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Benzylpenicillin Potassium or Sodium (Generic Penicillin G (Potassium, Sodium) Injection)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Benzylpenicillin, also known as penicillin G, is a narrow-spectrum antibiotic belonging to the beta-lactam group. It’s primarily prescribed for bacterial infections caused by susceptible organisms, particularly those susceptible to penicillin. Benzylpenicillin is effective against a variety of bacteria, including Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and some strains of Neisseria, among others. It’s commonly used for infections like strep throat, skin infections, pneumonia, and syphilis.

How should this medicine be used?

Usage Instructions:

  • Administration Route: Benzylpenicillin is usually administered via intravenous (IV) or intramuscular (IM) injection. It can also be given orally, but this route is less common and usually reserved for specific situations.
  • Dosage: The dosage of benzylpenicillin varies depending on the severity of the infection, the patient’s age, weight, and renal function. It’s crucial to follow the dosage instructions provided by the healthcare provider or pharmacist.
  • Frequency: Typically, benzylpenicillin is administered every 4 to 6 hours for IV or IM administration. Oral dosing may be more frequent.
  • Duration: The duration of treatment with benzylpenicillin depends on the type and severity of the infection. It’s essential to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by the healthcare provider, even if symptoms improve before the course is finished.
  • Monitoring: During treatment with benzylpenicillin, patients may require monitoring for allergic reactions, especially if they have a history of penicillin allergy. Additionally, periodic monitoring of kidney and liver function may be necessary, especially in prolonged therapy.
  • Reconstitution: If using the powdered form of benzylpenicillin for injection, it must be reconstituted according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer or healthcare provider. It’s crucial to use the correct diluent and follow proper aseptic technique to prevent contamination.
  • Storage: Benzylpenicillin should be stored as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Typically, it should be stored at room temperature away from light and moisture. Reconstituted solutions may have specific storage requirements and expiration times, so it’s essential to follow instructions closely.

It’s important for patients to inform their healthcare provider about any allergies, medical conditions, or medications they are taking before starting treatment with benzylpenicillin to ensure its safety and effectiveness. Additionally, they should report any unusual or severe side effects experienced during treatment.

Other uses for this medicine

  • Prophylaxis: Benzylpenicillin is sometimes used to prevent certain bacterial infections, particularly in individuals at high risk, such as those undergoing surgery or dental procedures that could introduce bacteria into the bloodstream.
  • Syphilis: Benzylpenicillin is the preferred treatment for syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum.
  • Bacterial Endocarditis: It’s also used in the treatment of bacterial endocarditis, an infection of the heart’s inner lining or valves, often in combination with other antibiotics.

What special precautions should I follow?

When using benzylpenicillin, it’s essential to take specific precautions to ensure its safe and effective use. Here are some special precautions to consider:

  • Allergy Screening: Before prescribing benzylpenicillin, healthcare providers should inquire about a history of penicillin allergy or allergic reactions to other beta-lactam antibiotics. Patients with a known allergy to penicillin should not receive benzylpenicillin unless the benefits outweigh the risks, and alternative antibiotics should be considered.
  • Cross-reactivity: Individuals with a documented allergy to penicillin may also have an increased risk of allergic reactions to other beta-lactam antibiotics, such as cephalosporins. Cross-reactivity between penicillins and cephalosporins can occur, although the risk is relatively low.
  • Renal Impairment: Benzylpenicillin is primarily excreted by the kidneys, so dose adjustments may be necessary in patients with renal impairment. Healthcare providers should carefully monitor renal function and adjust the dosage accordingly to prevent accumulation and potential toxicity.
  • Superinfection: Like other antibiotics, prolonged or inappropriate use of benzylpenicillin may result in the overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms, leading to superinfection. Healthcare providers should monitor patients for signs of superinfection and adjust treatment as necessary.
  • Pregnancy and Lactation: Benzylpenicillin is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding when clinically indicated. However, healthcare providers should weigh the potential benefits and risks before prescribing it to pregnant or lactating individuals.
  • Storage and Handling: Benzylpenicillin should be stored according to the manufacturer’s instructions and handled with care to prevent contamination and degradation. Reconstituted solutions should be used promptly and discarded if not used within the recommended timeframe.

