Benzathine benzylpenicillin tetrahydrate Suspension for Injection
Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Bicillin L-A. It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you receiving Bicillin L-A against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any questions about receiving this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
What Bicillin L-A is used for
Bicillin L-A is used to treat infections in different parts of the body caused by bacteria. Bicillin L-A is also used to prevent certain infections such as rheumatic fever. Bicillin L-A will not work against infections caused by viruses such as colds or flu.
Bicillin belongs to the group of penicillin antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria or preventing their growth. This particular type of Bicillin is called Bicillin L-A because it is long-acting. It is supplied in a syringe for once-only use.
Your doctor may have prescribed Bicillin L-A for another purpose. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Bicillin L-A has been prescribed for you.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
Before you are given Bicillin L-A
When you must not be given it:
Do not have Bicillin L-A if you have ever had an allergic reaction to Bicillin L-A, other penicillin antibiotics, or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include skin rash; swelling of the mouth, throat or face; difficulty breathing.
Do not have Bicillin L-A if you have had an allergic reaction to cephalosporins. You may have an increased chance of being allergic to Bicillin L-A if you are allergic to cephalosporins.
Do not have Bicillin L-A if the expiry date on the pack has passed. It may have no effect at all, or worse, an unexpected effect might result if you are given it after the expiry date.
Do not have Bicillin L-A if the packaging is damaged or shows any signs of tampering.
Before you are given it
You must tell your doctor if:
- you have any type of allergic reaction to Bicillin L-A, any other penicillin, or cephalosporin antibiotics.
- you have any allergies to any other medicines or any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes.
This may include medicines that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
- you are pregnant, or intend to become pregnant, are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using Bicillin L-A during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- you have, or have ever had any other health problems including asthma, kidney or liver disease.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you are given Bicillin L-A.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may interfere with Bicillin L-A. These include:
- Tetracycline antibiotics
These medicines may affect how well it works. You may need to take different amounts of your medicine or you may need to take different medicines.
Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with while using Bicillin L-A.
Bicillin L-A may interfere with some tests measuring glucose (sugar) in the urine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are having this sort of test.
How Bicillin L-A is given
Bicillin L-A is usually only given by a doctor, pharmacist or nurse. It is injected into a muscle. For adults this is usually the buttocks. With small children it may be the thigh. It must not be injected near an artery or nerve. If the injection is repeated, a new site must be chosen.
Your doctor will decide what dose and how many times you will receive Bicillin L-A. This depends on your infection and other factors, such as your weight.
Sometimes only a single dose of Bicillin L-A is needed for the treatment or prevention of certain infections.
While you are using Bicillin L-A
Things you must do
If the symptoms of your infection do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, tell your doctor.
If you develop itching with swelling or skin rash or difficulty breathing after you have been given Bicillin L-A, contact your doctor immediately as these are symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you develop severe diarrhoea, even if it occurs several weeks after you have stopped receiving Bicillin L-A. Diarrhoea may mean that you have a serious condition affecting your bowel. You may need urgent medical care. Do not take any diarrhoea medicine without first checking with your doctor.
If you get a sore white mouth or tongue after you have been given Bicillin L-A, tell your doctor. Also tell your doctor if you get vaginal itching or discharge. This may mean you have a fungal infection called thrush. Sometimes the use of Bicillin L-A allows fungi to grow and the above symptoms to occur. Bicillin L-A does not work against fungi.
If you become pregnant while you are receiving Bicillin L-A injections tell your doctor.
If you are about to start taking any new medicines, tell your doctor or pharmacist you are receiving Bicillin L-A.
If you have to have any blood or urine tests tell your doctor you have been given Bicillin L-A. Bicillin L-A may affect the results of some tests.
Tell any doctor, dentist or pharmacist who is treating you that you have been given Bicillin L-A.
Things to be careful of
Contact your doctor immediately if:
- you experience any symptoms of an allergy
- you have severe pain in the muscle where your Bicillin L-A injection was given
- you get thrush or any other infection soon after receiving Bicillin L-A
Overgrowth of certain bacteria or fungi not killed by Bicillin L-A can sometimes occur.
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Bicillin L-A affects you. Bicillin L-A generally does not cause any problems with your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. However, as with many other medicines, Bicillin L-A may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or tiredness in some people.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are receiving Bicillin L-A.
Bicillin L-A helps most people with certain bacterial infections, but it may have unwanted side effects in some people.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following side effects listed below.
Allergic side effects to Bicillin L-A include:
- skin rashes
- chills and fever
- swelling, including swelling of the throat
- difficulty breathing
- feeling faint
- joint pain
Other possible side effects include:
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- blood disorders
- damaged kidneys
- damaged nerves
- tissue damage at injection site
- infection by other bacteria
- nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
- stomach cramps
- inflammation of the large bowel.
- oral thrush – white, furry, sore tongue and mouth
- vaginal thrush – sore and itchy vagina and / or vaginal discharge
Some of these side effects are rare. You may not experience any of them.
Some people may get other side effects whilst receiving Bicillin L-A.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell, even if it is not on this list.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand anything in this list.
After using Bicillin L-A
Bicillin L-A is usually stored by your doctor or pharmacist.
If you are storing Bicillin L-A, keep it where young children cannot reach it.
Bicillin L-A must be kept in a refrigerator (2-8°C). Do not keep it in the door of the refrigerator, or the freezer.
Bicillin L-A may be stored below 30°C, for a single period of up to 2 months, prior to expiry. The date the product is placed outside of refrigerated storage and stored below 30°C should be written in the space provided on the carton. After storage outside of refrigeration, the product should be discarded and cannot be returned to refrigerated storage.
Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse should dispose of the Bicillin L-A syringe and any leftover contents after use. Do not handle or re-use the syringe.
This is not all the information that is available on Bicillin L-A. If you have any more questions or are not sure about anything, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
What it looks like
Bicillin L-A is supplied as a prefilled syringe.
Each Bicillin L-A 1,200,000 Units/2.3 mL syringe contains a thick white liquid. This liquid contains 1,200,000 Units equivalent to 1016.6 mg of the active ingredient, benzathine benzylpenicillin tetrahydrate in 2.3 mL.
The liquid also contains the following inactive ingredients:
- sodium citrate
- carmellose sodium
- methyl hydroxybenzoate
- propyl hydroxybenzoate
Bicillin L-A is supplied by:
Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd
ABN 50 008 422 348
38-42 Wharf Road
West Ryde NSW 2114
Toll Free Number: 1800 675 229
Pfizer New Zealand Ltd
PO Box 3998
Toll Free Number: 0800 736 363
Australian Registration Number:
AUST R 147169
® Registered Trademark.
This leaflet was revised on 4 September 2017.
Published by MIMS December 2017