- Type of Drug: Fluoroquinolone anti-infective.
- Prescribed for: Lower respiratory infections, skin infections, bone and joint infections, urinary infections (treatment and prevention), infectious diarrhea, lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis, bronchitis, pneumonia, prostate infection, and traveler’s diarrhea. Ofloxacin does not work against the common cold, flu, or other viral infections. It is not effective against syphilis. Ofloxacin is also available as eyedrops to treat ocular infections.
Ofloxacin General Information
Ofloxacin works against many organisms that traditional antibiotic treatments have trouble killing. This medication is chemically related to an older antibacterial called Nalidixic Acid, but works better than that drug against urinary infections.
Ofloxacin Cautions and Warnings
Do not take Ofloxacin if you have had an allergic reaction to it or another fluoroquinolone in the past, or if you have had a reaction to related medications like Nalidixic Acid. Severe, possibly fatal allergic reactions can occur even after the very first dose, including cardiovascular collapse, loss of consciousness, tingling, swelling of the face or throat, breathing difficulty, itching, or rash. If any of these occur, stop taking the drug and seek medical help at once.
Ofloxacin dosage must be adjusted in the presence of kidney failure.
Ofloxacin may cause increased cranial pressure, leading to convulsions and psychotic reactions. Other possible adverse effects include tremors, restlessness, light-headedness, confusion, and hallucinations. Ofloxacin should be used with caution in people with seizure disorders or other nervous- system conditions.
People taking fluoroquinolone medicines can be unusually sensitive to direct or indirect sunlight (photosensitivity). Avoid the sun while taking this drug and for several days following therapy, even if you are using a sunscreen!
As with any other anti-infective, people taking Ofloxacin may develop colitis that could range from mild to very serious. See your doctor if you develop diarrhea or cramps while taking this drug.
Prolonged use of Ofloxacin, as with any other anti-infective, can lead to fungal overgrowth. It should only be taken according to your d octo r’s di recti on.
Ofloxacin Possible Side Effects
- Most common: nausea and sleeplessness.
- Less common: vomiting; diarrhea; abdominal pain; dry or painful mouth; headache; rash; fatigue; drowsiness; dizziness; not feeling well; rash; itching; visual disturbances; vaginal irritation, infection, or discharge; fever; genital itching; chest pain; taste disruption; nervousness; and decreased appetite.
- Rare: depression; hallucinations; tingling in the hands or feet; unusual sensitivity to sunlight; hearing loss; high blood pressure; heart palpitations; fainting; chills; swollen ankles, legs, or arms; vaginal burning; irritation or pain; painful menstruation; frequent or painful urination; cough; runny nose; sleep disorders; anxiety; abnormal dreams; euphoria (feeling “high”); weight loss; sweating; joint or muscle aches; and excessive thirst.
Ofloxacin Drug Interactions
- Antacids, Didanosine, Iron supplements, Sucralfate, and Zinc will decrease the amount of Ofloxacin absorbed into the bloodstream. If you must take any of these products, separate them from your Ofloxacin dose by at least 2 hours.
- Anticancer drugs may also reduce the amount of Ofloxacin in your blood stream.
- Probenecid cuts the amount of Ofloxacin released through your kidneys by half and may increase the chance of drug side effects. Cimetidine may also interfere with the release of Ofloxacin from your body.
- Ofloxacin may increase the effects of oral anticoagulant (blood-thinning) drugs. Your anticoagulant dose may have to be adjusted.
- Ofloxacin may increase the toxic effects of Cyclosporine (for organ transplants) on your kidneys.
- Ofloxacin may reduce the rate at which Theophylline is released from your body, increasing Theophylline blood levels and the chance for Theophylline-related drug side effects.
Do not take Ofloxacin with food. Take it at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
400 to 800 mg a day. Daily dosage is reduced in the presence of kidney failure.
1 or 2 drops in the affected eye several times a day as directed by your doctor.
Symptoms of overdosage are the same as those found under Possible Side Effects. One person experienced kidney failure when he took an overdose of Ciprofloxacin, another fluoroquinolone. Overdose victims should be taken to a hospital emergency room. ALWAYS bring the medicine bottle. You may induce vomiting with Syrup of Ipecac (available at any pharmacy) to remove excess medication from the victim’s stomach. Consult your local poison control center or hospital emergency room for specific instructions.
Ofloxacin Special Information
Take each dose with a full glass of water. Be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day while taking Ofloxacin to promote removal of the drug from your system and to help avoid side effects.
If you are taking an antacid, Didanosine, Sucralafate, or an Iron or; Zinc supplement while taking Ofloxacin, be sure to separate the doses by at least 2 hours to avoid a drug interaction.
Drug sensitivity reactions can develop even after only one dose of this medicine! Stop taking it and get immediate medical attention if you faint or if you develop itching, rash) facial swelling, difficulty breathing, convulsions, depression, visual disturbances, dizziness, headache, light-headedness, or any sign of a drug reaction.
Colitis can be caused by any anti-infective medication. If diarrhea develops, call your doctor at once.
Avoid excessive sunlight or exposure to a sunlamp while taking Ofloxacin, and call your doctor if you develop a rash or skin reaction.
It is essential that you take Ofloxacin according to your doctor’s directions. Even if you feel better after a few days, do not stop taking it unless directed to do so by your doctor.
To administer eyedrops, lie down or tilt your head backward and look up. Hold the dropper above your eye, gently pinch your lower lid to make a small pouch, and drop the medicine inside while looking up. Release the lid and keep your eye open. Don’t blink for about 40 seconds. Press gently on the bridge of your nose at the inside corner of your eye for about a minute to help circulate the medicine around your eye. To avoid infection, don’t touch the dropper tip to your finger or eyelid. Wait 5 minutes before using another eyedrop or ointment.
Call your doctor at once if eye stinging, itching or burning, redness, irritation, swelling, or pain gets worse or if your vision declines.
If you forget to take a dose of Ofloxacin tablets or eyedrops, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose.
Ofloxacin Special Populations
Animal studies have shown that Ofloxacin may reduce your chances for a successful pregnancy or damage a developing fetus. Pregnant women should not take it unless the possible benefits have been carefully weighed against its risks.
Ofloxacin is found in breast milk at levels that are similar to blood levels of the drug. Use an alternative feeding method if you must take this medicine, and be sure your doctor knows if you are breast-feeding and taking this medicine.
Studies in healthy seniors showed that Ofloxacin is released from their bodies more slowly because of normal decreases in kidney function. Drug dosage will be adjusted accordingly.
Older adults may use Ofloxacin eyedrops without special restriction. Some seniors may have weaker eyelid muscles: This creates a small reservoir for the eyedrops and may actually increase the drug’s effect by keeping it in contact with your eye for a longer period. Your doctor may take this into account when determining the proper drug dosage.