During pregnancy, doctors will generally tell mothers to abstain from taking any medicine. This is mostly applicable during the first trimester. But if you have constant flu, then only antibiotics can help, which the doctors will not permit. However, if you don’t treat your illness, then that could become riskier.
Penicillin is a very popular antibiotic that can cure infection and flu successfully. If you are suffering from cold and flu constantly, then you must have been thinking about popping penicillin to get some respite. However, you need to contemplate whether it would be safe or not to have penicillin during pregnancy because you need to take care of your baby as well. That is why let’s discuss that is this article.
What Is Penicillin?
Penicillin belongs to a group of antibiotics, which include procaine penicillin, benzathine penicillin, penicillin G, and penicillin V. Penicillium fungi are the source of these antibiotics. This group of penicillin was among the first medicines that fought against the infections caused by staphylococci and streptococci. Because of the wide use of penicillin, many bacteria have evolved the resistance power to stop its effect.
Types of Penicillin:
There are multiple types of penicillin that you can use to treat infections. Your doctor will prescribe penicillin of antibacterial medicines. However, it is advised that you should not use one type of penicillin instead of the one doctor prescribe.
How Does Penicillin Work?
Our body’s immune system has enough power to stop bacteria. The white blood cells in your body attack the bacteria before it can have a serious impact on the body. When you get a symptom of bacterial infection, the body will itself fight off the bacterial infection. However, if the bacteria become too much for your body to handle, then you might require antibiotics.
In order to protect themselves, bacteria build cell walls continuously. Penicillin damages that cell wall by penetrating it. But bacteria can also create resistance with β-lactamase. You can also counter this with β-lactamase and penicillin combining together.
Uses of Penicillin:
Penicillin can treat various types of infections triggered by bacteria. Penicillin was among the first medicines that were effective in treating syphilis, and still, in this day and age, doctors use it. There are three primary usages of penicillin which includes:
- Fighting against bacterial infections such as tonsillitis.
- Stop bacterial infection in the body of those people whose immune system has got weak because of some illnesses.
- Boost the immune system to reduce bacterial infection risk.
- Treat people who are suffering from sickle diseases.
Is It Safe To Take Penicillin While Pregnant?
You must be wondering whether it is safe or not to take penicillin during your pregnancy. Well, penicillin belongs to pregnancy drugs category B. Usually category B drugs comprise prenatal vitamins, acetaminophen, and several other medications that are used safely during pregnancy. In case there is a medical need for a Category B drug during pregnancy, there is no harm in using it. Now you will be delighted to know that taking penicillin during pregnancy is absolutely safe. It shows no adverse impact on pregnant women. In order to treat UTI or strep throat during pregnancy, doctors generally prescribe penicillin.
Dosage Of Penicillin During Pregnancy
The dosage of penicillin varies with patients. Your doctor will decide your dosage. All you have to do it stick on to the dosage your doctor prescribed. Never try to increase your dosage to decrease the duration. Also, make sure you complete the full course. We are emphasizing this because, when you are in the course of antibiotics, within a day or two, all the annoying symptoms of your illness will vanish. This does not mean the bacteria that cause your illness are also completely destroyed. Your doctor knows the exact dosage and duration of the medication, which will completely eradicate bacteria from your system. All you need to do it strictly stick on to it.
- What If I Missed A Dose?
If due to some reason you miss a dose, try to take it as soon as you can. However, if you surpassed the time completely, then skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your scheduled time. Never try to take two doses at one time. Remember, an overdose of penicillin can bring about several health issues that need medical attention that should be avoided when you are pregnant. However, if you missed more than a dose, then you should intimate it to your doctor. He will give you further directions.
Things To Consider Before Consuming Penicillin During Pregnancy:
Even though it is quite safe to take penicillin during pregnancy, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind before taking penicillin at the time of pregnancy. By keeping in mind these things, you will be able to avert any unwanted consequences of taking penicillin during pregnancy.
1. Allergies To Penicillin:
One of the most common problems that could arise due to penicillin is the allergic reaction. If you get an allergic reaction by taking penicillin V, then you should stop taking the medication immediately. Also, if you get the same result by using antibiotics such as oxacillin, dicloxacillin, or ampicillin, you should stop using penicillin. You should also convey this reaction of the medicine to your doctor. Your doctor should know that you are allergic also to cephalosporins such as Ceclor, Duricef, Ceftin, and Keflex. In this way, your doctor will be able to provide you with treatment in a proper way.
2. A History Of Allergies:
If you have a history of being vulnerable to allergies, then you can’t take penicillin especially, at the time of pregnancy. Taking penicillin will increase the risk of getting exposed to allergic reactions. Therefore, it is crucial to inform your doctor if you have seasonal, food, or contact allergies. This is for the reason that these allergies could point towards an increased possibility of contracting penicillin allergy. Anaphylactic shock is very common for those people who are very much susceptible to allergies. Hence, you should not contemplate taking penicillin if you have a tendency to get affected by allergies.
3. Certain Health Issues:
If you have certain health issues like asthma and diarrhea associated with the intake of antibiotics, inform it to your doctor. Similarly, if you have any type of bleeding or blood clotting disorder, you should inform your doctor. This is because the bleeding issues are found to aggravate during the intake of penicillin.
Penicillin And Yeast Infection:
Penicillin during pregnancy can cause a yeast infection. This is because, at the same time, as it kills the harmful bacteria, penicillin may also destroy friendly bacteria in the vagina that prohibit yeast infection. Therefore if you notice foul-smelling discharge or itching in the vagina, never hesitate to consult your doctor immediately.
Penicillin And Diarrhoea:
Like all antibiotics, penicillin can also bring about diarrhea. However, if diarrhea persists more than three days or if you detect blood in your stool, inform it to your doctor immediately. This could be an indication of penicillin allergy.
Side Effects Of Penicillin During Pregnancy
There are certain side-effects of taking penicillin during pregnancy. But, these side-effects are quite rarely seen. However, you should be taking every safety measure possible while pregnancy in order to protect your baby. So, it is better not to count out these side-effects. Consult with your doctor if you see any of the following side-effects:
- Swelling in the tongue, throat or lips
- Chills and fever
- Severe rashes in the skin
- Vomiting or nausea
- Stomach ache
- A headache
- Black tongue
- Itching around the vagina or vaginal discharge
Though taking penicillin is absolutely safe during pregnancy, if you are unfortunate, then you can have these side-effects. So, before taking penicillin, it is always advisable to take the recommendation of your doctor.