ofloxacin, Floxin (Discontinued Brand)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Understanding COPD

What is ofloxacin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Ofloxacin is an antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections. It belongs to the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics which includes levofloxacin (Levaquin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gatifloxacin (Tequin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), trovafloxacin (Trovan) and others. Ofloxacin stops the multiplication of bacteria by inhibiting the reproduction and repair of their genetic material (DNA). The FDA approved ofloxacin in December 1990.

Is ofloxacin available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for ofloxacin?

Yes

What are the side effects of ofloxacin?

The most common side effects of ofloxacin include:

Allergic reactions have been described, such as hives and anaphylaxis (shock).

Other important side effects include symptoms of nervous system stimulation, such as:

Ofloxacin may cause low or high blood sugar levels especially in people with diabetes who are taking insulin or oral hypoglycemic drugs.

Patients taking ofloxacin can develop skin sensitivity (photsensitivity) to direct sunlight and should avoid exposure to sunlight or use sun protection and sunscreens.

Ofloxacin as well as other antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics, has been associated with tendinitis and even rupture of tendons, particularly the Achilles tendon. Some physicians recommend that patients discontinue vigorous exercise while they are taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

Ofloxacin should be used with caution in patients with central nervous system diseases such as seizures because rare seizures have been reported in patients receiving this medication.

Ofloxacin should be avoided in children and adolescents under 18 years of age, as safe use in these patients have not been established.

Many antibiotics, including ofloxacin, can alter the normal bacteria in the colon and encourage overgrowth of a bacterium responsible for the development of inflammation of the colon (Clostridium difficile, pseudomembranous colitis). Pseudomembranous colitis can cause fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and sometimes even shock.

Ofloxacin should not be used in patients with myasthenia gravis because it can increase muscle weakness.

Quick GuideCOPD Lung Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

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What is the dosage for ofloxacin?

The usual dose for patients with normal renal function is 200 to 400 mg every 12 hours. Dosages require adjustment in patients with severely abnormal liver or kidney function.

Which drugs or supplements interact with ofloxacin?

Ofloxacin reduces the elimination of theophylline, elevating blood levels of theophylline. (Theophylline is used to open airways in the treatment of asthma.) If concurrent use of ofloxacin and theophylline cannot be avoided, frequent blood tests to monitor theophylline blood levels should be performed. Ofloxacin can enhance the action of the anticoagulant (blood thinner) warfarin (Coumadin), and increase the risk of bleeding. Both high and low blood sugar levels have been reported, especially in patients with diabetes who were also receiving insulin or other medications used to lower the blood sugar. Careful monitoring of blood sugar levels is recommended. Sucralfate (Carafate), iron, multivitamins containing zinc, didanosine (Videx), as well as antacids containing calcium, magnesium, or aluminum should not be taken within two hours before or after taking ofloxacin.

Is ofloxacin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Ofloxacin should be avoided during pregnancy because it is secreted in breast milk and can cause adverse events in the infant.

Ofloxacin should be avoided in nursing mothers, as safe use has not been established.

What else should I know about ofloxacin?

What preparations of ofloxacin are available?

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 200, 300, and 400mg.

How should I keep ofloxacin stored?

Ofloxacin should be stored in a closed container at 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Last Editorial Review: 9/18/2015

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See more info: ofloxacin on RxList
Reviewed on 9/18/2015
References
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

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