Benzylpenicillin is one of a family of penicillins, which all act in essentially the same way - by interfering with bacterial cell wall synthesis.It has a good effect in body tissues and fluids, and is excreted in the urine in therapeutic concentrations - hence, when it was first tested on a clinical case, penicillin was extracted from the patients urine and re-used as the doctors had so little of the wonder drug. Side effects include hypersensitivity and occasionally anaphylactic shock,which can be fatal. Diarrhoea also often occurs with oral administration of the penicillins.

return to history