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

What is ofloxacin?

Ofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone (flor-o-KWIN-o-lone) antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body.

Ofloxacin is used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, lungs, prostate, or urinary tract (bladder and kidneys). Ofloxacin is also used to treat pelvic inflammatory disease and Chlamydia and/or gonorrhea.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics can cause serious or disabling side effects. Ofloxacin should be used only for infections that cannot be treated with a safer antibiotic.

Ofloxacin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about ofloxacin?

Ofloxacin may cause swelling or tearing of a tendon, especially if you are over 60, if you take steroid medication, or if you have had a kidney, heart, or lung transplant.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ofloxacin?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to ofloxacin or other fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, gemifloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin, and others).

To make sure ofloxacin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • tendon problems, arthritis or other joint problems (especially in children);

  • a history of myasthenia gravis or other nerve-muscle disorder;

  • slow heartbeats or other heart rhythm disorder (especially if you take medication to treat it);

  • personal or family history of long QT syndrome;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • a history of seizures;

  • diabetes (especially if you take oral diabetes medication);

  • low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia); or

  • if you use a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven) and have "INR" or prothrombin time tests.

Ofloxacin may cause swelling or tearing of a tendon (the fiber that connects bones to muscles in the body), especially in the Achilles' tendon of the heel. This can happen during treatment or up to several months after you stop taking ofloxacin. Tendon problems may be more likely to occur if you are over 60, if you take steroid medication, or if you have had a kidney, heart, or lung transplant.

Ofloxacin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Ofloxacin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take ofloxacin?

Ofloxacin is usually taken every 12 hours. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take ofloxacin with water, and drink extra fluids to keep your kidneys working properly.

Ofloxacin may be taken with or without food, but take it at the same time each day.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Ofloxacin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.

Do not share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

This medicine can cause you to have a false positive drug screening test. If you provide a urine sample for drug screening, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking ofloxacin.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking ofloxacin?

Certain other medicines that should not be taken at the same time as ofloxacin. Avoid taking the following medicines within 2 hours before or after you take ofloxacin. These other medicines can make ofloxacin much less effective when taken at the same time:

  • antacids that contain calcium, magnesium, or aluminum (such as Amphojel, Di-Gel Maalox, Milk of Magnesia, Mylanta, Pepcid Complete, Rolaids, Rulox, Tums, and others), or the ulcer medicine sucralfate (Carafate);

  • didanosine (Videx) powder or chewable tablets; or

  • vitamin or mineral supplements that contain aluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium, or zinc.

Ofloxacin may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Ofloxacin can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors. Call your doctor if you have severe burning, redness, itching, rash, or swelling after being in the sun.

Ofloxacin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, or the first sign of a skin rash; fast heartbeat, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Ofloxacin may cause swelling or tearing of (rupture) a tendon. Ofloxacin can also have serious effects on your nerves, and may cause permanent nerve damage.

Stop using ofloxacin and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;

  • headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • muscle pain or weakness;

  • a seizure (convulsions);

  • sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, easy bruising or bleeding, pale skin;

  • signs of tendon rupture--sudden pain, swelling, bruising, tenderness, stiffness, movement problems, or a snapping or popping sound in any of your joints (rest the joint until you receive medical care or instructions);

  • nerve symptoms--numbness, weakness, tingling, burning, pain, or being more sensitive to temperature, light touch, or the sense of your body position;

  • changes in mood or behavior--depression, confusion, hallucinations, paranoia, tremors, feeling restless or anxious, unusual thoughts or behavior, insomnia, nightmares;

  • liver problems--upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • increased pressure inside the skull--severe headaches, ringing in your ears, vision problems, pain behind your eyes; or

  • severe skin reaction--skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, constipation, diarrhea;

  • dizziness; or

  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect ofloxacin?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • theophylline;

  • a diuretic or "water pill";

  • heart rhythm medication--amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, dronedarone, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, and others;

  • medicine to treat depression or mental illness--amitriptylline, clomipramine, clozapine, desipramine, duloxetine, iloperidone, imipramine, nortriptyline, and others; or

  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)--aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with ofloxacin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about ofloxacin.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 10.01.

Date modified: October 14, 2016
Last reviewed: July 05, 2016