Penicillin v potassium
What is Penicillin v potassium?
Phenoxymethylpenicillin, commonly known as penicillin V, is an antibiotic useful for the treatment of a number of bacterial infections. It is a penicillin that is orally active. It is less active than benzylpenicillin (penicillin G) against Gram-negative bacteria. Phenoxymethylpenicillin is more acid-stable than benzylpenicillin, which allows it to be given orally. It exerts a bactericidal action against penicillin-sensitive microorganisms during the stage of active multiplication. It acts by inhibiting the biosynthesis of cell-wall peptidoglycan. It is not active against beta-lactamase-producing bacteria, which include many strains of Staphylococci.
Phenoxymethylpenicillin has a range of antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria that is similar to that of benzylpenicillin and a similar mode of action, but it is substantially less active than benzylpenicillin against Gram-negative bacteria.
Phenoxymethylpenicillin is usually used only for the treatment of mild to moderate infections, and not for severe or deep-seated infections since absorption can be unpredictable. Except for the treatment or prevention of infection with Streptococcus pyogenes (which is uniformly sensitive to penicillin), therapy should be guided by bacteriological studies (including sensitivity tests) and by clinical response. Patients treated initially with parenteral benzylpenicillin may continue oral treatment with phenoxymethylpenicillin once a satisfactory clinical response has been obtained.
For prophylaxis against rheumatic fever, phenoxymethylpenicillin given by mouth twice a day is used as an alternative to injections of benzathine penicillin given every two weeks. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system.