Medication Services Queensland advises that Benzathine benzylpenicillin and benzylpenicillin are not therapeutically interchangeable.
Similarity of the names benzathine benzylpenicillin, benzylpenicillin and the trade name ‘BenPen’ (benzylpenicillin) may lead to confusion.
'Penicillin G' is a synonym for benzylpenicillin that has been used historically, further complicating correct product selection.
Please refer to the Queensland Health fact sheet for a full briefing on the differences between benzathine benzylpenicillin and benzylpenicillin.
Queensland Health is asking medical centres to:
Have the fact sheet at clinical meetings and distribute to all clinicians and clinical areas where benzathine benzylpenicillin is used, stored, or distributed.
Review stock holdings and audit storage conditions of both benzathine benzylpenicillin and benzylpenicillin.
At storage locations, apply signposting and provide information regarding the differences between benzathine benzylpenicillin and benzylpenicillin.
Support a culture where clinicians refer to these products by their approved full active ingredient generic names and avoid using the term 'BenPen' and are aware of differences in unit of measure.
Inform relevant clinicians that the Queensland Syphilis Surveillance Service can be contacted (phone: 1800 032 238) for information regarding a patient's previous testing and treatment of syphilis.