Glass phial of British Standard penicillin, London, England, 1946
British Standard penicillin was defined as one milligram of penicillin containing 1,600 International Units. An International Unit is defined as the potency or activity of a drug. The standard was set by the National Institute for Medical Research. International Standards were set in 1944 and in 1952. Standardisation of drugs such as penicillin is important to ensure the quantity and quality produced and given to patients is consistent all over the world.
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The first antibiotic drug to treat infections which is made from the mould penicillium. Its discovery is attributed to Alexander Fleming in 1928.
A sealed glass or plastic capsule containing one dose of a drug in the form of a sterile solution for injection.