Common questions about penicillin injections

Common questions about penicillin injections

Some answers to questions your child might have about their penicillin injections after they have had rheumatic fever.

Why do I have to have injections for so long?

The injections protect you from strep bugs at the time in your life when you are in close contact with many people who could have a strep infection.

Why do I need to have an injection every 28 days?

One injection gives you enough penicillin to fight the strep bug for up to 28 days. Having an injection every 28 days means that there is enough penicillin in your body to help stop you from getting rheumatic fever again.

Is it true the injection puts weight on you?

No - the injection doesn't cause you to gain weight. Eating too much and not doing enough activity are the main causes of weight gain.

What if I get a sore throat?

Go to your doctor and get a throat swab. You will need an extra course of antibiotics to increase your protection.

Can I have my injection early if I'm going away?

Yes - it is better to be early than late. Talk to your nurse to arrange to have your injection early.

What happens if I miss an injection?

It is very important that you don't miss a penicillin injection. Missing one means that you could get strep throat which can trigger rheumatic fever again.

If you forget an injection, ring your nurse to arrange to get your next injection as soon as possible.

The Paediatric Society of New Zealand is grateful to the Heart Foundation for providing the content for this page. The booklet 'Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease' was revised in July 2019.

This page last reviewed 13 May 2020.
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