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April 28, 1945


JAMA. 1945;127(17):1129-1130. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860170041011

Penicillin, it has been assumed, cannot be administered orally because of its rapid destruction by gastric acidity.1 If this antibiotic could be protected from such destruction and still made available for absorption from the small intestine, administration by mouth would be successful. Libby2 of the Stamford Research Laboratories, American Cyanimid Company, attempted to accomplish this by the use of enteric coated penicillin tablets. These gave unsatisfactory results. Consistent blood levels of penicillin could not be obtained, owing presumably to variations in the time and place of disintegration of the enteric coating.

Reasoning from the fact that little or no digestion of fats takes place in the normal stomach, Libby then tested oral administration of penicillin in the form of an oil or fat solution or suspension. Preliminary tests showed that a fine suspension or dispersion of penicillin salts in various oils can be kept at room temperature for