Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013

Ofloxacin

Ofloxacin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

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Ofloxacin is the active ingredient of Exocin, Octin, Tafloc, Tarivid and Zanocin.

General information

Ofloxacin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic. It is effective in the treatment of lower respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases caused by organisms that are sensitive to ofloxacin.

It is important to note that this medication is only effective against bacterial infections - if your infection is the result of a viral or fungal infection, it will be ineffective.

Antibiotic resistance - when bacteria develop the ability to defend themselves against the effect of an antibiotic - occurs frequently with many antibiotics. This is mostly caused when patients do not complete the prescribed course in full, allowing bacteria to recover from treatment, and by using antibiotics for non-bacterial infections such as cold and flu.

An increased incidence of an abnormal sunburn reaction in people taking ofloxacin has also been noted.

How does ofloxacin work?

Ofloxacin interferes with the reproduction of bacterial DNA.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 4

Available as: ofloxacin is available as tablets, injection and as drops.

What does it do? Ofloxacin has an antibacterial effect.

Overdose risk: medium

Dependence risk: low

Is ofloxacin available as a generic? yes

Is ofloxacin available on prescription only ? yes

User information

Onset of effect : it may take a few days for the full beneficial effect to be reached.

Duration of action: up to 12 hours.

Dietary advice: while being treated with Ofloxacin you should ensure to consume plenty of fluid.

Stopping this medicine: do not stop taking this medication until you have finished the course as prescribed by your doctor - infection may recur with premature discontinuation.

Prolonged use: ofloxacin is usually given only for short courses of treatment. If prescribed for long term use your doctor may request periodic blood tests to monitor liver and kidney function.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have kidney or liver disease
  • you are younger than 18 years old
  • you are allergic to this or any other quinolone antibiotic
  • you are epileptic
  • you have tendon damage from prior antibiotic use
  • you are taking other medication

Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: avoid. This medication may cause serious adverse effects. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children younger than 18.

The elderly: caution is advised in the elderly as they may be more susceptible to adverse effects

Driving and hazardous work: caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizziness, light-headedness and/or sedation. Avoid such activities until you know how this medication affects you.

Alcohol: avoid. Concomitant use of alcohol with this medication may increase the antibiotic's sedative effects.

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

diarrhoea

x

x

stomach cramps

x

x

nausea and vomiting

x

x

rash/ hives/ itchy skin

x

x

dizziness/ headache

x

x

joint pain

x

x

sleep disturbance

x

x

photosensitivity

x

x

yellow tinge to eyes/ skin

x

x

confusion/convulsions

x

x

taste disturbance

x

x

painful tendons

x

x

Interactions

Drug interactions

antacids

reduced antibiotic absorption. take 2-6 hours apart

ciclosporin

possible kidney damage

iron and zinc supplements

reduced antibiotic absorption

non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

rare interactions including skin allergy and convulsions

oral antidiabetic drugs

blood sugar may be lowered further

warfarin

risk of increased bleeding

theophylline

increased theophylline toxicity

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms may include mental disturbance and convulsions.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 200 - 600mg daily in divided doses.

Interesting fact

Ofloxacin is an alternative treatment to ciprofloxacin for anthrax.

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 

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