Friday, July 17, 2009

Generic Bicillin

I've been using a generic form of Bicillin for a while now. Trial and error has allowed us (me and my husband) to get better at the whole injection process. Which is great, because we're saving a whole heck of a lot of money.

In the U.S., Bicillin is not available as a generic. It's brand name only, and is sold pre-mixed in syringes. Ten doses (ten syringes) costs about $510 at Target and Costco. Walgreens quoted a price of around $600. For ten doses. Since I'm taking three doses per week, you can see that this is really expensive.

By contrast, my most recent order of generic benzathine penicillin (the same active ingredient as brand-name Bicillin) cost a total of $120.30, including shipping from overseas. That order contained 10 vials of 2.4 MU benzathine penicillin. My dosage is 1.2 MU, three times per week. So I paid $120.30 for 20 doses. Compare that to the U.S. pricing of $1020 for 20 doses. Yikes.

Admittedly, there are additional costs. I had to purchase syringes and needles. I got a box of 100 5ml syringes, a box of 100 18 gauge blunt-fill needles, and a box of 100 19 gauge needles for injection. That all cost around $90. I also got a box of band-aids with unicorns on them, because, you know, unicorns are freaking awesome.

Anyway, I thought I'd blog a little about how I prepare the generic Bicillin for injection, as well as how it's injected. Mind you, this is only what I do. I am not a doctor. I have never played one on TV. I am a horrible role model. I run with scissors, talk to strangers, and swim after eating. I am the person your parents warned you about.

So, yeah, disclaimer: Talk to your doctor before you start or change any medication. Have a trained professional show you how to use said medication. The following information is just a description of my activities and should not encourage anyone to do anything.

So, here's what I do. First, I gather all my supplies. The supplies list:

  • One box of generic Bicillin (benzathine penicillin), containing 2.4 MU, which equals two doses of 1.2 MU (my dosage)
  • Two 5ml syringes
  • Two 18 gauge blunt-tipped needles to fill the syringes
  • Two 19 gauge, 1.5-inch-long needles for injection
  • Alcohol wipe to sterilize the injection site
  • Bandage to cover the injection site, post-injection
  • Optional: Tissue or gauze to cover the injection site after withdrawing the needle, to absorb any blood or Bicillin that leaks out

Now I put those supplies to use. I present a series of four videos. My camera can only handle about three minutes of video at a time, which is why it's broken down into segments. Sorry about that. On the plus side, you get to watch my husband jab a big needle into my ass.

The videos, in order:

You'll notice a distinct lack of cursing in the video. This is unusual. But I wanted to keep it clean. Typically I try to think of really inventive curses, which helps distract from the pain. And by "curses," I mean shouting things like, "Dick Cheney! Global warming is a myth! I like eating meat! Republicans! Marriage is between a man and a woman!" See, that's much more inventive (and damning) than the standard selection of four-letter words.


  1. Very informative videos. That is what I call teamwork.

  2. Good for you! Taking control of your health care since Lord knows our leaders and some in our health care system don't give a damn!

    As someone who has to manage a chronic illness myself where I have had to give myself many types of injections, I am glad to see you have the courage to seek out alternative methods to treating yourself.

  3. I got to say your husband is a saint! Keep the faith, hang in there!

  4. Can you give me contact information for the Spanish pharmacy where you get your BP?

    Thanks for posting your instructions.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this post. Can you please Give me the contact details for the pharmacy where you get yout BP 1.2 MU