Penicillin Side Effects


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.

What is penicillin V?

Penicillin V oral tablet is a prescription drug that’s only available as a generic drug. It’s also available as an oral solution.

Penicillin V is only available as a generic drug.

Why it’s used

Penicillin V is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria. These include:

  • streptococcal upper respiratory tract infections, scarlet fever, and erysipelas infections
  • pneumococcal upper respiratory infections
  • staphylococcal skin and soft tissue infections
  • fusospirochetosis (infection of the oropharynx or middle part of the throat)
  • prevention of rheumatic fever or chorea

This drug won’t work to treat infections caused by viruses, such as the common cold.It may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

How it works

Penicillin V belongs to a class of drugs called antibiotics. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Penicillin V works by stopping the bacteria from multiplying. This kills off the bacteria that are causing your infection.

You should only use this drug to treat bacterial infections. It won’t work to treat viruses, such as the common cold.

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.

Penicillin-V side effects

Penicillin V oral tablet doesn’t cause drowsiness. However, it may cause other side effects.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of penicillin V can include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach upset
  • diarrhea
  • black, hairy tongue

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:
    • skin rash with or without blisters
    • flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, feeling ill, or joint pain
    • swelling of your throat, tongue, or mouth
  • Diarrhea. Symptoms include:
    • bloody or watery diarrhea with or without stomach cramps and a fever


Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.

Penicillin-V may interact with other medications

Penicillin V oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help prevent interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Penicillin V warnings

Allergy warning

Penicillin V can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • skin rash with or without blisters
  • flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, feeling ill, or joint pain
  • swelling of your throat, tongue, or mouth

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it or any other type of penicillin.

Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

If you have severe allergies, you have a higher risk of developing a severe allergic reaction to penicillin. This type of allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Symptoms can include throat swelling, trouble swallowing, wheezing, and trouble breathing.

Warnings for people with certain health conditions

For people with asthma:

If you have asthma, you have a higher risk of developing a severe allergic reaction to penicillin. This type of allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Symptoms can include throat swelling, trouble swallowing, wheezing, and trouble breathing.

For people with kidney problems:

If you have kidney problems or a history of kidney disease, you may not be able to clear this drug from your body well. This may increase the levels of penicillin V in your body and cause more side effects.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t assigned a pregnancy category to penicillin V. It is not yet known if penicillin V is safe and effective for use in pregnant women. Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Penicillin V should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

For women who are breastfeeding:

Penicillin V may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors:

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

For children:

This drug hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 12 years of age.

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