rare side effects include:
- anxiety, fear, or confusion
- a sense of impending doom
- yellowing of the eyes and skin
- a sore throat
- unusual bleeding
- diarrhea and reduced urination
Although the use of penicillins is widespread, some issues or contraindications can occur, as with any drug:
- Breast-feeding: People who are breast-feeding may pass small amounts of penicillin to the child. This can result in the child experiencing allergic reactions, diarrhea, fungal infections, and skin rash.
- Interactions: Some other drugs can interact with penicillins. Checking with a doctor before taking multiple medications is vital.
- Bleeding problems: Some penicillins, such as carbenicillin, piperacillin, and ticarcillin, can make pre-existing bleeding problems worse.
- Oral contraceptives: Penicillins can interfere with birth control pills, increasing the risk of unwanted pregnancy.
- Cystic fibrosis: People with cystic fibrosis are more prone to fever and skin rashes when taking piperacillin.
- Kidney disease: Individuals with kidney disease have an increased risk of side effects.
- Methotrexate: Methotrexate disrupts cell growth and can treat several conditions, including leukemia and some autoimmune diseases. Penicillins prevent the body from disposing of this drug, potentially leading to severe complications.
- Phenylketonuria: Some stronger, chewable amoxicillin tablets contain high levels of aspartame that the body converts to phenylalanine. This is dangerous for anyone with phenylketonuria.
- Gastrointestinal problems: Patients with a history of stomach ulcers or other intestinal diseases might be more likely to develop colitis when taking penicillins
source: medical news today
Content created and supplied by: Gannah (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More