Gemifloxacin (Oral)

Overview

Gemifloxacin is a drug given to patients who are suffering from either pneumonia or bronchitis which has been caused by bacterial infections. Gemifloxacin works by either preventing the growth of bacteria or by killing it off. It belongs to a group of medicines called quinolone antibiotics.

It is worth noting that Gemifloxacin is not used to treat the flu, cold, or other virus infections. Instead, it is only available via a doctor's prescription. This is because it has the ability to interact with a variety of things, and is not suitable for certain patients. Before using this drug, you should consult fully with your doctor and follow all guidance they offer you.

Condition(s) treated

  • Bronchitis

Type of medicine

  • Tablet

Side Effects

As well as helping to treat these serious infections, it is possible that Gemifloxacin will cause other side effects to occur. In some cases, these side effects are not very severe and will pass over time. However, if you experience any of the effects listed directly below, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Less common

  • A rash

Rare

  • White spots, sores, or ulcers in the mouth or on the lips

Incidence not known

  • Swelling or puffiness of the eyelids or around the eyes, lips, tongue, or face

As mentioned, the side effects may well be far less serious. Directly below is a list of such effects. As your treatment progresses and your body gets used to the medicine, you may find that the side effects go away. However, if they are continuing for an extended period, or you are worried at all, then you may still contact your doctor. It is possible they could advise means to reduce your symptoms.

Rare

  • Difficulty with bowel movements (stool)

Though these lists are extensive, they may not be complete. As such, it is possible you will experience other side effects as a result of Gemifloxacin that are not listed here. If this is the case, then you can contact your doctor. They may be able to advise on ways to reduce the effects by adjusting your prescription.

Dosage

Below you can find the average doses of Gemifloxacin that are given to patients suffering from lung infections. Be aware that the exact dosage prescribed to you by your doctor may vary greatly to that listed below. This is because each prescription is based on the needs of the patient and your exact medical condition. You should not alter the frequency of your dosages, or how much you take in each one. Any questions regarding your prescription should be addressed to the prescribing doctor.

  • Adults: Take 320 mg once per day.

You should always aim to take every scheduled dose, as this will give you the most benefits from the treatment. However, if you do miss a dose for some reason then you should take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Although, if it is almost time for your next dose, then you should skip the missed one. It is important you never double dose.

You should follow all guidelines offered to you by your doctor. Further advice and guidance can be found in the Medication Guide which accompanies the medicine. Read it thoroughly and address any queries you have to your doctor.

You can take Gemifloxacin either with or without food. However, you should be careful to swallow the tablet whole and never chew, crush, or break it.

Whilst taking Gemifloxacin, regularly drink plenty of fluids. This will help prevent some of the unwanted side effects associated with the drug.

Gemifloxacin is most effective when the patient has a constant amount in their urine or blood. In order to keep this constant, you should take it at the same time each day and do not miss any doses.

You should not take this drug alone with yogurt, milk, or other dairy products. You also shouldn't drink any juice with added calcium whilst taking this medicine. However, you may still have juice or dairy products as part of a large meal.

If you take didanosine (Videx®), sucralfate (Carafate®), zinc, iron supplements, multivitamins, or aluminium or magnesium-containing antacids, then do not take them at the same time as Gemifloxacin. Instead you should take these drugs either 2 hours after Gemifloxacin or 3 hours before. Failure to do so may stop Gemifloxacin from working properly.

Even if you start to feel better after just a few doses, you should continue taking Gemifloxacin for the full treatment plan. If you stop taking it early you may find the infection does not properly clear up.

Interactions

It is possible that Gemifloxacin could interact with other drugs you are currently taking. This includes any prescription and non-prescription drugs, as well as any herbal vitamins or supplements. It is often advisable that these interactions are avoided. In order to do this, your doctor will need to be made fully aware of any and all such drugs you currently take. Directly below is a list of drugs with which it is not recommended you take at the same time as Gemifloxacin.

  • Sparfloxacin

It is usually not recommended that you take Gemifloxacin with any of the following drugs. However, in some cases, it may still be necessary to take both. Under such circumstances, your doctor may need to alter one or both of the doses in order to limit such interactions.

  • Norfloxacin

If you take Gemifloxacin with any of the following drugs, then you could be at greater risk of experiencing certain side effects. However, it may also be the case that taking both is best for your treatment. In order to limit this happening, your doctor may limit your frequency of taking either drug, or how much you take of them.

  • Triamcinolone

As well as to drugs, it is possible that Gemifloxacin will interact with certain parts of your dietary intake. You should inform your doctor of what you typically eat, drink, and smoke. They can then make any necessary adjustments to your diet in order to avoid unwanted interactions. You should follow any dietary guidance as closely as possible.

Finally, it could be that Gemifloxacin will interact with other medical conditions you currently have. In particular, the following conditions are known to react quite severely with Gemifloxacin.

  • A history of organ transplant (such as lung, kidney, or heart)

Warnings

Before being prescribed Gemifloxacin, your doctor will first need to give you a full medical examination to ensure that it is indeed the most suitable medicine for you. As a part of this, they will need to understand any and all allergies you currently have. This includes any allergies to foods, dyes, animal, preservatives, and other drugs.

As of writing, no safety and efficacy have been established for using Gemifloxacin in pediatric patients. This is because no suitable studies have been conducted on using it on pediatric patients. You should consult with your doctor as to whether this is indeed a safe drug for your child to use.

