Precautions and Warnings With Ofloxacin
Specific Ofloxacin Warnings and PrecautionsSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medicine include the following:
- Antibiotics like ofloxacin can disrupt the normal bacteria in the digestive tract, allowing undesirable bacteria to overgrow. A serious and potentially life-threatening problem known as pseudomembranous colitis may result. This problem can occur while you are taking an antibiotic or even for weeks afterward.
Contact your healthcare provider if you experience bloody or severe diarrhea, which are signs of pseudomembranous colitis. Mild, short-term diarrhea is a common side effect of many antibiotics and is usually not a cause for concern.
- Like other fluoroquinolones, ofloxacin may cause tendon damage, including tendon rupture. People who are over the age of 60; who have had liver, lung, or heart transplants; or who take corticosteroid drugs are at an increased risk for tendon problems.
Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you have any tendon pain, soreness, or swelling or if you experience weakness or difficulty moving any of your joints. Do not exercise until your healthcare provider makes sure you do not have a ruptured tendon (see Ofloxacin and Tendon Problems for more information).
- Some people may have severe allergic reactions to ofloxacin, often after just one dose. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
- A rash or hives
- Swelling of the lips or throat
- Difficulty breathing after taking this medication.
- Central nervous system problems and neurological side effects have been reported with ofloxacin use, sometimes even after just one dose. These problems may include:
- This medication may cause a rare and potentially dangerous heart rhythm problem known as QT prolongation. This problem may be more common in older adults, people with low blood potassium, or those taking certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Ofloxacin). QT prolongation is unlikely to occur with ofloxacin topical ear and eye use.
- Ofloxacin (as well as all other fluoroquinolone antibiotics) can cause worsening of myasthenia gravis symptoms, such as muscle weakness and breathing problems. This is a serious occurrence, which can be life-threatening. In severe cases, this can result in the need to be put on a ventilator, or even death. Ofloxacin should be avoided in people with a known history of myasthenia gravis.
- People taking oral ofloxacin may be more sensitive to the sun. Try to avoid sun exposure, including natural sun and tanning beds, while taking it. If you do go out in the sun, wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Contact your healthcare provider if you develop a severe sunburn while taking ofloxacin.
- Oral ofloxacin use has been reported to cause a nerve problem called peripheral neuropathy. If you develop any unusual sensations while taking it, such as pain, burning, tingling, prickling, or weakness, contact your healthcare provider right away to reduce the chance of permanent nerve damage.
- You may become dizzy or lightheaded while taking this drug. Therefore, you should avoid driving or doing anything that requires mental alertness until you know how you will react to it.
- Fluoroquinolones like ofloxacin have been associated with muscle, joint, or tendon problems in children. Oral ofloxacin is not approved for use in children. Topical products, such as ofloxacin ear and eye drops, are approved for use in children, and are believed to be safe because very little of the medication is absorbed into the body.
- There have been rare reports of liver problems with ofloxacin use. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any signs of liver problems, including:
Loss of appetite
Pain in the right upper part of the stomach
Yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice).
- Ofloxacin ear drops should only be used in the ears. Do not take this product by mouth, put it in your nose or eyes, or apply it to your skin. Likewise, ofloxacin eye products should only be used in the eyes.
- This medication may lead to fungal or yeast infections. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience persistent discomfort or extreme itching in your ears or notice pus coming from your ears while using ofloxacin otic solution or develop a worsening eye infection while using ofloxacin ophthalmic solution.
In addition, contact your healthcare provider if you notice white patches in your mouth or throat or a thick, white vaginal discharge while using any ofloxacin product.
- It is important to keep ofloxacin ear and eye products clean and free from bacterial contamination. Therefore, avoid touching the tip of the applicator to any surface, including your ear, eyes, or hands.
- Ofloxacin may react with several other medications (see Drug Interactions With Ofloxacin).
- This drug is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Ofloxacin and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if ofloxacin otic and ophthalmic solution products pass through breast milk. However, the oral form does pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to beginning treatment (see Ofloxacin and Breastfeeding).