PENICILLIN G & CLAVULANIC ACID (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     2nd April 2024        

Context: Recently, two domestic drug-makers have been poised to commence production of penicillin G and clavulanic acid this year, aided by the government's production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.

Penicillin G

  • About: Benzylpenicillin, also known as penicillin G or BENPEN, is an antibiotic used to treat a number of bacterial infections.
  • The first penicillin discovered: It was effective against Gram-positive bacteria.
  • Use for disease: This includes pneumonia, strep throat, syphilis, necrotizing enterocolitis, diphtheria, gas gangrene, leptospirosis, cellulitis, and tetanus. 
  • Production: The production of Penicillin G in India ceased due to the influx of cheaper Chinese alternatives.
  • Administration and Absorption of Penicillin G: Due to poor oral absorption, Penicillin G is commonly administered intravenously or intramuscularly.
  • Side effects: diarrhea, seizures, and allergic reactions including anaphylaxis.
  • Reason for closures of industry in 1990’s:Approximately five Indian companies, including Torrent, were manufacturing Penicillin G in the 90s.

oLow prices of Chinese products forced Indian manufacturers out of business, leading to plant closures.

Clavulanic Acid

  • About: It is indicated for use alongside amoxicillin to combat bacterial infections, particularly those caused by beta-lactamase-producing bacteria.
  • Mechanism of Action: As a beta-lactamase inhibitor, clavulanic acid works by preventing bacterial enzymes from degrading amoxicillin, thus extending its antibacterial activity against beta-lactamase-producing pathogens.
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