What Is Ofloxacin Used For?

How Does This Medication Work?

Like other quinolones, ofloxacin works by killing certain bacteria that cause infections. It does this by interfering with two bacterial enzymes called topoisomerase IV and DNA gyrase. Bacteria need these enzymes to copy and repair DNA, which are important steps for the bacteria to multiply.

Can Children Use Ofloxacin?

Oral ofloxacin is not approved for use in people younger than 18 years of age, as it has not been adequately studied in this age group. Fluoroquinolones such as ofloxacin may cause bone, joint, or tendon problems in children (see Ofloxacin and Joint Problems).
Ofloxacin eye drops can be used in children as young as one year old. They are approved to treat infections of the outer ear and ear canal in children as young as six months old and middle ear infections in children as young as one year. Although there are concerns about possible bone, joint, or tendon problems with the use of oral fluoroquinolones in children, topical use in the eyes and ears is believed to be safe.

Can Older Adults Use It?

Older adults may have an increased risk for certain oral ofloxacin side effects, including QT prolongation (a problem with the heart rhythm) and tendon problems (see Ofloxacin and Tendon Problems). Also, because kidney function declines with age and the kidneys remove ofloxacin from the body, older adults may need a lower dose.

Is Ofloxacin Used for Off-Label Reasons?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this product for something other than the uses discussed in this article. This would be called an "off-label" use. Ofloxacin is often prescribed off-label to treat other types of infections caused by susceptible bacteria.
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