Small Doses of Methicillin in Therapy of Furunculosis

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METHICILLIN is a synthetic penicillin that has the same antibacterial spectrum as penicillin G. Its outstanding advantage is its high degree of resistance to staphylococcal penicillinase, thus suggesting its use in the therapy of infections from penicillin-resistant staphylococci.

Since methicillin is destroyed by gastric juice, it must be given intramuscularly or intravenously. The rapid renal excretion of methicillin has been thought to necessitate its frequent administration. The recommended dosage is 1 gm. every four to six hours, a difficult schedule for outpatients to follow. This problem has been repeatedly encountered in patients having furunculosis, for whom the antibiotic might be useful, yet hospitalization is undesirable. In an effort to determine whether or not less frequent administration would be effective, a consecutive series of patients with furunculosis were each treated by daily intramuscular injections of methicillin. This report presents the results of the study.


Between April and October of 1961, 26 patients with furunculosis each received 1 gm. of methicillin intramuscularly daily for from 3 to 10 days. In addition, each patient was given concurrent local therapy consisting of compresses, germicidal soaps, topical antibiotics, and surgical drainage where indicated.

Of the 26 patients, 18 had boils for more than one month, and 13 had failed to respond to other systemic antibacterial therapy, including penicillin, novobiocin, erythromycin, sulfonamides, oxytetracycline, tetracycline, phenethicillin, furaltadone, and staphylococcal vaccines. Studies of bacterial cultures were done in 13 cases. All cultures grew Staphylococcus aureus (coagulase positive).

The nature of furunculosis is such that recurring lesions are. . .



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