Bacampicillin hydrochloride, a pro-drug ester of ampicillin trihydrate which is hydrolysed to ampicillin after absorption, was used in a randomised comparative study of ampicillin 3.5 g and bacampicillin 1.6g (each with probenecid 1 g) in the treatment of uncomplicated gonorrhoea. This dose of bacampicillin was selected because in serum it gives approximately the same peak concentration of ampicillin as 3.5 g of the present drug. Genital, pharyngeal, and anal cultures were performed at the initial visit and at follow up 5-9 days after treatment. There was no statistically significant difference in the microbiological or clinical response of patients with genital gonorrhoea who were treated with ampicilin and those treated with bacampicillin. At 5-9 days after treatment, 93% of the ampicillin-treated patients and 89% of the bacampicillin-treated patients had negative genital, pharyngeal, and anal culture results; furthermore, 87% and 89% respectively had no symptoms of infection. Fewer gastrointestinal side effects were noted in the patients treated with bacampicillin.
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