The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported Friday on shortages of the antibiotic, Bicillin-LA (benzathine penicillin G).
Benzathine penicillin G is the recommended treatment for syphilis and the only treatment option for pregnant women infected with or exposed to syphilis.
According to the FDA, the manufacturer, Pfizer, says that a manufacturing delay is the cause of the shortage. Backorder is expected to be resolved by July 2016.
Intramuscular penicillin G benzathine is indicated in the treatment of infections due to penicillin-G-sensitive microorganisms that are susceptible to the low and very prolonged serum levels common to this particular dosage form. Therapy should be guided by bacteriological studies (including sensitivity tests) and by clinical response.
The following infections will usually respond to adequate dosage of intramuscular penicillin G benzathine:
Mild-to-moderate infections of the upper-respiratory tract due to susceptible streptococci.
Medical Conditions in which Penicillin G Benzathine Therapy is indicated as Prophylaxis:
Rheumatic fever and/or chorea—Prophylaxis with penicillin G benzathine has proven effective in preventing recurrence of these conditions. It has also been used as follow-up prophylactic therapy for rheumatic heart disease and acute glomerulonephritis.
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