It has been reported1 by both the Army and the Navy that certain lots of commercial penicillin sodium produce severe pain on intramuscular injection. In some cases repeated injections have been followed by the formation of sterile abscesses containing insoluble material with no antibacterial activity. In general the lots of penicillin causing the most severe reactions were produced by only one or two manufacturers. Occasionally, however, other manufacturers' lots resulted in mild to moderate irritation on intramuscular injection.
At the request of the Army and the Navy the present study was undertaken to determine the factors causing pain following intramuscular injection of penicillin. Two hundred and thirty individuals, most of them with sulfonamide resistant gonorrhea, were treated with penicillin sodium obtained from seventeen manufacturing sources.
In preliminary studies on 100 patients an attempt was made to correlate pain in patients following intramuscular injection with the reactions obtained following intradermal
HERWICK RP, WELCH H, PUTNAM LE, GAMBOA AM. CORRELATION OF THE PURITY OF PENICILLIN SODIUM: WITH INTRAMUSCULAR IRRITATION IN MAN. JAMA. 1945;127(2):74–76. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860020018006
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