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BICILLIN® C-R Clinical Pharmacology (penicillin G benzathine, penicillin G procaine)



Penicillin G benzathine and penicillin G procaine have a low solubility and, thus, the drugs are slowly released from intramuscular injection sites. The drugs are hydrolyzed to penicillin G. This combination of hydrolysis and slow absorption results in blood serum levels much lower but more prolonged than other parenteral penicillins.

Intramuscular administration of 600,000 units of Bicillin C-R in adults usually produces peak blood levels of 1.0 to 1.3 units per mL within 3 hours; this level falls to an average concentration of 0.32 units per mL at 12 hours, 0.19 units per mL at 24 hours, and 0.03 units per mL at seven days.

Intramuscular administration of 1,200,000 units of Bicillin C-R in adults usually produces peak blood levels of 2.1 to 2.6 units per mL within 3 hours; this level falls to an average concentration of 0.75 units per mL at 12 hours, 0.28 units per mL at 24 hours, and 0.04 units per mL at seven days.

Approximately 60% of penicillin G is bound to serum protein. The drug is distributed throughout the body tissues in widely varying amounts. Highest levels are found in the kidneys with lesser amounts in the liver, skin, and intestines. Penicillin G penetrates into all other tissues and the spinal fluid to a lesser degree. With normal kidney function, the drug is excreted rapidly by tubular excretion. In neonates and young infants and in individuals with impaired kidney function, excretion is considerably delayed.


Mechanism of Action

Penicillin G exerts a bactericidal action against penicillin-susceptible microorganisms during the stage of active multiplication. It acts through the inhibition of biosynthesis of cell-wall peptidoglycan, rendering the cell wall osmotically unstable resulting in death of the bacterium.


Penicillin is not active against penicillinase-producing bacteria, or against organisms resistant to beta-lactams because of alterations in the penicillin-binding proteins. Resistance to penicillin G has not been reported in Streptococcus pyogenes.

Penicillin has been shown to be active against most isolates of the following bacteria, both in vitro and in clinical infections as described in the INDICATIONS AND USAGE section.

Gram-positive bacteria

Beta-hemolytic streptococci (groups A, B, C, G, H, L and M).

Streptococcus pneumoniae (penicillin-susceptible isolates only).

Susceptibility Testing

For specific information regarding susceptibility test interpretive criteria and associated test methods and quality control standards recognized by FDA for this drug, please see:

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