penicillin during pregnancy

Is It Safe To Take Penicillin During Pregnancy?

Antibiotics are generally prescribed by doctors for the treatment of pregnancy related complications such as infection in urinary tract and ear. When pregnancy is concerned, the specific antibiotic has to be chosen very carefully. A few antibiotics are safe to be consumed during pregnancy, while others aren’t. To assess the safety of any antibiotic, you need to consider several factors, that includes the antibiotic type, the current trimester of pregnancy, the dosage, duration of course, and its possible impact on the body. In this article, we will tell you about the safety of consuming penicillin and its possible adverse impact on your pregnancy.

What Is Penicillin?

Penicillin is a common antibiotic that is prescribed by doctors to pregnant and non-pregnant women. This drug is potent to treat several types of conditions that are due to bacterial infection.

Some of these conditions are pneumonia, urinary tract infections, syphilis, bronchitis, infection in throat, ear and skin, infections. Penicillin is a prescription-based drug that implies that you can only get it by showing a valid prescription at the medical store.

How does Penicillin work in the body?

Penicillin works by way of ceasing the growth of damaging bacteria in the body. In this way, it cures bacterial infection in the body.

In what forms is Penicillin available for consumption?

Penicillin is considered as the “first-line antibiotic” by several doctors. You can get it in injection or oral tablet form.

Is Penicillin safe to be recommended for treating bacterial infection?

According to the US. FDA (Food and Drug Administration), Penicillin is considered to be completely safe for consumption by a pregnant woman. It is classified as “pregnancy category B” drug. This implies that it is an FDA approved drug that does not cause harm to the pregnant women when taken in right dosage for specified period of time and under medical supervision.

As per the studies performed on the fetus in rat, rabbit and mouse, there has not been seen any proof of negative reactions of the drug on the developing fetus. However, it is advised to be on the safer side during pregnancy. The drug is only recommended to be taken during this critical phase when its potential advantages are more than its risks.

Do Penicillin have a direct impact on the body?

This antibiotic crosses the placenta and lands up to the fetus in the body. However, by the time it reaches to the fetus, the intensity of the drug is reduced to half. So, the chances of consuming penicillin do not cause any direct toxicity to the fetus. However, there is a possibility that it can lead to allergic reactions.

So, if a pregnant woman has had any allergy to penicillin, then she should abstain from taking it during pregnancy. This is because the allergy to penicillin can lead to excessive secretion of histamine in the body. This, in turn, can result in premature birth in a person. So, it is not advisable for pregnant women with Penicillin Allergy to consume the drug.

Can Penicillin Leads To Miscarriage?

Compared to the various categories of antibiotics, “penicillin” is seen to be effective and safe for consumption during pregnancy. There is observed no threat of congenital malformation, spontaneous miscarriage, neonatal complications or intrauterine death.

Side effects of Penicillin on pregnancy

Some of the common types of side effects caused by penicillin on the body include the following:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach

If you feel any discomfort in stomach after taking the medicine, then it could be because you took it on an empty stomach. So, to prevent any such discomfort, it is advised to always take the drug after food. Ensure that you consume a lot of water, preferably one glass of water while taking the medicine.

Though, the chances of serious side effects due to consumption of penicillin are less, but you should know before you take it. Some of these severe side effects are:

  • allergic reactions
  • bloody diarrhea or watery diarrhea
  • lethargy or weakness
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • seizures
  • skin color turns yellowish or the white region of your eyes turns yellowish

If you find any of the side effects after taking penicillin, then you should reach to your doctor at the earliest. It can be an indication of another infection. This can pose a threat during pregnancy. He will suggest another antibiotic to treat the issues.

Also read: First Trimester Pregnancy Diet; What To Eat And What To Avoid


Although penicillin is safe to be consumed during pregnancy, one should take it only if the doctor prescribes it. It is better to check for natural substitute for the treatment of the condition. If there is no such natural substitute available, then you need to take in the way it has been prescribed. This will keep you and your baby safe during pregnancy.