GENERIC NAME: GATIFLOXACIN - ORAL (gat-ih-FLOX-uh-sin)
BRAND NAME(S): Tequin
USES: Gatifloxacin is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria. This medication belongs to a class of drugs called quinolone antibiotics. This antibiotic only treats bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (e.g., common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or overuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth, with or without food, usually once daily, or as directed by your doctor. The dosage and duration is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Drink plenty of fluids while using this drug unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Take this medication at least 4 hours before taking any drugs that contain magnesium or aluminum. Some examples include quinapril, certain forms of didanosine (chewable/dispersible buffered tablets or pediatric oral solution), vitamins/minerals, and antacids. Follow the same instructions if you also take bismuth subsalicylate, sucralfate, iron, and zinc. These medications bind with gatifloxacin and prevent its full absorption. Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals (at the same time every day). Continue to take this medication until the full-prescribed amount is finished even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a relapse of the infection. Read the Patient Information Leaflet available from your pharmacist. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, diarrhea, headache, and dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: numbness/tingling/weakness of arms/legs, swelling of the ankles/hands/feet, uncontrolled movements (e.g., tremors), vision changes. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, fast/irregular heartbeats, fainting, mental/mood changes (including depression, rare thoughts of suicide), new signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), persistent nausea/vomiting, yellowing of eyes or skin, seizures, change in the amount of urine. This drug may rarely cause tendon damage (e.g., tendon rupture). Seek immediate medical attention, rest, and stop exercising if you develop joint/muscle/tendon pain or swelling. This medication may cause changes in blood sugar, especially in patients taking medications for diabetes. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist about how to detect these changes and monitor your blood sugar regularly. Symptoms of high blood sugar include increased thirst and urination. Symptoms of low blood sugar include nervousness, shakiness, sweating, fast heartbeats, or hunger. Follow your doctor's instructions to treat your low blood sugar level (e.g., eat a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy; or drink a glass of orange juice or non-diet soda). Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms of high or low blood sugar while taking this medication. This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (pseudomembranous colitis) due to resistant bacteria. This condition may occur weeks after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop: persistent diarrhea, stomach pain, blood/mucus in your stool. Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new vaginal yeast infection (oral or vaginal fungal infection). Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking gatifloxacin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other quinolones such as ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, or moxifloxacin; or if you have any other allergies. This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: certain heart rhythm disorders (QTc prolongation), low blood potassium levels. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: brain disorders (e.g., cerebral atherosclerosis, tumors or increased intracranial pressure), diabetes, certain heart problems (e.g., bradycardia, myocardial infarction), kidney disease, mineral imbalance (e.g., low blood magnesium levels), muscle/joint/tendon problems, seizures, family history of certain heart rhythm disorders (QTc prolongation). This drug may make you dizzy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths or sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its side effects (e.g., blood sugar or tendon problems), especially if they are also taking corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone, hydrocortisone). Caution is advised when using this drug in children because they may be more sensitive to its possible side effects (e.g., joint/tendon problems). Discuss the risks and benefits with the doctor. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Based on information from related drugs, gatifloxacin may pass into breast milk. Breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: See also How to Use section. Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first. This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: certain antiarrhythmics (e.g., quinidine, procainamide, amiodarone, dofetilide, sotalol). If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting gatifloxacin. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone, hydrocortisone), medications for diabetes (e.g., glyburide, glipizide), digoxin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen), probenecid, live vaccines, drugs that lower potassium levels (e.g., diuretics such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), warfarin. Other drugs besides gatifloxacin which may affect the heart rhythm (QTc prolongation in the EKG) include cisapride, certain macrolide antibiotics (e.g., erythromycin, clarithromycin), certain antipsychotic medications (e.g., pimozide, thioridazine, ziprasidone) among others. QTc prolongation can infrequently result in serious, rarely fatal, irregular heartbeats. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and for instructions on how you may minimize the risk of this effect. Also report the use of drugs which might increase seizure risk (decrease seizure threshold) when combined with gatifloxacin, such as tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline), isoniazid (INH), and theophylline among others. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others. This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in those cases. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood counts, blood glucose) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Related Disease Conditions
The common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and maybe a fever. Antibiotics have no effect upon the common cold, and there is no evidence that zinc and vitamin C are effective treatments.
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.