Generic Name: ofloxacin (oral) (oh FLOX a sin)
Brand Name: Floxin, Floxin I.V.
Medically reviewed on December 21, 2017
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.
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 effect may be more likely to occur if you are over 60, if you use steroid medication, or if you have had a kidney, heart, or lung transplant.
Call your doctor at once if you have sudden pain, swelling, bruising, tenderness, stiffness, or movement problems in any of your joints. Rest the joint until you receive medical care or instructions.
Before taking this medicine
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.
To make sure ofloxacin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
tendon problems, arthritis or other joint problems (especially in children);
myasthenia gravis or other nerve-muscle disorder;
slow heartbeats or other heart rhythm disorder (especially if you take medication to treat it);
long QT syndrome (in you or a family member);
liver or kidney disease;
low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia); or
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?
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, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).
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:
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); or
nerve symptoms--numbness, tingling, burning pain, or being more sensitive to temperature, light touch, or the sense of your body position.
Also, stop using ofloxacin and call your doctor at once if you have:
severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness (like you might pass out);
the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;
tremors, anxiety, trouble sleeping, feeling restless or nervous;
muscle weakness, breathing problems;
sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, easy bruising or bleeding, pale skin;
little or no urination;
a seizure (convulsions);
increased pressure inside the skull--severe headaches, ringing in your ears, vision problems, pain behind your eyes; or
liver problems--upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common side effects may include:
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?
Some medicines can make ofloxacin much less effective when taken at the same time. If you take any of the following medicines, take your ofloxacin dose 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take the other medicine.
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);
vitamin or mineral supplements that contain calcium, iron, magnesium, or zinc.
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
a diuretic or "water pill";
insulin or oral diabetes medicine;
heart rhythm medication;
medicine to treat depression or mental illness;
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.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about ofloxacin
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- Drug class: quinolones
Other brands: Floxin