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Penicillin VK

Penicillin VK

Overview

Penicillin represents one of the most important drugs ever developed. Its discovery in 1946 permanently changed medicine and set the stage for man’s ability to overcome what had previously been life-threatening infections.

Penicillin is effective in fighting infections in many places in the body including the urinary tract, lungs, ears, throat, skin and genital tract.

Penicillin V potassium is prescribed generically or under a variety of brand names including Beepen-VK, Betapen-VK, Ledercillin VK, Pen-V, Pen-Vee K, Robicillin VK, V-Cillin K and Veetids.

Side Effects and Interactions

The most common side effects of penicillin involve digestive tract upset. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can be troublesome for some people. A black hairy tongue, rash, sore mouth, and yeast infections of the mouth, anus or vagina are other potential adverse reactions.

Less common but possibly more serious side effects include anemia and blood disorders.

Report any symptoms to your physician promptly. Long-term treatment with penicillin-type antibiotics requires periodic monitoring by a health professional.

Penicillin VK may interact with aspirin and certain other arthritis medicines. In addition, oral contraceptives may be less effective in combination with this antibiotic.

Check with your pharmacist and physician before taking any other medicine together with Penicillin VK.

Special Precautions

Anyone who is allergic to penicillin-type antibiotics must generally avoid such drugs like the plague. Symptoms such as breathing difficulty, wheezing, sneezing, hives, itching, and skin rash require immediate emergency treatment.

Life-threatening anaphylactic shock may produce an inability to breathe and cardiovascular collapse and can occur within minutes of exposure.

If you are allergic to penicillin and you ever have to go into the hospital, make sure a sign is placed over the bed alerting hospital personnel to penicillin allergy.

Taking the Medicine

Penicillin VK resists acid breakdown in the stomach so it may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.

However, for maximum absorption take this antibiotic on an empty stomach. That usually means at least one hour before meals or two hours after eating.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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