See a doctor

Penicillin can fight a wide range of infections and is found in many forms of antibiotic medication, such as amoxicillin.

Learn About:

How to take - Side Effects - Things To Avoid - Pregnancy

Famously discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, penicillin remains one of the most important and effective antibiotics in the world.

If you have a bacterial infection that needs treatment, talk to one of our doctors and see if penicillin could help you get better.

how to take penicillin

Penicillin Dosage

Penicillin is usually prescribed in either tablet or liquid form, and can sometimes be taken with food or drink. Full instructions on storage and dosage will be found on the label - the important thing is that you take the medicine as instructed by your doctor.

In order for it to help, you must take penicillin for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Even if you feel better, the infection might still not be completely cleared, while penicillin can take a few days to have an effect. You shouldn’t stop taking it without consulting your doctor.

If you accidentally miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s nearly time for your next dose. Doubling up on doses won’t make penicillin any more effective and you’ll be more likely to experience side effects.

What Does Penicillin Treat?

Your doctor will decide if penicillin will help with your infection. It’s used to treat:

Talk to a Doctor About Penicillin

What Are The Side Effects of Penicillin?

Like all antibiotics, the most common side effect of penicillin is diarrhoea. This is usually nothing to worry about, but you should speak to a doctor if it becomes very watery or has blood in it.

Other common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Sickness
  • Stomach ache
  • Headache
  • Swollen tongue

Women may also experience vaginal itching or thrush.

Some side effects are less common and you should let your doctor know about them straight away, including:

  • Fever
  • Seizures (Fits)
  • Rash
  • Weakness

In rare cases, penicillin can cause an allergic reaction. Seek urgent medical attention if you notice swelling around your face, lips and throat, or you’re having trouble breathing.

See a Doctor About Your Penicillin
side effects of penicillin

Things To Avoid

Your doctor will need to know if you’re taking any other medication, in order to make sure that it’s okay to mix this with penicillin.

For example, antibiotics can make the birth control pill less effective, so your doctor needs to know if you’re on it.

Penicillin might also be unsuitable if you have:

  • Asthma
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • A blood clotting disorder
  • A history of diarrhoea when taking other antibiotics
  • Allergies

You mustn’t start taking other medication alongside penicillin without checking this with a doctor first.

Can You Drink Alcohol When You’re On Penicillin?

It won’t do you any harm to have a couple of drinks if you’re on penicillin. Studies have shown that it’ll still be just as effective.

Of course, drinking while you’re ill isn’t always a good idea, as you can easily become dehydrated and a subsequent hangover could make you feel even worse. You might also increase your chance of side effects such as diarrhoea.

Is It Safe To Take Penicillin During Pregnancy?

Penicillin isn’t thought to be harmful to unborn babies, but you should always tell a doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to start a family soon, as this may influence which drugs they choose to prescribe for you.

It’s thought that penicillin can get into breast milk and pose a risk to your baby, so you should avoid breastfeeding while you’re taking this medication.

See a doctor about Penicillin
pregnancy and penicillin

Talk to a doctor Today

If your bacterial infection isn’t clearing up, talk to one of our doctors about choosing the best treatment. They can write you up a prescription straight away and you’ll be able to collect the medication from a pharmacy of your choice.

See a doctor

Prescriptions, Fit Notes & Referral Letters at the Push of a Button

With Push Doctor you can get the medical advice and help that you need.

1. Book an appointment

Be seen in minutes, or choose a time that suits you.

2. Speak to a doctor online

Talk face-to-face with a UK GP through our app or website.

3. Start feeling better

Receive medical advice, instant prescriptions, referrals and fit notes.
See a doctor