Generic Name: Ofloxacin

  • What is Ofloxacin?

    Ofloxacin is an antibiotic used in adults to treat various infections, including chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, skin infections, vaginal and urinary tract infections, pelvic inflammatory disease that is caused by certain sexually transmitted diseases, and prostate infections.

    Sometimes infections are caused by viruses rather than by bacteria. Ofloxacin only treats bacterial infections and it will not cure viral infections, such as the common cold.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Ofloxacin?

    The use of ofloxacin may cause you to develop a serious allergic reaction. Notify your physician if you develop any type of rash, difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue, or face, or throat tightening.

    Ofloxacin may increase the risk of developing tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons) or tendon rupture. This risk is increased in those who are older (over 60 years of age), are taking corticosteroids, and have undergone kidney, heart, or lung transplants. Immediately notify your physician if you experience tendon pain, swelling or inflammation.

    Ofloxacin may also increase the risk of developing seizures. Notify your physician if you have any type of seizure disorder.

    In addition, ofloxacin may cause you to develop peripheral neuropathy (changes in sensation and possible nerve damage). Notify your physician immediately if you develop any type of pain, burning, tingling, numbness, or weakness in your arms, hands, legs, or feet.

    The use of ofloxacin may cause you to develop sensitivity to the sun (photosensitivity) and to sunlamps and tanning beds. It is important to limit your time in the sun as well as avoid sunlamps, and tanning beds while taking ofloxacins. Notify your physician if you develop any type of sunburn, blisters, or swelling of your skin.

    Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have a change in heart beat (a fast or irregular heartbeat) or if you faint. Ofloxacin may cause a rare heart problem known as prolongation of the QT interval. This condition can cause an abnormal heartbeat and can be very dangerous. The chances of this happening are higher in people: who are elderly, with a family history of prolonged QT interval, with low blood potassium (hypokalemia), and who take certain medicines to control heart rhythm (antiarrhythmics).

    Pseudomembranous colitis (an intestine infection) can happen with most antibiotics, including ofloxacin. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get watery diarrhea, diarrhea that does not go away, or bloody stools. You may also have stomach cramps and a fever. This condition can happen 2 or more months after you have finished your antibiotic.

  • Who should not take Ofloxacin?

    Do not take ofloxacin if you have had any type of previous allergic reaction to it or have ever had an allergic reaction to similar drugs in its class (quinolones).

    It is not known if ofloxacin is safe and effective in people under 18 years of age. Children less than 18 years of age have a higher chance of getting bone, joint, or tendon (musculoskeletal) problems such as pain or swelling while taking ofloxacin.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Ofloxacin?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with ofloxacin. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you: have tendon problems, central nervous system problems (such as epilepsy), nerve problems, a personal or family history of an irregular heartbeat (especially a condition called QT prolongation), low blood potassium (hypokalemia), a history of seizures, kidney problems, have liver problems, rheumatoid arthritis or other history of joint problems, are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Infections Other Than Gonorrhea

    Adults: The usual dosage is 200 milligrams (mg) to 400 milligrams (mg) given every 12 hours. Your dose will vary depending on the type of infection you have and how well your kidneys function.

    Uncomplicated Gonorrhea

    Adults: The usual dosage is a 400 mg single dose.

  • How should I take Ofloxacin?

    Take ofloxacin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Complete the full course of therapy for best results. Take ofloxacin with or without food. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids while taking ofloxacin.

    Do not skip any doses, or stop taking ofloxacin. Even if you begin to feel better, finish your prescribed treatment, unless you have tendon effects, a serious allergic reaction, or your healthcare provider tells you to stop. This will help make sure that all of the bacteria are killed and lower the chance that the bacteria will become resistant to ofloxacin. If this happens, ofloxacin and other antibiotic medicines may not work in the future.

  • What should I avoid while taking Ofloxacin?

    Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds. It is important to limit your exposure to sun. Ofloxacin can make your skin sensitive to sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds, which may cause you to develop a severe sunburn, blisters or swelling of your skin. Notify your physician immediately if any of these symptoms occur. Wear protective clothing and sunscreen when you are exposed to sunlight.

    While taking Ofloxacin, it is important to avoid taking antacids containing calcium, magnesium, or aluminum; sucralfate; iron; multivitamins containing zinc; and didanosine within 2 hours before or after taking ofloxacin.

    Ofloxacin may cause dizziness or lightheadedness. Avoid performing potentially hazardous tasks (eg, driving, operating machinery, engaging in activities that require mental alertness) until you are used to the effects of ofloxacin.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Ofloxacin?

    If ofloxacin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining ofloxacin tablets with the following: antacids containing aluminum, calcium, or magnesium; antiarrhythmics; antidiabetic agents (eg, insulin, glyburide); antipsychotic medicine; cimetidine; corticosteroids; cyclosporine; didanosine; diuretics; iron; multivitamins containing zinc; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen); probenecid; sucralfate; theophylline; tricyclic antidepressants; and warfarin.

  • What are the possible side effects of Ofloxacin?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: sleep problems, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, itching, external genital itching in women, vaginal inflammation (vaginitis), taste changes

  • Can I receive Ofloxacin if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of ofloxacin during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Ofloxacin?

    If you miss a dose of ofloxacin, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses of ofloxacin at the same time. Do not take more than two doses in one day.

  • How should I store Ofloxacin?

    Store ofloxacin tablets at room temperature in a tightly closed container.

Starting a GERD or Ulcer Drug?

Our nine-week newsletter series, written by a pharmacist, will help you learn about your medication.
Sign Up

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Kristen Dore, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

Check out my latest blog post on heartburn medication

Ofloxacin Related Drugs