Penicillin is a antibiotic that comes from the Penicillium fungi and was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming. Today, penicillin may refer to any of a group of four antibiotics that have been developed from the Penicillium fungi. The two most commonly used are known as penicillin G and penicillin V. Let’s take a look at what these common drugs are used for.
Uses of penicillin V
This type of penicillin is commonly taken orally and is used for many minor bacterial infections, such as tonsillitis. It can also be used to treat more serious infections such as scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, Lyme disease, mild anthrax infection and various upper respiratory tract infections. It is sometimes used to treat infections of the gums and teeth.
Uses of penicillin G
This type of penicillin is usually injected and not usually given orally because it is unstable in stomach acid. It is used to treat bacterial infections such as gonorrhea, pneumonia, meningitis, syphilis, anthrax, heart infection, septicemia and cellulitis.
Uses of procaine penicillin and benzathine penicillin
These two are used far less frequently, but are still very important drugs. Procaine penicillin is a combination of local aesthetic and penicillin, which is commonly used by veterinarians. However, it is also used for treating syphilis, respiratory tract infections, strep throat, cellulitis and anthrax infections. Benzathine penicillin is injected and slowly absorbed by the body. It is used for rheumatic fever and syphilis.