Fluoroquinolones

Ciprofloxacin and Levofloxacin belong to a class of antibiotic known as Fluoroquinolones which is used to treat infections.

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What is this medication used for​​

Fluoroquinolones belong to a class of antibiotic, and is used to treat infections.​​

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Dosage and How to Use​

When should I take the medication?​

Fluoroquinolones are prescribed by the doctor to treat infections. They are usually taken either once or twice a day.

How should it be taken?​​

Fluoroquinolones can be taken with or without food. Fluoroquinolones should be spaced at least 2 hours apart from antacids, calcium and iron-containing medications or food to avoid impairing the absorption of the medication.

Missed a Dose

If you miss the dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the next timing that you are supposed to take your next dose, skip the previous dose and take the next dose at your usual timing. Do not take double the dose.

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Side Effects, Precautions, ​​Contraindication

What side effects can this medicine cause? What can I do about them?

The following side effects may be presented with taking fluoroquinolones:

  • Peripheral neuropathy typically presented as pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness, or a change in sensation to light touch, pain or temperature. The onset of peripheral neuropathy after starting fluoroquinolones therapy is usually rapid and may persist for a few days. If you develop symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, kindly seek medical advice immediately, even though you are no longer taking the drug.
  • Dizziness, insomnia, nervousness, drowsiness. If you experience these symptoms, do not drive or operate any machinery.
  • ​Gastrointestinal side effects including nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. It is advisable to take the medication after food if you experience such side effects.
  • Very rarely, you may experience pain and swelling in the joints and tendinitis, particularly if you are elderly and also being treated with concomitant corticosteroids. The pain may present as early as the first 48 hours of taking the treatment or up to several months after end of treatment. At first sign of any pain and inflammation of joints, stop taking and rest the painful area. Seek medical advice immediately, even though you are no longer taking the drug.
  • ​Your skin may also become more sensitive to sunlight or UV (ultraviolet light) while taking fluoroquinolones. Avoid exposure to strong sunlight (tanning) or artificial UV lights such as sunbed.
  • If your eyesight becomes impaired or if your eyes seem to be otherwise affected e.g blur vision, sensation of flashing light, appearance of floaters, kindly seek medical advice immediately.

Other precautions:​​

Stop the medication immediately if you experience any severe allergic reactions like skin rash, swelling of the eyes and lips or difficulty breathing. Inform your health care professional if you have history of epilepsy or conditions that predispose to seizures or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency before starting the medication.

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Handling and Storage​​

Store at room temperature, away from light.

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This article answers some common questions about fluoroquinolones. It does not contain all the available information. It also does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.




Version 2
Last Review: July 2017
Produced by Department of Pharmacy
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital

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Fluoroquinolones

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