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Br J Vener Dis. 1984 December; 60(6): 371–373.
PMCID: PMC1046383

Penicillin concentrations in serum and cerebrospinal fluid after intramuscular injection of aqueous procaine penicillin 0.6 MU with and without probenecid.


Paired specimens of cerebrospinal fluid and serum were taken from 21 patients to estimate penicillin concentrations two to three hours after the last dose of a course of 14-21 daily intramuscular injections of procaine penicillin 0.6 MU. Of 10 patients treated with procaine penicillin alone, eight had no detectable penicillin and two had sub-treponemicidal concentrations (less than 0.018 mg/l) in the cerebrospinal fluid. Of 11 patients treated with procaine penicillin as above and probenecid 2 g a day by mouth, three had no detectable penicillin, two had sub-treponemicidal concentrations, and six had treponemicidal concentrations of penicillin in the cerebrospinal fluid. All 21 patients had treponemicidal concentrations of penicillin in the serum. This dose of procaine penicillin alone or with probenecid is therefore not recommended for treating neurosyphilis.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Adler MW. ABC of sexually transmitted diseases. Syphilis: diagnosis and management. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984 Feb 18;288(6416):551–553. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Yoder FW. Penicillin treatment of neurosyphilis. Are recommended dosages sufficient? JAMA. 1975 Apr 21;232(3):270–271. [PubMed]
  • Dunlop EM, Al-Egaily SS, Houang ET. Penicillin levels in blood and CSF achieved by treatment of syphilis. JAMA. 1979 Jun 8;241(23):2538–2540. [PubMed]
  • Löwhagen GB, Brorson JE, Kaijser B. Penicillin concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid and serum after intramuscular, intravenous, and oral administration to syphilitic patients. Acta Derm Venereol. 1983;63(1):53–57. [PubMed]
  • Goldmeier D, Waterworth PM. Penetration of penicillin into the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with latent syphilis. Pharmatherapeutica. 1981;3(1):14–17. [PubMed]

Articles from The British Journal of Venereal Diseases are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group