How Do Natural Penicillins Work?
Penicillins are a group of antibiotics used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections (gram-positive and gram-negative). It was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming (a professor of bacteriology) from a mold, the extract of which he named "penicillin." The discovery of penicillin has often been described as a miracle drug. They were among the first medications to be effective against many bacterial infections caused by staphylococci and streptococci.
Penicillins work by inhibiting bacterial cell wall synthesis (cell walls are necessary to protect the bacteria from their environment and keep the contents of the cell together) by attacking the peptidoglycans (a mesh-like structure that increases the strength of the cell wall) leading to the bursting of the bacteria and eventually its death.
Approximately 10% of people report an allergy to penicillins, whereas life-threatening reactions are extremely rare (0.03%). Skin testing for allergy may be performed to confirm if the person is allergic to penicillin.
How Are Natural Penicillins Used?
Natural penicllins are used to treat:
- Sepsis (life-threatening illness caused by your body’s response to an infection)
- Meningitis (inflammation of the membranes lining the brain and spinal cord)
- Endocarditis (inflammation of the heart’s inner lining called the endometrium)
- Uncomplicated gonorrhea (a sexually transmitted disease affecting both men and women)
- Syphilis (a bacterial infection spread by sexual contact)
- Otitis media (painful ear infection)
- Bone and joint infections
- Osteomyelitis (infection in a bone)
- As prophylaxis in high-risk patients undergoing surgery (prosthetic valve or congenital heart anomaly)
- Intra-abdominal infections
- Pharyngitis (inflammation of the back of the throat)
- Sinusitis (inflammation of the sinus around the nose)
- Skin infections
- Urinary tract infection
- Acute pyelonephritis (bacterial infection of the kidney)
- Typhoid fever
What Are Side Effects of Natural Penicillins?
Common side effects include:
- Dizziness (feeling weak/unsteady)
- Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
- Abdominal pain
- Skin rash/hives (itchy, red bumps on the skin)
- Easy bruising
- Pain and redness at the site of injection
Other rare side effects include:
- Seizures (sudden uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain)
- Oral fungal infections
- Kidney problems (reduced urination)
- Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions)
- Thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts)
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden fainting
- Hallucinations (involve hearing, seeing, feeling, and smelling things that are not real)
- Unusual bleeding
The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.
What Are Drug Names of Natural Penicillins?
Drug names include: