(chloramphenicol, Chloromycetin, Paraxin, Pharmycetin), a broad-spectrum antimicrobial antibiotic isolated in 1947 from a culture fluid of the actinomycete Streptomyces venezuelae. Levomycetin was also synthesized chemically, and this has become the principal method of obtaining it.
Levomycetin has a high level of activity and is only slightly toxic to man. The antibiotic Synthomycetin is a mixture (racemate) of the optical isomers of levomycetin, of which only the levorotatory isomer is active. In medical practice, levomycetin is taken internally as tablets; for eye diseases, it is used as drops. Levomycetin stearate, which does not have the bitter taste characteristic of levomycetin, is used mainly in pediatrics.