Penicillin has been considered a miracle drug by doctors ever since it was first used in 1942. It could cure nearly every disease that it was prescribed for and was the cause of a major turning point in World War 2. Yet, for the past forty years there have been bacteria strains discovered that can withstand the power of Penicillin. The mass production and misuse of penicillin has caused the miracle drug to become ineffective towards serious infections.
Penicillin is a form of anti-biotic. The first antibiotic was discovered by Paul Vuillemin, who studied the effects of Antibiosis or the process in which an organism takes another’s life in order to maintain its own life (Porter 455). Penicillin is one of the most well known and most used
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One of the most noticeable uses of penicillin was its treatment of pneumonia. Before penicillin the death rate was 30% but after introduction it fell to 6%. (Porter 457). Penicillin wasn’t only used in the war effort, but it was making a difference all over the world. Although penicillin was seen to take on almost any bacterial infection, it was not until 1948 that the drug became truly innovative. Penicillin V was introduced in 1948 and was a groundbreaking discovery. Penicillin V was the first anti-bacterial medicine that could be taken by mouth because it wouldn’t get destroyed by the acids in the stomach (Williams 300). This allowed doctors could to give capsules in order to get their patients antibiotics, and they didn’t have to administer them through an I.V. any more (Hamblin 250). Without the administration through an I.V. penicillin was able to be taken at home, or away from medical supervision (White 311). Taking the drug by mouth allowed people to take the drugs at home, but it was an invitation for abuse because medical personnel didn’t supervise. Penicillin has been overused since it was created. People don’t overuse the drug in the sense of taking too much; they overuse it by taking, or prescribing it in the wrong situations (Herdman 51). This can be seen when doctors prescribe penicillin for every tiny problem causing unwanted exposure to the drug. An example of this is when doctors prescribe penicillin for a viral infection without even knowing what