Penicillins are β-lactam antibiotics and the first antibiotics to be widely used in clinical practice. Its two purified compounds are in clinical use: penicillin G (intravenous use) and penicillin V (given by mouth). Penicillins were effective against many bacterial infections caused by staphylococci and streptococci. They are still widely used today for different bacterial infections, though many types of bacteria have developed resistance following extensive use. Some people report that they are allergic to penicillin. Serious allergies only occur in about 0.03%. Cephalosporin C is the most commonly used substitute for penicillin. However, 10% of people who are allergic to penicillin are also allergic to Cephalosporin C. Semisynthetic Penicillins are effective against a broader spectrum of bacteria: these include the Antistaphylococcal Penicillins, aminopenicillins, and antipseudomonal Penicillins.
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