penicillin V, ampicillin, amoxicillin, piperacillin, ticarcillin, others (Unasyn, Pipracil, Ticar) (cont.)

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PREPARATIONS: Penicillins are available as capsules, chewable tablets, powder for suspension, and powder for injection.

STORAGE: Oral forms are stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F). Powders for suspension that are mixed with water should be discarded after 14 days and refrigeration is preferred. Injectable forms are also stored at room temperature.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Penicillins are used to treat infections due to bacteria that are susceptible to the effects of the antibiotic. Common bacterial infections that penicillins are used for include infections of the middle ear, tonsils, throat, larynx (laryngitis), bronchi (bronchitis), lungs (pneumonia), urinary tract, and skin. Some are also used to treat gonorrhea.

DOSING: Dosing and administration varies for each agent. Antibiotics should be continued for the prescribed duration of time even if symptoms stop.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Probenecid (Benemid) causes an increase in the level of penicillin in the blood by reducing the elimination of penicillin by the kidneys. Sometimes probenecid is combined with penicillin so that a smaller amount of penicillin results in higher blood levels.

PREGNANCY: Penicillins are generally considered safe for use by pregnant women who are not allergic to penicillin.

NURSING MOTHERS: Small amounts of penicillins may be excreted in breast milk and may cause diarrhea or allergic responses in nursing infants. Penicillins are generally considered safe to use while breastfeeding. Penicillins are used to treat infections in the newborn.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/19/2014

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