Penicillin has a long and interesting history. It was an extremely important discovery because it was one of the earliest discovered antibiotics. It is also interesting to note the penicillin is actually derived from mold. At the time of the discovery, there were very few medications that people could take to fit off bacterial infections. After the discovery of this important drug, the use became widespread and very beneficial.
Sir Alexander Flemming from Scotland first discovered that penicillin could actually destroy Staphylococcus, which at the time was a dangerous bacterium. This discovery was in 1928. After more research, he realized that this could be used in medication to kill disease-causing bacteria in the body. This was a major discovery and changed the face of medicine forever.
Before this discovery, mortality rates were extremely high. Patients that underwent even the most minor types of surgery or had trauma to the body had a high rate of infection. Infection would often enter the body through the place of incision and into the blood stream. Most of the time, this would cause death. When it was realized that penicillin could be used as in internal antiseptic, the success rate of surgeries and wounds increased dramatically.
Even though there have been hundreds of medical breakthroughs since the discovery of penicillin, it is still used in medications today. It is generally well tolerated and it is inexpensive. Many people can effectively take this drug to fight off infections. Even children can take forms of penicillin. The side effects when taking this drug are mild and can include an allergic reaction, diarrhea, nausea, rash and skin rash.
An estimated ten percent of patients that take penicillin are found to be allergic to the drug. This often shows up as skin rashes and hives. Those who experience this reaction should discontinue the use of their medication right away and seek the advice of his or her medical professional.
Penicillin was a major medical break through and completely changed the way medicine was practiced. It is a practical and an inexpensive drug and is very effective. If you have questions about the use of penicillin, you should talk to your doctor.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.