Ampoule of sodium penicillin G

Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (estab. 1916)
This product was the original benzyl penicillin, or penicillin G, which had to be given by injection. This ampoule is rare, and is from one of the earliest batches of parenteral penicillin to be made available to Australia's civilian population. It has a use by date of 1 August 1944 and would have been manufactured earlier that year at CSL in Parkville. Potency was measured in Oxford units: one Oxford unit was the smallest amount of penicillin that would inhibit in vitro the growth of Staphylococcus in 50 millilitres of culture medium. This phial contains 100,000 Oxford units, enough to treat a life threatening infection in divided doses for one day.
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Object detail

glass, penicillin, paper, ink
15.5 x 3.0 cm (diam)
Accession Number
Credit line
Gift of VF Davey, Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, 1968
name/inscriptions ▫ as a printed label: 'PENICILLIN, "COMMONWEALTH"/(The Sodium Salt of Penicillin)./(in vacuo) No antiseptic added./Contents 100,000 Oxford Units./If kept at a temperature not exceeding 5º C. (41º F.)/this product will remain potent until......./Batch No. ......./CAUTION. - This preparation should be used only under/medical supervision./Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, Melbourne, Australia.'
dates ▫ stamped on label, use-by: '1944.08.01'
batch number/maker's mark ▫ in blue ink on label: '50-56-1'
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