Penicillin is the very first antibiotic. It was discovered by accident in 30’s of the last century, and it is considered one of the most important discoveries of the 20th century. In fact, penicillin has become almost panacea for all diseases of humanity for several decades.
Since the appearance of the first penicillin agent, scientists have created many other antimicrobial drugs. However, natural penicillins are still widely used in modern healthcare. Actually, new medications are made on their basis.
Penicillins belong to beta-lactam antibiotics class. All antibiotic drugs of this group provide high bactericidal effect and they are low in toxicity. Penicillin is a simple chemical substance. This substance destroys the synthesis of cell membrane of bacteria when they multiply.
Theoretically, antibiotics of penicillin group are not dangerous for human body because penicillin affects the cell walls of bacteria mainly. Since all the cells in the human body – from erythrocytes to neurons – are enclosed in biological membranes, penicillins can affect neither the cells, nor their membranes.
However, Penicillin may cause side effects just as any other medical agent. Most severe side effects of penicillin are associated with hypersensitivity to antibiotics of penicillin group. They cause allergic side effects more often than the drugs of other pharmacological groups do.
Sometimes, Penicillin side effects in infants are manifested as rash, vomiting and high body temperature. Still, it is hard to define Penicillin side effects in infants. Actually, it is not always clear whether the body reaction to Penicillin is a side effect or it is new symptoms of infection disease.
Dysbacteriosis is one of the most obvious Penicillin side effects in children. Only dysbacteriosis is not as dangerous for a child’s health as pneumonia or acute otitis and it can be cured without serious consequences.
It happens that the only symptom of side effects in children is fever. This can be a continued fever or an intermittent fever, depending on its duration and incidents. When discontinuing Penicillin, these side effects usually disappear throughout a day.
While using Penicillin to cure infections in babies you should know that renal insufficiency in infants and small children may cause the accumulation of Penicillin in the body. Due to this, there is a high risk of febrile convulsions as one of Penicillin side effects.
During lactation, Penicillin penetrates into breastmilk. Therefore, after the breastfeeding, this antibiotic may cause side effects in infants. The most common Penicillin side effects in infants are: changes in intestinal microflora, diarrhea and skin rash.
In addition, Penicillin can cross the placental barrier. It was found during special studies that the use of Penicillin in pregnant women is safe for baby’s health.
Penicillin and other drugs of penicillin group cause no adverse effects the fetus and do not slow down its development. The common Penicillin side effects in pregnancy are joint pain, photodermatitis, arrhythmia and sleep disorder.
To learn more information on Penicillin side effects during pregnancy, it is recommended to learn carefully the Highlights of Prescribing Information (PDF). Patients should also ask his doctor about potential Penicillin side effects and the measures a pregnant woman should take.
Penicillin can create favorable conditions for yeast-like fungi. Many women are familiar with vaginal itching as one of Penicillin side effects. Generally, Candidiasis occurs in acute and chronic form with pathological manifestations on the skin and mucous membranes.
Pregnant women often face with Penicillin side effects thrush namely. This infection is very dangerous for a baby’s health. To prevent yeast infection, doctors prescribe drugs containing antifungal antibiotic agent.
Severe Penicillin side effects are lesion of mucous membranes, arthritis and nephropathy. There are some more: anaphylactic shock, bronchospasm and stomachache. Common Penicillin side effects are fatigue, weakness, headache and sleep disorders. In addition, gas and trapped wind are also common side effects.
Despite the listed Penicillin side effects, drugs of penicillin group are still considered the least toxic agents, comparing to all the other groups of antibiotics.