Penicillin V | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More

Generic Name:

penicillin-v, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Beepen VK (Discontinued)
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
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Highlights for penicillin-v

Oral tablet
1

Penicillin V is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria. It won’t work for infections caused by viruses, such as the common cold. 

2

Penicillin V is available as a tablet or solution you take by mouth.

3

Penicillin V is only available as a generic drug.

4

The more common side effects of this drug include nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, and a black, hairy tongue.

5

In some cases, penicillin V can cause serious side effects. These include severe allergic reactions and diarrhea.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Serious allergic reaction

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include a skin rash with or without blisters, flu-like symptoms (such as a fever, feeling ill, or joint pain), or swelling of your throat, tongue, or mouth. If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room. Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. 

Finish taking your whole prescription

It’s important you finish all of your penicillin V prescription even if you’re feeling better. If you skip doses or don’t complete the full course of treatment, this drug won’t work as well. Also, the bacteria causing your infection may become resistant to treatment. Resistance means that it won’t respond to penicillin V or other antibiotics in the future.

Severe diarrhea

This drug may cause diarrhea during and after your treatment with it. This diarrhea can be caused by an infection in your intestine called Clostridium difficile. Call your doctor right away if you have bloody or watery diarrhea with or without stomach cramps and a fever while you’re taking this drug.

Drug features

Penicillin V is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet and oral solution.

Penicillin V is only available as a generic drug.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Penicillin V is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria. These include:

  • streptococcal upper respiratory tract infections, scarlet fever, and erysipelas infections
  • pneumococcal upper respiratory infections

More Details

How it works

Penicillin V belongs to a class of drugs called antibiotics. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Penicillin V works by stopping the bacteria from multiplying. This kills off the bacteria that are causing your infection.

More Details

Why it's used

Penicillin V is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria. These include:

  • streptococcal upper respiratory tract infections, scarlet fever, and erysipelas infections
  • pneumococcal upper respiratory infections
  • staphylococcal skin and soft tissue infections
  • fusospirochetosis (infection of the oropharynx or middle part of the throat)
  • prevention of rheumatic fever or chorea

This drug won’t work to treat infections caused by viruses, such as the common cold. 

How it works

Penicillin V belongs to a class of drugs called antibiotics. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Penicillin V works by stopping the bacteria from multiplying. This kills off the bacteria that are causing your infection.

You should only use this drug to treat bacterial infections. It won’t work to treat viruses, such as the common cold.

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penicillin-v Side Effects

Oral tablet

More Common Side Effects

The more common side effects of penicillin V can include:

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • stomach upset

  • diarrhea

  • black, hairy tongue

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following: 

  • Allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

    • skin rash with or without blisters
    • flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, feeling ill, or joint pain
    • swelling of your throat, tongue, or mouth
  • Diarrhea. Symptoms include:

    • bloody or watery diarrhea with or without stomach cramps and a fever
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Penicillin V doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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penicillin-v May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Penicillin V can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help prevent interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with severe allergies

If you have severe allergies, you have a higher risk of developing a severe allergic reaction to penicillin. This type of allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Symptoms can include throat swelling, trouble swallowing, wheezing, and trouble breathing.

People with asthma

If you have asthma, you have a higher risk of developing a severe allergic reaction to penicillin. This type of allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Symptoms can include throat swelling, trouble swallowing, wheezing, and trouble breathing.

People with kidney problems

If you have kidney problems or a history of kidney disease, you may not be able to clear this drug from your body well. This may increase the levels of penicillin V in your body and cause more side effects. 

Pregnant women

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t assigned a pregnancy category to penicillin V. It is not yet known if penicillin V is safe and effective for use in pregnant women.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Penicillin V should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are breast-feeding

Penicillin V may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.

Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

For children

This drug hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 12 years of age.

Allergies

Penicillin V can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • skin rash with or without blisters
  • flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, feeling ill, or joint pain
  • swelling of your throat, tongue, or mouth

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it or any other type of penicillin. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take penicillin-v (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on: 

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Streptococcal infection

Brand: Penicillin V

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral solution
Strengths: 125 mg/5 mL, 250 mg/5 mL
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

125–250 mg taken every 6–8 hours for 10 days

Child dosage (ages 12–17 years)

125–250 mg taken every 6–8 hours for 10 days

Child dosage (ages 0–11 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in people younger than 12 years.

Pneumococcal upper respiratory infection

Brand: Penicillin V

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral solution
Strengths: 125 mg/5 mL, 250 mg/5 mL
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

250–500 mg taken every 6 hours until you no longer have a fever for at least 2 days

Child dosage (ages 12–17 years)

250–500 mg taken every 6 hours until you no longer have a fever for at least 2 days

Child dosage (ages 0–11 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in people younger than 12 years.

Staphylococcal skin or soft tissue infection

Brand: Penicillin V

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral solution
Strengths: 125 mg/5 mL, 250 mg/5 mL
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

250–500 mg taken every 6–8 hours

Child dosage (ages 12–17 years)

250–500 mg taken every 6–8 hours

Child dosage (ages 0–11 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in people younger than 12 years.

Prevention of rheumatic fever or chorea or both

Brand: Penicillin V

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral solution
Strengths: 125 mg/5 mL, 250 mg/5 mL
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

125–250 mg taken two times per day

Child dosage (ages 12–17 years)

125–250 mg taken two times per day

Child dosage (ages 0–11 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in people younger than 12 years.

Fusospirochetosis (oropharynx infection)

Brand: Penicillin V

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral solution
Strengths: 125 mg/5 mL, 250 mg/5 mL
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

250–500 mg taken every 6–8 hours

Child dosage (ages 12–17 years)

250–500 mg taken every 6–8 hours

Child dosage (ages 0–11 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in people younger than 12 years.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Penicillin V comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

Your infection may not get better or may get worse. Even if you’re starting to feel better, you should still finish all of your medication.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of this drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • Diarrhea  
  • Nausea
  • Oral infection. Symptoms can include:
    • Creamy white lesions that look like cottage cheese
    • Cotton mouth (dry mouth)
  • Vomiting
  • Blackened tongue

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your symptoms and your infection should get better.

Penicillin V is used for short-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking penicillin V

Do not take this drug with food

Take it on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before eating or 2 hours after eating.

Store this drug carefully

Oral tablet:

  • Store this drug at room temperature. Keep it between 68°F and 77°F (15°C and 30°C).
  • Keep the container tightly closed.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Oral solution:

  • Store this drug at room temperature. Keep it between 68°F and 77°F (15°C and 30°C).
  • Keep the container tightly closed.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.
  • Throw out any unused drug after 14 days.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include: 

  • Kidney function. Your doctor may do blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working. If your kidneys aren’t working well, your doctor may lower your dose of this drug.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

What does the pill look like?

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Show Sources

  • DAVA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (2014, April). Penicillin V potassium–penicillin V potassium tablets. Penicillin V potassium–penicillin V potassium solution. Fort Lee, NJ.

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on January 19, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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