Penicillin is the world’s first antibiotic used for treating a number of bacterial infection. Antibiotics, or anti-bacterial medications, are made from specific chemical substances derived from or produced by living organisms capable of hindering the life processes of other organisms. Right from ear infections to gonorrhea, penicillin is capable of curing numerous bacteriological ailments. Though most varieties of penicillins are safe for majority of people, some are likely to cause certain side effects. Little did the British scientist Alexander Fleming know that the first antibiotic discovered accidentally by him would cause adverse effects to people? Thus, it is best to use penicillin antibiotics with caution to avoid overdose and reduce the chances of contracting negative side effects. Let’s see what are the side effects of penicillin in the lines that follow.
Adverse Effects Of Penicillin
Penicillin is more likely to cause hypersensitivity reactions, more commonly reported through oral therapy. Allergic vasculitis, pruritus, fatigue, asthenia, and pain are some common problems associated with the usage of parenteral penicillin G benzathine. As a result, this can lead to side effects, such as rash, maculopapular rash, exfoliative dermatitis, pruritus, urticaria, laryngeal edema, fever, eosinophilia, hypersensitivity myocarditis, serum sickness-like reactions (chills, fever, edema, arthralgia, and prostration), severe or fatal anaphylaxis, shock, and in rare cases even death.
High doses of penicillin therapy or when consumed by patients with renal dysfunction, penicilin causes neurologic side effects. The negative reactions include myoclonus, seizures, auditory and visual hallucinations, and decreased mentation. Further, it is also associated with neurovascular reactions (including warmth, vasospasm, pallor, mottling, gangrene, numbness of the extremities, cyanosis of the extremities, and neurovascular damage), nervousness, neuropathy, headache, tremors, dizziness, somnolence, transverse myelitis, severe agitation, and coma.
When consumed through oral therapy in high doses or by people who are uncomfortable with such antibiotics, penicillin causes gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Further, there have been reports of pancreatitis, intestinal necrosis, and blood in the stool.
Cardiac arrest, hypotension, tachycardia, palpitations, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary embolism, vasodilatation, vasovagal reaction, cerebrovascular accident, and syncope are some cardiovascular side effects of taking penicillin antibiotics.
Apart from causing side effects through oral therapy, penicillin has resulted in reactions at skin sites when taken through injections. These local side effects include pain, inflammation, lump, abscess, necrosis, edema, hemorrhage, cellulitis, hypersensitivity, atrophy, ecchymosis, and skin ulcer. Due to this, neurovascular reactions, such as warmth, vasospasm, pallor, mottling, gangrene, numbness or cyanosis of the extremities, and neurovascular damage have also been reported in people.
When consumed for prolonged durations, penicillin can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills in women. Also, although this antibiotic does not affect the unborn baby in the mother’s womb, the newborn is likely to constrict them orally through mother’s milk when breastfed. However, discontinuing the penicillin dose before the completion of the prescription can prevent the entire bacteria from being destroyed. As a result, the few bacteria remaining can develop immunity to the antibiotic, thereby not being affected by it when consumed the next time. Penicillin is also likely to cause vaginal itching which gives an unpleasant discharge when the antibiotic destroys the beneficial bacteria in the body.
These are some side effects of consuming penicillin antibiotic. If you experience any of these negative effects, consult your doctor immediately. Also, have a full medical check-up before taking this medical drug.