Benzathine benzylpenicillin tetrahydrate
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
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
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
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 an allergy to:
any medicine containing benzathine benzylpenicillin
any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
any other similar medicines such as other penicillin antibiotics
if you have had an allergic reaction to cephalosporins if you are not sure, check
with your pharmacist
You may have an increased chance of being allergic to Bicillin L-A if you are allergic
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
shortness of breath
wheezing or difficulty breathing
swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, or other parts of the body
rash, itching or hives on the skin
chills and fever, joint pain, weakness or feeling faint.
Do not have Bicillin L-A if the expiry date on the pack has passed or if the packaging
is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If it is expired or damaged, Bicillin L-A should be returned to the pharmacist for
If you are not sure whether you should be given this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Before you are given it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines foods, preservatives
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
kidney or liver disease.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.
Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and benefits involved.
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:
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 or
avoid while being given this medicine.
How Bicillin L-A is given
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully.
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
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.
How much to be given
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.
How long to be given it
Sometimes only a single dose of Bicillin L-A is needed for the treatment or prevention
of certain infections.
If you are given too much (overdose)
It is unlikely that you will receive an overdose as Bicillin L-A as it is most likely
to be given to you under the supervision of your doctor.
Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13
11 26) for advice, or go to the Emergency department at the nearest hospital, if you
think that you or anyone else may have been given too much Bicillin L-A. Do this even
if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
Symptoms of an overdose may include seizures and/or unusual muscle movement, for example,
waves of rippling along the muscle.
You may need urgent medical attention.
While you are being given Bicillin L-A
Things you must do
Tell your doctor if the symptoms of your infection do not improve within a few days,
or if they become worse.
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
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist
that you are being given Bicillin L-A.
Tell any doctors, dentists or pharmacists who treat you that you have been given Bicillin
If you are going to have surgery, tell the surgeon or anaesthetist that you are being
given this medicine.
It may affect other medicines used during surgery.
If you become pregnant while you are being given this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.
If you are about to have any blood or urine tests, tell your doctor that you are being
given this medicine.
Bicillin L-A may affect the results of some tests, including tests measuring glucose
(sugar) in the urine.
Keep all of your doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked.
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.
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Bicillin L-A affects
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 being given Bicillin L-A.
This medicine 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 attention if you get some of the side effects.
If you are over 65 years of age you may have an increased chance of getting side effects.
Do not be alarmed by the following list of side effects. You may not experience any
Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
feeling anxious, nervous or experience tremors
sleepiness or tiredness
nausea or vomiting
excessive or abnormal sweating
muscle or joint pain
oral thrush - white, furry, sore tongue and mouth
vaginal thrush - sore and itchy vagina and / or vaginal discharge.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
fast or irregular heartbeat
frequent infections (symptoms such as fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers)
swollen glands in the neck, armpit or groin
bleeding or bruising more easily than normal
blood in stool
weakness of muscles
numbness, tingling or weakness of the arms and legs
injection site reaction, which may include pain, irritation, swelling, redness, or
impotence or persistent painful erection of the penis which occurs without sexual
blurred vision, blindness.
The above list includes serious side effects that may require medical attention.
Tell your doctor immediately or go to the Emergency department at your nearest hospital
if you notice any of the following:
severe blisters and bleeding in the lips, eyes, mouth, nose or genitals
itchy spots accompanied by fever and feeling unwell
allergic reaction e.g. 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
severe agitation, confusion and hallucinations
heart attack, symptoms may include chest or shoulder pain, tightness of chest, shortness
rapid, shallow breathing, cold, clammy skin, a rapid, weak pulse, dizziness, weakness
stroke (collapse, numbness or weakness of the arms or legs, headache, dizziness and
confusion, visual disturbance, difficulty swallowing, slurred speech and loss of speech)
seizures, fits or convulsions
severe diarrhoea, usually with blood and mucus, stomach pain, fever. This may occur
during treatment or several weeks after treatment with Bicillin L-A
kidney disease, with blood in the urine or pass little or no urine.
The above list includes very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention
You may not experience any of them.
Some people may get other side effects whilst receiving Bicillin L-A.
Do not take any diarrhoea medicine without first checking with your doctor.
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 being given 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
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 containing a thick white liquid in
packs or 5 and 10 syringes*.
*Not all pack sizes are available.
Bicillin L-A 1,200,000 Units/2.3 mL syringe contains 1,200,000 Units equivalent to
1016.6 mg of the active ingredient, benzathine benzylpenicillin tetrahydrate in 2.3
Bicillin L-A 600,000 Units/1.17 mL syringe contains 600,000 Units equivalent to 517
mg of the active ingredient, benzathine benzylpenicillin tetrahydrate in 1.17 mL.
It also contains the following inactive ingredients:
water for injections.
Bicillin L-A is supplied by:
Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd
ABN 50 008 422 348
Level 17, 151 Clarence Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Toll Free Number: 1800 675 229
Australian Registration Number:
Bicillin L-A 1,200,000 Units/2.3 mL, AUST R 147169
Bicillin L-A 600,000 Units/1.17 mL, AUST R 293456.
® Registered Trademark
© Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd 2019.
This leaflet was revised in June 2019.