July 30, 2016
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Penicillin VK

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Penicillin VK

Penicillin VK Side Effects Center

Pharmacy Editor: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

Last reviewed on RxList 4/24/2015

Penicillin V potassium (penicillin VK) is an antibiotic available in oral and intravenous formulations used to treat mild to moderately severe infections due to penicillin G-sensitive microorganisms. Side effects of penicillin VK include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, rash, itching, and black "hairy" tongue. Patients with a history of allergic reactions to other penicillins should not receive penicillin VK. Persons who are allergic to the cephalosporin class of antibiotics may or may not be allergic to penicillin VK. Serious but rare reactions include seizures, severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), and low platelet or red blood cell count. Penicillin VK can alter the normal bacteria in the colon and encourage overgrowth of some bacteria such as Clostridium difficile, which causes inflammation of the colon (pseudomembranous colitis).

The usual adult dose of penicillin VK is 125 to 500 mg every 6-8 hours. Benemid (Probenecid) causes an increase in the level of penicillin VK in the blood by reducing the elimination of penicillin by the kidneys. Penicillin VK is considered safe during pregnancy. Penicillin VK is excreted in breast milk and may cause diarrhea or allergic responses in nursing infants.

Our Penicillin VK Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Penicillin VK FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)


Although the incidence of reactions to oral penicillins has been reported with much less frequency than following parenteral therapy, it should be remembered that all degrees of hypersensitivity, including fatal anaphylaxis, have been reported with oral penicillin. The most common reactions to oral penicillin are nausea, vomiting, epigastric distress, diarrhea, and black hairy tongue. The hypersensitivity reactions reported are skin eruptions (maculopapular to exfoliative dermatitis), urticaria and other serum-sicknesslike reactions, laryngeal edema, and anaphylaxis.

Fever and eosinophilia may frequently be the only reaction observed. Hemolytic anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, neuropathy, and nephropathy are infrequent reactions and usually associated with high doses of parenteral penicillin.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Penicillin VK (Penicillin V Potassium)

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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