Antibiotics Home > Floxin Warnings and Precautions
In rare cases, Floxin can cause a potentially dangerous change in heart rhythm. Other warnings and precautions with Floxin apply to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people with liver or kidney disease, and people with a history of nerve problems. This is why it's important to discuss your medical history with your healthcare provider before beginning treatment.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using Floxin® (ofloxacin) if you have:
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
- Tendon or joint problems
- Nerve problems, such as neuropathy
- A history of seizures or epilepsy
- An irregular heartbeat or a heart rhythm problem known as long QT syndrome, or have family members with these problems
- Cerebral arteriosclerosis (hardening and thickening of the arteries of the brain)
- Any allergies, including to medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Myasthenia gravis.
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Specific Precautions and Warnings With FloxinSpecific warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to treatment include the following:
- Floxin and other similar antibiotics can 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 medications have an increased risk for tendon problems with Floxin use. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience:
- Tendon pain
- Any weakness or difficulty moving your joints.
Do not exercise until your healthcare provider makes sure you do not have a ruptured tendon.(Click Floxin and Tendon Problems for more information.)
- Some people may experience a severe allergic reaction to Floxin, often after just one dose. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any signs of an allergic reaction, including:
- A rash
- Swelling of the lips or tongue
- Throat tightness
- A rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing.
- Central nervous system (CNS) problems and neurological side effects have been reported with Floxin use, including:
Certain conditions (such as epilepsy, cerebral arteriosclerosis, and kidney disease) can increase the risk for CNS problems. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any of these conditions.
- Floxin 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 Floxin Drug Interactions).
- Floxin (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. Floxin should be avoided in people with a known history of myasthenia gravis.
- People with diabetes may experience high or low blood sugar while taking Floxin. If you have diabetes, you may need to monitor your blood sugar more closely while taking this medicine.
- People taking Floxin may be more sensitive to the sun. Try to avoid sun exposure, including natural sun and tanning beds, while taking this medicine. 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 Floxin.
- This medication may cause a nerve problem called peripheral neuropathy. If you experience symptoms of neuropathy, 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 Floxin. Therefore, you should avoid driving or doing anything that requires mental alertness until you know how you will react to this medication.
- There have been rare reports of liver problems with Floxin use. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any signs of liver problems, including:
- Dark urine
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the right upper part of the stomach
- Yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice).
- Antibiotics like Floxin can disrupt the normal bacteria in the digestive tract, allowing undesirable bacteria to overgrow. This can lead to a serious problem known as pseudomembranous colitis. Be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you experience bloody or watery diarrhea.
Mild, short-term diarrhea is a common side effect, and not a cause for concern; bloody or watery diarrhea, however, may be a sign of a serious reaction. This potentially life-threatening reaction can occur during Floxin use or even months after you stop taking it.
- Floxin may react with several other medications (see Floxin Drug Interactions).
- Floxin is a pregnancy Category C medication, which means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Floxin and Pregnancy for more information).
- This medicine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, check with your healthcare provider before beginning treatment (see Floxin and Breastfeeding).