Penicillin Reactions in Patients With Severe Rheumatic Heart Disease

Published: January 20, 2022

Girl in face mask making heart sign.
  • Over 39 million people suffer from rheumatic heart disease (RHD). The vast majority live in low- and middle-income countries and in these settings, RHD is often diagnosed late, after severe valvular heart disease or cardiovascular (CV) complications have already developed.
  • Secondary antibiotic prophylaxis with injectable Benzathine Penicillin G (BPG), given via intramuscular injection every three to four weeks for a prolonged period is the cornerstone of RHD prevention and management, however, adoption of BPG has been sub-optimal.
  • This advisory is urgently needed to raise awareness, provide risk stratification, and to give guidance on easily implementable protocols to reduce risk and overcome reluctance to administer and receive secondary prophylaxis with BPG around the world.