Why should I be evaluated for a penicillin allergy?

Taking action to be evaluated for a penicillin allergy can impact your health, safety and wallet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10% of the U.S. population reports a penicillin allergy, but less ...


90% of penicillin allergy labels in Hong Kong found to be false

A collaborative research team led by Dr. Philip Li from the LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (HKUMed) has pioneered a new nurse-led penicillin allergy triage and testing strategy—the Hong Kong Drug Allergy ...


Why antibiotics are overused in dentistry

Broad-spectrum antibiotics are overused in dentistry because many patients mistakenly believe they have a penicillin allergy. But such allergies are rare and should be investigated by a doctor, says Bodil Lund, chair of the ...

Medical research

Guns, not roses: The true story of penicillin's first patient

Albert Alexander was dying. World War II was raging, and this police officer of the county of Oxford, England, had developed a severe case of sepsis after a cut on his face became badly infected. His blood was now teeming ...

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Penicillin (sometimes abbreviated PCN or pen) is a group of antibiotics derived from Penicillium fungi. Penicillin antibiotics are historically significant because they were the first drugs that were effective against many previously serious diseases such as syphilis and Staphylococcus infections. Penicillins are still widely used today, though many types of bacteria are now resistant. All penicillins are Beta-lactam antibiotics and are used in the treatment of bacterial infections caused by susceptible, usually Gram-positive, organisms.

The term "penicillin" can also refer to the mixture of substances that are naturally produced.

The term "penam" is used to describe the core skeleton of a member of a penicillin antibiotic. This skeleton has the molecular formula R-C9H11N2O4S, where R is a variable side chain.

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