penicillin V potassium (Beepen-VK, Penicillin VK, V-Cillin-K)

  • Medical Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

GENERIC NAME: penicillin V potassium

BRAND NAME: Beepen-VK, Penicillin VK, V-Cillin-K

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Penicillin V potassium is penicillin antibiotic that is administered orally. Penicillin V potassium kills bacteria by inhibiting bacterial cell wall synthesis. Some bacterial species against which penicillin V potassium has shown high in-vitro activity include some species of staphylococci, streptococci (groups A, C, G, H, L, and M), and pneumococci. Other bacterial species against which this medication has activity includes Corynebacterium diphtheria, Bacillus anthracis, Clostridia, Actinomyces bovis, Streptobacillus moniliformis, Listeria monocytogenes, Leptospira, Neisseria gonorrhea, and Treponema pallidum.

Penicillin V potassium offers some distinct advantages over penicillin G. Penicillin V potassium is much more resistant to inactivation by stomach acidity, and therefore results in better drug absorption and higher levels in the blood. On average, blood levels of penicillin V potassium is two to five times higher than that observed with same dose of oral penicillin G.

Penicillin V potassium was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1956.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Penicillin V potassium is used to treat bacterial infections involving the respiratory tract, middle ear, sinusitis, skin, and soft tissues. It is also used to prevent rheumatic fever.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects to oral penicillin are:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/3/2014
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