Antibiotics Home > Floxin and Joint Problems

There is a documented link between fluoroquinolone use and joint problems in children. This means that Floxin could also cause such problems because it is a fluoroquinolone drug. It is not approved for use in people under the age of 18, but if your child's healthcare provider believes treatment with Floxin is appropriate, watch for joint sprain, abnormal gait, and muscle pain, and report them immediately.

Does Floxin Cause Joint Problems?

Floxin® (ofloxacin) is a prescription antibiotic used to treat a variety of different infections. It belongs to a group of drugs called fluoroquinolones. Like all fluoroquinolones, Floxin may cause joint problems in children.

Joint Problems With Floxin Use in Children

The use of fluoroquinolones such as Floxin has been associated with muscle, joint, or tendon problems when used in children. When given to immature animals, high doses of Floxin have been shown to cause problems with joint and bone development.
Although Floxin has not been studied in children, another fluoroquinolone has. In this study, one group of children was given the fluoroquinolone, while another group was given another antibiotic (a cephalosporin medication). Any reported muscle, bone, or joint pain was thoroughly evaluated.
After six weeks of treatment, 9.3 percent of the children receiving the fluoroquinolone experienced muscle, bone, or joint pain, compared to 6 percent of children receiving the other antibiotic. The types of problems reported included:
  • Joint pain
  • Joint sprain
  • Abnormal gait
  • Leg and arm pain
  • Back pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Wearing down of cartilage in the joints.
A variety of joints were affected, including the knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hip. However, all the joint pain and other symptoms had resolved within 30 days of stopping the antibiotic.
It should be noted that Floxin is not approved for use in children under the age of 18.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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