Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about ASPECILLIN.
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 taking ASPECILLIN against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with your medicine. You may need to read it again.
Use ASPECILLIN only on the advice of your doctor and contact your doctor if you suffer from any unwanted effects.
What ASPECILLIN is used for
ASPECILLIN belongs to a group of medicines called penicillins.
ASPECILLIN is used to treat infections in different parts of the body caused by bacteria.
It works by killing the bacteria that are causing the infection. ASPECILLIN will not work against infections caused by viruses such as colds or the flu. Your doctor however, may have prescribed it for another purpose. Ask your doctor (or pharmacist) if you have any questions about why ASPECILLIN has been prescribed for you.
Active ingredient name: phenoxymethylpenicillin potassium – also called Penicillin VK
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
ASPECILLIN is not addictive.
This medicine is only available on a doctor’s prescription.
Before you take it
When you must not take it
Do not take ASPECILLIN VK if:
- you have an allergy to:
- other penicillins
- any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin; nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
- you have had an allergic reaction to cephalosporins.
You may have an increased chance of being allergic to ASPECILLIN if you are allergic to cephalosporins.
Do not take ASPECILLIN if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
Do not take it if the expiry date printed on the pack has passed. If you take this medicine after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking ASPECILLIN, contact your doctor.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if:
- you have any allergies to any other medicines or any other foods, preservatives or dyes
- you have or have ever had any other health problems/medical conditions, including:
- kidney problems.
- you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.
ASPECILLIN may be used during pregnancy (Australian Use in Pregnancy Category A). However, your doctor will discuss with you the risks and benefits of taking ASPECILLIN during pregnancy.
- you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
ASPECILLIN can pass to your baby from breast milk.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you start ASPECILLIN.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. Some medicines and ASPECILLIN may interfere with each other. Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking ASPECILLIN.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking ASPECILLIN and for several days after completing a course of treatment.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any oral contraceptive pills. You may need to use other birth control methods while you are taking ASPECILLIN.
How to take it
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the box/bottle, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How much to take
Your doctor may adjust this dose depending on the type and severity of the infection.
The usual dose is 250 mg to 500 mg every four to six hours for adults and older children.
How to take ASPECILLIN
Swallow the tablets whole with a full glass of water.
When to take it
Take your medicine at about the same time each day. Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you remember when to take it.
Your medicine is best taken on an empty stomach (one hour before meals and at bedtime), unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
How long to take it
Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you.
If you forget to take it
If it almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take you next dose when you are meant to.
Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking you medicine as you would normally.
Do not take double dose to make for the dose that you missed. This may increase the chance of you getting an unwanted side effect.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poison Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go the Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much ASPECILLIN. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
What if I am feeling better?
The whole course of antibiotics should be taken, even if you are feeling better. If you stop taking antibiotics too soon the infection may start up again because not all the infection has been killed.
If your symptoms do not improve within a few days of starting ASPECILLIN, or if they have become worse, check with your doctor.
While you are using it
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 of skin rash or difficulty breathing while you are taking ASPECILLIN do not take any more and contact your doctor immediately.
If you get severe diarrhoea tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse immediately. Do this even if it occurs several weeks after ASPECILLIN has been stopped. 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 while taking or soon after stopping ASPECILLIN, 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 ASPECILLIN allows fungi to grow and the above symptoms to occur. ASPECILLIN does not work against fungi.
If you become pregnant while taking ASPECILLIN tell your doctor.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking ASPECILLIN.
If you are about to have any blood tests, tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine. It may interfere with the results of some tests.
Tell any other doctors, dentists, and pharmacists who treat you that you are taking this medicine.
Things you must not do
Do not stop taking ASPECILLIN because you are feeling better, unless advised by your doctor. If you do not complete the full course prescribed by your doctor, all of the bacteria causing your infection may not be killed. These bacteria may continue to grow and multiply so that your infection may not clear completely or it may return.
Do not take ASPECILLIN to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give your medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Things to be careful of
Be careful when drinking alcohol while you are taking this medicine.
Take care while driving or operating machinery until you know how ASPECILLIN affects you.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are using ASPECILLIN. It helps most people with infections, but it may have some unwanted side effects in a few people.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- skin rash
- nausea & vomiting
- black hairy tongue
- epigastric distress
- difficulty in breathing.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go the Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
- shortness of breath
- wheezing or difficulty breathing
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
- rash, itching or hives on the skin
- nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
The above list includes very serious side effects.You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. These side effects are very rare.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell.
Tell you doctor immediately if you notice any of the following side effects, particularly if they occur several weeks after stopping treatment with ASPECILLIN.
- Severe abdominal cramps or stomach cramps
- Watery and severe diarrhoea, which may also be bloody
- Fever, in combination with one or both of the above.
These are rare but serious side effects. ASPECILLIN can change bacteria, which is normally present in the bowel and normally harmless, to multiply and therefore cause the above symptoms. You may need urgent medical attention. However, this side effect is rare.
Do not take any diarrhoea medicine without first checking with your doctor.
After using it
Keep your tablets in the pack until it is time to take them.
Keep ASPECILLIN VK tablets in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.
Do not store it or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a window sill or in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where children cannot reach it A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop using ASPECILLIN or it has passed its expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any ASPECILLIN left over.
What it looks like
ASPECILLIN VK 250 mg tablet is a bright yellow, smooth, round, film-coated tablet.
ASPECILLIN VK 500 mg tablet is a bright yellow, smooth, film-coated, capsule-shaped tablet with one side plain and the other side with a break bar.
Phenoxymethylpenicillin as the potassium salt is an active ingredient in both ASPECILLIN VK 250 mg and 500 mg tablets.
List of inactive ingredients
- ASPECILLIN VK 250 mg and 500 mg tablets contain:
starch maize, magnesium stearate, calcium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, opadry OY-B-32904 and opadry OY-S-29019.
ASPECILLIN VK 250 mg tablets – AUST R 200136
ASPECILLIN VK 500 mg tablets – AUST R 200137
Aspen Pharma Pty Ltd
34-36 Chandos Street
St Leonards NSW 2065
This leaflet was revised in August 2016.
Published by MIMS November 2016