CDC Recommends Alternatives to Penicillin G Potassium During Vial Shortage
Despite the shortage of vials, frozen premixes of penicillin G potassium in 5% dextrose injection remain available from Baxter Healthcare Corporation. The company announced October 21 that it had greatly increased production of that product line, in which 1, 2, or 3 million units of penicillin G comes packaged in 50 mL of diluent.
The CDC recommendations, available at www.cdc.gov/nchstp/dstd/pencillinG.htm, pertain to the treatment of congenital syphilis and neurosyphilis and the prophylaxis of intrapartum group B streptococcus. These three conditions, according to CDC, are among the relatively few for which penicillin G potassium remains the treatment of choice.
In early October, Pfizer Inc. had announced that the company had no supplies of its brand-name penicillin G potassium product, Pfizerpen, and did not expect to have any available until fourth quarter 2000. The manufacturer of the generic product, Marsam Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Schein Pharmaceutical Inc., had earlier announced that, because of manufacturing problems noted by the FDA, the company had begun recalling products and suspended manufacturing and testing activities.