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Ofloxacin

Pronunciation

Generic Name: ofloxacin (oh-FLOX-a-sin)
Brand Name: Floxin

Ofloxacin is associated with an increased risk of tendon problems. These include pain, swelling, inflammation, and possible breakage of tendons. The risk of tendon problems is greater in patients who are older than 60 years, patients who take corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), and in those who have received kidney, heart, or lung transplants. The Achilles tendon in the back of the foot/ankle is most often affected. However, problems may also occur in other tendons (eg, in the shoulder, arm, hand). Problems may occur while you take ofloxacin or up to several months after you stop taking it.

Signs of tendon problems may include pain, soreness, redness, or swelling of a tendon or joint; bruising right after an injury in a tendon area; hearing or feeling a snap or pop in a joint or tendon area; or inability to move or bear weight on a joint or tendon area. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms while you take ofloxacin or within several months after you stop taking it.

Ofloxacin may worsen muscle weakness and breathing problems in patients with myasthenia gravis. Do not take ofloxacin if you have a history of myasthenia gravis.


Ofloxacin is used for:

Treating mild to moderate infections caused by certain bacteria.

Ofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. It kills sensitive bacteria by stopping the production of essential proteins needed by the bacteria to survive.

Do NOT use ofloxacin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in ofloxacin or any other fluoroquinolone antibiotic (eg, ciprofloxacin)
  • you have a history of myasthenia gravis
  • you have abnormal blood electrolyte levels (eg, low potassium or magnesium) or a history of a certain type of irregular heartbeat (eg, QTc interval prolongation)
  • you are taking certain antiarrhythmic medicines (eg, quinidine, procainamide, amiodarone, sotalol)
  • you are taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen) or typhoid oral vaccine

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using ofloxacin:

Some medical conditions may interact with ofloxacin. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have diabetes, liver problems, or a recent heart attack
  • if you or a family member have heart problems (eg, angina), irregular heartbeat (eg, QT prolongation), fast or slow heartbeat, or low potassium levels
  • if you have Alzheimer disease, hardening in the arteries in the brain, seizures, increased pressure on the brain, or another central nervous system disorder
  • if you have a history of joint or tendon problems; rheumatoid arthritis; kidney problems or decreased kidney function; or a heart, kidney, or lung transplant
  • if your skin is sensitive to sunlight

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with ofloxacin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Antiarrhythmics (eg, amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, quinidine, sotalol), cisapride, diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), macrolide or ketolide antibiotics (eg, erythromycin, telithromycin), medicines for mental or mood disorders, medicines that may affect your heartbeat, phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the risk of serious side effects, including irregular heartbeat and other heart problems, may be increased. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines may affect your heartbeat
  • Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) because the risk of tendon problems may be increased
  • Foscarnet, NSAIDs (eg, ibuprofen), or tramadol because the risk of seizures may be increased
  • Insulin or other medicines for diabetes (eg, glipizide) because the risk of low blood sugar may be increased
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), procainamide, or theophylline because the risk of their side effects may be increased by ofloxacin
  • Live typhoid vaccine because its effectiveness may be decreased by ofloxacin
  • Aluminum salts (eg, aluminum hydroxide), iron salts (oral) (eg, ferrous sulfate), or magnesium salts (eg, magnesium hydroxide) because they may decrease ofloxacin's effectiveness. Take ofloxacin 2 hours before or 2 hours after these medicines to offset this effect

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if ofloxacin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use ofloxacin:

Use ofloxacin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take ofloxacin by mouth with or without food.
  • Take ofloxacin with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL). Drink several glasses of water daily, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
  • Do not drink milk or eat dairy products, or take antacids, didanosine, sucralfate, or vitamins within 2 hours before or after taking ofloxacin.
  • Ofloxacin works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • To clear up your infection completely, take ofloxacin for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use ofloxacin.

Important safety information:

  • Ofloxacin may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or light-headedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use ofloxacin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Ofloxacin may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to ofloxacin. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Diabetes patients - Ofloxacin may affect your blood sugar when taken along with insulin or other medicines for diabetes. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take ofloxacin before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Ofloxacin only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Long-term or repeated use of ofloxacin may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • If you experience pain or inflammation, or rupture a tendon during or shortly after taking ofloxacin, contact your health care provider immediately.
  • Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea (pseudomembranous colitis) may rarely occur. This may develop while you use the antibiotic or within several months after you stop using it. Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Nerve problems in the arms, hands, legs, or feet can happen in people taking ofloxacin. These nerve problems can happen soon after ofloxacin is started and may be permanent. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms or nerve problems (eg, not able to handle heat or cold; decreased sensation of touch; unusual burning, numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness of the arms, hands, legs, or feet).
  • Be sure to use ofloxacin for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Lab tests, including kidney function, may be performed while you use ofloxacin. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use ofloxacin with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects (eg, tendon problems), especially if they take corticosteroids (eg, prednisone). They may also be more sensitive to other effects (eg, irregular heartbeat).
  • Ofloxacin should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 18 years; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of taking ofloxacin while you are pregnant. Ofloxacin is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking ofloxacin.

Possible side effects of ofloxacin:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dizziness; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; sensitivity to sunlight; trouble sleeping; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); agitation; anxiety; bizarre behavior; bloody stools; confusion; convulsions; dark urine; decreased urination; depression; diarrhea (severe or continuing); difficulty swallowing; excessive urination, thirst, or hunger; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fatigue; fever, chills, or unusual cough; hallucinations; joint pain or swelling; light-headedness; loss of consciousness; mental or mood changes; muscle pain or weakness; nervousness; nightmares; pale stools; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; restlessness; seizures; shortness of breath; shock (pale skin); sleeplessness; severe or persistent stomach pain or cramps; shortness of breath or trouble breathing; suicidal thoughts; tendon pain, inflammation, or swelling; tightness of the throat; tremors; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; urination problems; vaginal irritation or discharge; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include facial swelling and numbness; hot and cold flushes; mild to moderate disorientation; slurring of speech.

Proper storage of ofloxacin:

Store ofloxacin below 86 degrees F (30 degrees C). Store in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep ofloxacin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about ofloxacin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Ofloxacin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take ofloxacin or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about ofloxacin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to ofloxacin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using ofloxacin.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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