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May 5, 1945


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine and the Department of Laboratories, Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn.

JAMA. 1945;128(1):18. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860180020005

Many investigations are being pursued in an effort to circumvent the parenteral administration of penicillin. Several reports1 indicate the feasibility of oral administration by elimination of the destructive action of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. In general, it requires a fivefold increase in dosage to achieve penicillin serum assays comparable to that obtained by intramuscular injection. The conjoint use of retarding agents has in some measure prolonged the effects of the individual dose.

The rectal administration of penicillin has not been attempted, probably because of the assumption that the presence of the penicillinase-producing colon group of organisms might serve as an impenetrable barrier. Despite our own misgivings in this direction, experiments were undertaken to explore the possibilities of rectal administration because of its simplicity, the wide latitude in the selection of adjuvants and the obvious clinical advantages. Probatory results have been so promising as to merit this preliminary report.

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