Suprax (cefixime) vs. ofloxacin: What's the difference?

What are Suprax and ofloxacin?

Suprax is a cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat middle ear infections (otitis media), tonsillitis, throat infections (pharyngitis), pneumonia, bronchitis, laryngitis, urinary tract infections (UTIs), gonorrhea, and acute bacterial bronchitis in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Other drugs in the cephalosporin class include cephalexin (Keflex), cefaclor (Ceclor), cefuroxime (Zinacef), cefpodoxime (Vantin), cefprozil (Cefzil), and injectable forms. Cephalosporins such as Suprax stop bacteria from multiplying by preventing bacteria from forming the walls that surround them and are necessary to protect bacteria from their environment and to keep the contents of the bacterial cell together. Most bacteria cannot survive without a cell wall. Suprax is active against a wide spectrum of bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes (the cause of strep throat), Hemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, E. coli, Klebsiella, Proteus mirabilis, Salmonella, Shigella, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Ofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, staph infections, STDs (gonorrhea, chlamydia), urinary tract infections, and prostate infections caused by E. coli. Other fluoroquinolones include levofloxacin (Levaquin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gatifloxacin (Tequin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), and trovafloxacin (Trovan). Ofloxacin stops the multiplication of bacteria by inhibiting the reproduction and repair of their genetic material (DNA).

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What are the side effects of Suprax and ofloxacin?

Suprax

Common side effects of Suprax include:

Other side effects include:

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 have 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.

Patients with central nervous system diseases such as seizures should use ofloxacin with caution, because rare seizures have been reported in patients receiving this medication.

Children and adolescents under 18 years of age should avoid using ofloxacin, as safe use in these patients has not been established.

Many antibiotics, including ofloxacin, can alter the normal bacteria in the colon and encourage overgrowth of a bacterium (Clostridium difficile) responsible for the development of inflammation of the colon (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.

What is the dosage of Suprax vs. ofloxacin?

Suprax

The recommended adult dose for otitis media, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, and urinary tract infections is 400 mg once daily or divided and given as 200 mg every 12 hours.

Pediatric patients (6 months and older) have a recommended dose of 8 mg/kg/day once daily or in two doses of 4/mg/kg every 12 hours.

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.

What drugs interact with Suprax and ofloxacin?

Suprax

Probenecid (Benemid) may increase the blood concentration of Suprax by decreasing the kidney's ability to remove Suprax. This interaction sometimes is used to enhance the effect of cephalosporins.

Combining Suprax with aminoglycosides -- for example, tobramycin (Tobradex) -- produces additive bacterial killing effects but also may increase the risk of harmful effects to the kidney.

Exenatide (Byetta) may delay or reduce the absorption of cephalosporins. Cephalosporins should be administered one hour before exenatide.

Suprax may cause a false positive urine ketone test.

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 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.

Are Suprax and ofloxacin safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Suprax

Safety in pregnancy has not been established for Suprax. There are no adequate studies in pregnant women; however, studies in animals suggest no important effects on the fetus.

Safety in nursing mothers has not been established. It is not known if Suprax is excreted in breast milk.

Ofloxacin

Avoid ofloxacin during pregnancy, because it is secreted in breast milk and can cause adverse events in the infant.

Nursing mothers should avoid ofloxacin, as safe use has not been established.

SLIDESHOW

Bacterial Infections 101: Types, Symptoms, and Treatments See Slideshow

Summary

Suprax (cefixime) and ofloxacin are antibiotics used to treat bronchitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and gonorrhea. Suprax is also used to treat middle ear infections (otitis media), tonsillitis, throat infections (pharyngitis), laryngitis, and acute bacterial bronchitis in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Ofloxacin is also used to treat staph infections and prostate infections caused by E. coli.

Treatment & Diagnosis

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Medically Reviewed on 7/22/2019
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