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Side Effects of Penicillin Antibiotics

Published by Nanni on Saturday, June 30, 2012

Photo credit by cavale

The antibiotic penicillin is an extremely useful aid in the pharmacopoeia against disease. It can effectively interfere with the cell wall developments of many disease causing bacteria so that its growth will weaken and destroy the bacteria. Penicillin treats a wide range of bacteriological ailments from ear infections to gonorrhea. However helpful penicillin antibiotics are for the recovery of good health in humans, there are some cautions to address, as well as a number of potential negative side effects.

Women must be careful. Penicillin can decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. While the antibiotic does not seem to hurt unborn babies, there are some dangers involved in a newborn absorbing it orally through its mother's milk if they breast feed. One should be aware that even if the disease has abated, you will need to continue the prescription to its completion. Ending the regimen early increases the chance a few bacteria remain which can then develop an immunity to the antibiotic.

Any antibiotic has the potential to cause diarrhea since it will also attack the useful bacteria in the digestive tract. However, the development of severe, watery diarrhea or bloody diarrhea indicates the need to cease using the antibiotic immediately and contact your physician.

Some relatively mild side effects that can commonly occur from the use of penicillin include such difficulties as nausea, stomach pains and the potential for vomiting. Women may experience vaginal itching and may develop an unpleasant discharge as the antibiotic destroys the beneficial bacteria in the body. Headaches can also occur as a side effect of penicillin antibiotics. Some people develop what is described as a swollen, furry or "black" tongue, or will develop thrush which manifests as white patches in the throat and mouth.

Development of the more severe side effects of penicillin antibiotics indicates the need to quit the antibiotic and seek professional medical help. These severe side effects include such problems as fever, body and muscle aches, chills or other flu-like symptoms. A general weakness and an increase in the ease of bruising or bleeding also indicate underlying dangers to your health. Dangerous penicillin side effects also include severe skin rashes accompanied by itching and sometimes peeling. This effect can be most pronounced inside the mouth. Mild allergic reaction side effects of penicillin antibiotics can also cause shortness of breath or difficulties with breathing.

Mentally, the side effects of penicillin antibiotics can create a confused state of mind with an increase in agitation and anxiety. Abnormal or out of character thought patterns or behaviors could also indicate a severe allergic reaction to the drug. This can lead to seizures and blackouts or other convulsive reactions.

Normally, people will have no problems with penicillin antibiotic. As with any drug there are those whose system cannot deal with the penicillin antibiotic. While it is usually the most effective antibiotic for most bacterial infections, there are alternatives. Any time you are prescribed penicillin you should self-monitor your body and report any abnormalities to your doctor. There should be no reason to get sicker while trying to get well.

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