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Frequently Asked Questions
Ofloxacin can cause serious side effects, including tendon problems, nerve damage, serious mood or behavior changes, or low blood sugar.
Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have symptoms such as: headache, hunger, irritability, numbness, tingling, burning pain, confusion, agitation, paranoia, problems with memory or concentration, thoughts of suicide, or sudden pain or movement problems in any of your joints.
In rare cases, ofloxacin may cause damage to your aorta, which could lead to dangerous bleeding or death. Get emergency medical help if you have severe and constant pain in your chest, stomach, or back.
Ofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone (flor-o-KWIN-o-lone) antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body.
Ofloxacin is used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, lungs, prostate, or urinary tract (bladder and kidneys). Ofloxacin is also used to treat pelvic inflammatory disease and Chlamydia and/or gonorrhea.
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics can cause serious or disabling side effects that may not be reversible. Ofloxacin should be used only for infections that cannot be treated with a safer antibiotic.
Ofloxacin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to ofloxacin or other fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, gemifloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin, and others).
Ofloxacin may cause swelling or tearing of a tendon (the fiber that connects bones to muscles in the body), especially in the Achilles' tendon of the heel. This can happen during treatment or up to several months after you stop taking ofloxacin. Tendon problems may be more likely in certain people (children and older adults, or people who use steroid medicine or have had an organ transplant).
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- tendon problems, bone problems, arthritis, or other joint problems;
- blood circulation problems, aneurysm, narrowing or hardening of the arteries;
- heart problems, high blood pressure;
- a genetic disease such as Marfan syndrome or Ehler's-Danlos syndrome;
- a muscle or nerve disorder, such as myasthenia gravis;
- liver or kidney disease;
- a seizure;
- long QT syndrome (in you or a family member); or
- low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia).
Ofloxacin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Take ofloxacin with water, and drink extra fluids to keep your kidneys working properly.
You may take ofloxacin with or without food, at the same time each day.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. Ofloxacin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Do not share ofloxacin with another person.
This medicine may affect a drug-screening urine test and you may have false results. Tell the laboratory staff that you use ofloxacin.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor before using anti-diarrhea medicine.
Ofloxacin could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors. Tell your doctor if you have severe burning, redness, itching, rash, or swelling after being in the sun.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).
Ofloxacin can cause serious side effects, including tendon problems, side effects on your nerves (which may cause permanent nerve damage), serious mood or behavior changes (after just one dose), or low blood sugar (which can lead to coma).
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
- low blood sugar--headache, hunger, sweating, irritability, dizziness, nausea, fast heart rate, or feeling anxious or shaky;
- nerve symptoms in your hands, arms, legs, or feet--numbness, weakness, tingling, burning pain;
- serious mood or behavior changes--nervousness, confusion, agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, memory problems, trouble concentrating, thoughts of suicide; or
- signs of tendon rupture--sudden pain, swelling, bruising, tenderness, stiffness, movement problems, or a snapping or popping sound in any of your joints (rest the joint until you receive medical care or instructions).
In rare cases, ofloxacin may cause damage to your aorta, the main blood artery of the body. This could lead to dangerous bleeding or death. Get emergency medical help if you have severe and constant pain in your chest, stomach, or back.
Also, stop using ofloxacin and call your doctor at once if you have:
- severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
- fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness (like you might pass out);
- the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;
- muscle weakness, breathing problems;
- little or no urination;
- a seizure (convulsions);
- increased pressure inside the skull--severe headaches, ringing in your ears, vision problems, pain behind your eyes; or
- liver problems--upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common side effects may include:
- nausea, constipation, diarrhea;
- dizziness; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Some medicines can make ofloxacin much less effective when taken at the same time. If you take any of the following medicines, take your ofloxacin dose 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take the other medicine.
- antacids that contain calcium, magnesium, or aluminum (such as Amphojel, Di-Gel Maalox, Milk of Magnesia, Mylanta, Pepcid Complete, Rolaids, Rulox, Tums, and others), or the ulcer medicine sucralfate (Carafate);
- didanosine (Videx) powder or chewable tablets; or
- vitamin or mineral supplements that contain calcium, iron, magnesium, or zinc.
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:
- a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven);
- a diuretic or "water pill";
- insulin or oral diabetes medicine (check your blood sugar regularly);
- heart rhythm medication;
- medicine to treat depression or mental illness;
- steroid medicine (such as prednisone); or
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)--aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect ofloxacin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Your pharmacist can provide more information about ofloxacin.
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