With regards to elderly patients, any studies carried out have not indicated that this drug would be any less useful. However, there is a greater tendency for geriatric patients to suffer from age-related heart or kidney problems, as well as developing severe tendon problems. As such, it may be that a greater amount of caution is exercised when older patients use this.

As of writing, it is unclear as to whether suitable studies have been carried out on pregnant women using this medicine. Your doctor is best placed to advise you of any increased risks and then weigh them against the benefits. If, whilst using Gemifloxacin, you become pregnant, you should inform your doctor right away.

The studies carried out on breastfeeding women have highlighted that this drug can have harmful effects on the infant. To avoid this, you will either need to stop breastfeeding while using this medicine or seek an alternative form of treatment.

Whilst using this drug, your doctor will need to see you at regular intervals to check how you are progressing. It is important you attend all such appointments as it offers them a chance to check for any unwanted effects and to make necessary adjustments to your prescription.

If, after a few days of using Gemifloxacin, you see no improvement or if your condition deteriorates, inform your doctor.

If you suffer from low potassium levels in your blood, then this drug may cause an increased risk of fainting spells, a slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat, or loss of consciousness. If you experience these symptoms, inform your doctor immediately.

Gemifloxacin can cause a variety of severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. This is life-threatening and requires immediate treatment. If whilst using this drug you experience any of the following symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately.

  • Hives

It is possible that you will experience some severe side effects whilst using this drug. These can often occur without warning. Here are some of the warning signs you should look out for. If you have any of these, inform your doctor straight away.

  • Severe stomach pain

It is possible that Gemifloxacin will cause you to incur serious liver problems, such as hepatitis. If you experience yellow skin or eyes, nausea or vomiting, light-colored stools, stomach pain, or dark urine then you should tell your doctor immediately.

It can also potentially cause diarrhea, which in some cases will be severe. You may even experience this up to 2 months after you stop taking the medicine. Before you take any medicine to help diarrhea, first consult with your doctor. Certain diarrhea medicines may actually make the problem worse or increase the duration you have it for. If you have diarrhea that continues to get worse or have any other questions regarding this, your doctor is best placed to answer them.

If you experience burning, numbness, or tingling pain in your legs, feet, hands, or arms then inform your doctor immediately. This could be a sign of peripheral neuropathy.

Taking Gemifloxacin could, on rare occasions, cause tearing or inflammation of a tendon. This can occur either whilst you are taking the medicine or once you've finished taking it. If you are over 60 years old, you may be more prone to these tendon problems. Alternatively, the chances may also be increased if you have severe kidney problems, are using steroid medicines (such as prednisolone, dexamethasone, Medrol®, or prednisone), have had an organ transplant, or have a history of tendon problems. If you experience a sudden swelling or pain in a tendon after exercising, you should tell your doctor immediately. Similarly, if you are unable to put as much weight on an injured area or bruise more easily after an injury you should consult with your doctor and refrain from exercise in the meantime.

If you experience any of the following whilst taking Gemifloxacin, inform your doctor.

  • Seeing, feeling, or hearing things that are not there

Some people may find that taking Gemifloxacin makes them more sensitive to sunlight than normal. Exposing yourself to direct sunlight, even for short periods, can cause severe redness, sunburn, skin rash, discoloration, or itching. Here is some advice to follow whilst using this medicine.

  • Use sunblock with SPF of at least 15. If you already have a fair complexion or are sensitive to the sun, then it may be advisable to use a stronger SPF. If you are curious about this, then you can discuss it with your doctor

If you do experience a severe sun reaction, then ask your doctor on how to proceed.

It is advisable that you do not drive or perform any other dangerous tasks until you know how this medicine affects you. It can cause some people to become drowsy, less alert, lightheaded, or dizzy. If you need help getting around initially, you should ask for someone else's help. If you do experience these symptoms and they are persistent or bothersome, then consult with your doctor about possible ways to alleviate them.

Whilst taking Gemifloxacin, do not take any other drugs unless they have first been cleared by your doctor. This includes all prescription and non-prescription drugs, as well as any vitamin or herbal supplements.

Storage

You should store your Gemifloxacin in a sealed container that is provided to you upon receiving the medication. Keep it at room temperature and never allow it to freeze. Similarly, keep it away from heat, moisture, and direct light. It can be harmful to children so you should store it safely out of sight. If you finish your treatment and still have medicine left, you should dispose of this remaining medicine in a safe and sensible manner. The same applies to any medicine that goes out of date. For advice on safe disposal of this drug, you can contact your doctor.

Summary

If you are suffering from a severe lung infection, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, then Gemifloxacin could prove a very useful drug in improving your physical condition. However, it is not necessarily prescribed to all such patients as it is not suitable for some. You should therefore fully consult with your doctor before proceeding with using this medicine. They can look at other drugs you are taking and other drugs you are using to assess whether it is indeed suitable. Above you can find a list of many of the most common side effects that may occur whilst using this medicine. If you experience any of the more worrying ones or have any questions at all on how to alleviate these effects, then you should address them to your doctor.

It is worth noting that you should not adjust your prescription in any way unless told to do so by a medical professional who understands your condition. If you are about to start taking this medicine, then it is advised that you seek helping getting around from somebody else. The medicine may cause you to become drowsy or lightheaded initially, making such circumstances dangerous. If you have any other questions surrounding this medicine, then address them to your doctor.