Ofloxacin and Tendon Problems

Who Is at Risk?

Anyone may experience tendon problems with ofloxacin use. However, some people may have an increased risk, including those who:
  • Are over 60 years of age
  • Take corticosteroid medications (see Drug Interactions With Ofloxacin)
  • Have had kidney, heart, or lung transplants
  • Engage in strenuous physical activity
  • Have kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Have a history of tendon problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Ofloxacin eye and ear drops are not expected to be absorbed into the blood in large enough amounts to cause tendon problems. However, you should report any possible signs to your healthcare provider.

Signs of Tendon Problems

If you are taking ofloxacin (or any other quinolone), contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any signs of a tendon problem, including:
  • Tendon pain, swelling, or inflammation
  • A snapping or popping sound, followed by sharp pain in a tendon area
  • Immediate bruising after an injury to a tendon area
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty moving joints or walking.
Most tendon problems usually occur about eight days after starting treatment. However, problems can happen as early as within two hours after the first dose, or as late as six months after treatment has stopped.

Talking to Your Healthcare Provider

Talk to your healthcare provider about possible tendon problems before you begin ofloxacin treatment, especially if you have any of the risks listed in this article. If you develop signs of tendon problems or experience a ruptured tendon while using ofloxacin, stop the medication and contact your healthcare provider immediately. Do not exercise or use the injured joint until your healthcare provider makes sure you do not have a ruptured tendon.
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