How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Ofloxacin is an antibiotic that belongs to the class of medications called quinolones. It is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria. It is most commonly used to treat infections of the lung, urinary tract, and skin. It can also be used to treat certain prostate infections and sexually transmitted infections. Ofloxacin works by killing some types of bacteria that can cause these infections.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each light yellow, oval, biconvex, film-coated tablet, engraved "200" on one side, contains 200 mg ofloxacin. Nonmedicinal ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, methylcellulose, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, colloidal silicon dioxide, polydextrose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide, and carnauba wax.
Each white, oval, biconvex, film-coated tablet, engraved "300" on one side, contains 300 mg ofloxacin. Nonmedicinal ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, methylcellulose, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, colloidal silicon dioxide, polydextrose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide, and carnauba wax.
Each yellow, oval, biconvex, film-coated tablet, engraved "400" on one side, contains 400 mg ofloxacin. Nonmedicinal ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, methylcellulose, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, colloidal silicon dioxide, polydextrose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide, and carnauba wax.
How should I use this medication?
The usual recommended adult dose is 200 mg to 400 mg twice daily, depending on the type of infection being treated.
The medication can be taken with or without food but should not be taken with dairy products (e.g., milk, yogurt) or calcium alone. You should make sure to drink enough liquids (e.g., water, juices) while taking this medication.
It is important to complete the entire course of medication prescribed by your doctor even if you begin to feel better.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take ofloxacin if you:
- are allergic to ofloxacin or any ingredients of the medication
- are allergic to other quinolone antibiotics (e.g., ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin)
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- difficulty sleeping
- dry mouth
- taste alteration
- vaginal infection caused by yeast or bacteria
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- abnormal vision
- joint pain
- muscle pain
- symptoms of high blood sugar (e.g., frequent urination, increased thirst, excessive eating, unexplained weight loss, poor wound healing, infections, fruity breath odour)
- symptoms of low blood sugar (e.g., cold sweat, cool pale skin, headache, fast heart beat, weakness)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- chest pain
- diarrhea (watery and severe or bloody)
- pain, swelling, or rupture of a tendon
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
- signs of a severe skin reaction (e.g., blistering, peeling, a rash covering a large area of the body, a rash that spreads quickly, or a rash combined with fever or discomfort)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.
Allergy: Serious allergic reactions have been reported by people who take this medication. These reactions often occur following the first dose. Signs of an allergic reaction include a severe rash, hives, swollen face or throat, or difficulty breathing. If these occur, seek immediate medical attention.
Diabetes: Problems with blood glucose control, including the onset of high or low blood glucose, have been reported with ofloxacin. This usually occurs for people with diabetes who use insulin or take an antidiabetes medication by mouth (e.g., glyburide). If you have diabetes and are taking ofloxacin, carefully monitor your blood glucose.
Diarrhea: People taking this medication may develop diarrhea caused by an infection with the bacteria C. difficile. If you have loose, watery, and bloody bowel movements, with or without fever or stomach cramps, after taking ofloxacin, get medical attention as soon as possible. Diarrhea caused by C. difficile infection can lead to serious health problems if it is not properly treated.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Ofloxacin may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Do not drive or engage in other activities requiring alertness if the medication affects you in this way.
Fluids: Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication. This will help to avoid the possible development of crystals in your urine.
Kidney function: Kidney disease or reduced kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: If you have reduced liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Neuromuscular disorders: People with myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune disorder that causes muscle weakness) should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Seizures: If you have a history of seizures or have a medical condition known to make seizures more likely, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Sun sensitivity: People who take ofloxacin are more likely to suffer from sunburn. While taking ofloxacin, avoid spending time in the sun and when you do, use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15. Stop taking the medication if sun sensitivity occurs.
Tendinitis: Ofloxacin may increase the chance of tendon injury. This occurs more commonly for people who are also taking corticosteroid medications, however it can happen to anyone who takes ofloxacin. If you notice any new pain in the tendons, stop taking ofloxacin, avoid physical exercise, and contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, stop taking it and contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking ofloxacin, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children and adolescents: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children. Ofloxacin is not recommended for children and adolescents under 18 years of age.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between ofloxacin and any of the following:
- acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)
- antacids containing aluminum hydroxide, calcium, and magnesium hydroxide (do not take for at least 6 hours before or for 2 hours after ofloxacin)
- antihistamines (e.g., cetirizine, doxylamine, diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, loratadine)
- antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone)
- "azole" antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
- BCG vaccine
- calcium supplements and multivitamins containing calcium (do not take for at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after ofloxacin)
- chloral hydrate
- inhaled corticosteroids (e.g., budesonide, ciclesonide, fluticasone)
- oral corticosteroids (e.g., dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, prednisone)
- diabetes medications (e.g., chlorpropamide, glipizide, glyburide, insulin, metformin, nateglinide, rosiglitazone)
- estrogens (estradiol, conjugated equine, esterified, estropipate)
- HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., atazanavir, indinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir)
- iron supplements (e.g., ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous sulfate: do not take these products for at least 2 hours before or for 2 hours after ofloxacin)
- macrolide antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin)
- magnesium supplements (e.g., magnesium hydroxide, magnesium oxide)
- protein kinase inhibitors (e.g., dasatinib, imatinib, nilotinib, sunitinib)
- other quinolone antibiotics (e.g., norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin)
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; e.g., citalopram, duloxetine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline)
- serotonin antagonists (anti-emetic medications; e.g., granisetron, ondansetron)
- sodium picosulfate
- sucralfate (do not take within for at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after ofloxacin)
- theophyllines (e.g., aminophylline, oxtryphylline, theophylline)
- tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, trimipramine)
- typhoid vaccine
- zinc supplements and multivitamins containing zinc (do not take within 2 hours of ofloxacin)
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.