Many attempts have been made to administer penicillin effectively by mouth. Abraham and his co-workers,1 in 1941 reported unsatisfactory results even when the penicillin was protected by a coating of phenyl salicylate but found that, when given through a duodenal tube, detectable levels were present in the blood for three hours. Herrell, Heilman and Williams2 in 1942 stated that penicillin was destroyed by the acid of the stomach but that some absorption occurred when sodium bicarbonate was given conjointly. Powell and Jamieson3 also reported that penicillin cured staphylococcic infections in mice when given in combination with sodium bicarbonate. Rammelkamp and his co-workers,4 in two papers in 1943 confirmed the impression that oral administration was unsatisfactory, although duodenal absorption occurred, and showed that patients with achlorhydria absorbed the drug fairly satisfactorily. The Floreys5 tested cellulose hydrogen acetate phthalate as an enteric coating but found that, while
CUTTING WC, HALPERN RM, SULTAN EH, ARMSTRONG CD, COLLINS CL. ADMINISTRATION OF PENICILLIN BY MOUTH: WITH RESULTS IN THE TREATMENT OF GONORRHEA. JAMA. 1945;129(6):425–432. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860400009004
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