The efficacy and safety of 50 mg penicillin G potassium troches for recurrent aphthous ulcers

A. Ross Kerr, Catherine A. Drexel, Andrew I. Spielman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. To determine both the efficacy and safety of the topical application of 50 mg penicillin G potassium troches (Cankercillin™) in the treatment of minor recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS). Study design. The investigation used a phase 2 double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial with a no-treatment arm. Subjects with minor aphthous ulcers of duration <48 hours were followed for 1 week. The primary endpoint for efficacy was time (days) to complete ulcer resolution, and the secondary endpoint was time (days) to complete pain relief. Results. Thirty-one, 33, and 36 subjects were randomized to the active treatment, placebo, and no-treatment arms, respectively. Baseline findings were heterogeneous across arms. Subjects who received penicillin G treatment had complete ulcer healing and pain relief significantly earlier than those in the placebo and no-treatment arms. No allergic reactions were observed. Conclusions. Topical penicillin G, by mechanisms which remain unclear, reduces the time of healing and pain relief of minor aphthous ulcers with minimal safety concerns. Larger phase 3 studies are necessary to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-694
Number of pages10
JournalOral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology, oral radiology, and endodontics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • General Dentistry


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