By following these precautions, healthcare providers can minimize the risk of adverse reactions and ensure the safe and effective use of benzylpenicillin in clinical practice.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with the use of Benzylpenicillin Potassium or Sodium. However, it’s essential to maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated while undergoing treatment for an infection. Some antibiotics may cause gastrointestinal upset, so you may find it helpful to eat bland, easily digestible foods and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of Benzylpenicillin Potassium or Sodium, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double up on doses to make up for a missed one. If you’re unsure about what to do, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Benzylpenicillin Potassium or Sodium, like any medication, can cause side effects in some individuals. Common side effects may include:

  • Allergic Reactions: Allergic reactions to benzylpenicillin, ranging from mild to severe, can occur. Symptoms may include rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face or tongue, difficulty breathing, or anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention.
  • Gastrointestinal Effects: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are common gastrointestinal side effects associated with benzylpenicillin use.
  • Pain or Irritation at Injection Site: For individuals receiving intramuscular or intravenous injections of benzylpenicillin, pain, redness, swelling, or irritation at the injection site may occur.
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions: Some individuals may develop hypersensitivity reactions, such as drug fever, eosinophilia, or interstitial nephritis.
  • Neurological Effects: Rarely, benzylpenicillin use may lead to neurological side effects such as seizures or confusion, particularly in high doses or in individuals with underlying neurological conditions.
  • Hematological Effects: Benzylpenicillin can affect blood cell counts, leading to leukopenia (reduced white blood cell count), thrombocytopenia (reduced platelet count), or hemolytic anemia (destruction of red blood cells).
  • Superinfection: Prolonged or repeated use of benzylpenicillin may result in the overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms, leading to superinfection.
  • Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction: In individuals being treated for syphilis or other spirochetal infections, a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction may occur shortly after starting benzylpenicillin therapy. Symptoms may include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and exacerbation of skin lesions. This reaction is thought to be due to the release of endotoxins from dying bacteria.

It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and some individuals may experience side effects not listed here. If you experience any concerning symptoms or side effects while taking benzylpenicillin, it’s essential to inform your healthcare provider promptly. They can provide guidance on managing side effects and may adjust your treatment regimen if necessary.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

When it comes to the storage and disposal of Benzylpenicillin Potassium or Sodium, here are some key points to consider:


  • Temperature: Store Benzylpenicillin Potassium or Sodium as directed by the manufacturer. Typically, it should be stored at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
  • Reconstitution: If you are using the powdered form of Benzylpenicillin for injection, follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist for reconstitution. Store reconstituted solutions as directed and use them promptly.
  • Keep Out of Reach of Children: Store Benzylpenicillin Potassium or Sodium in a location inaccessible to children and pets, as accidental ingestion can be harmful.


  • Proper Disposal: Dispose of any unused Benzylpenicillin Potassium or Sodium according to local regulations or guidelines for pharmaceutical waste disposal. Do not dispose of medications in household trash or wastewater unless instructed to do so.
  • Take-back Programs: Some pharmacies or healthcare facilities may offer take-back programs or disposal services for unused or expired medications. Check with your local pharmacy or healthcare provider for more information.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Seek Medical Assistance: In case of an overdose or emergency, such as severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), difficulty breathing, or other serious symptoms, seek immediate medical attention by calling emergency services or going to the nearest emergency room.
  • Poison Control: You can also contact your local poison control center or national poison helpline for guidance on what to do in case of overdose or accidental ingestion.

What other information should I know?

  • Follow Instructions: Always follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist regarding the use of Benzylpenicillin Potassium or Sodium. Take the medication exactly as prescribed, and do not exceed the recommended dosage or duration of treatment.
  • Complete the Course: Complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if you start to feel better before the treatment is finished. Stopping treatment prematurely can lead to the recurrence of infection or antibiotic resistance.
  • Inform Healthcare Providers: Inform all healthcare providers involved in your care about any allergies, medical conditions, or medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.
  • Monitor for Side Effects: Be vigilant for any side effects or adverse reactions while taking Benzylpenicillin Potassium or Sodium. If you experience any unusual symptoms, notify your healthcare provider promptly.
  • Avoid Sharing: Do not share Benzylpenicillin Potassium or Sodium with others, even if they have similar symptoms. Antibiotics are prescribed based on individual needs and should not be shared or used for self-diagnosis.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure the safe and effective use of Benzylpenicillin Potassium or Sodium and minimize the risk of adverse events or complications.

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