Ofloxacin (Oral)

Ofloxacin is a prescription medication that kills bacterial cells that cause infection by interfering with the DNA of the bacteria.


Ofloxacin is an antibiotic medication that is prescribed for bacterial infections within the body. It prevents the growth of (kills) the bacterial cells that spread infection. It can also address other medical issues as your physician determines. It is most frequently prescribed for eye bacterial infections, specifically pink eye (conjunctivitis) and cornea ulcers.

Eyedroppers can be utilized for eye infections and eardrops can be useful for otitis media if the eardrum has a hole.

Ofloxacin is not effective for treating the flu, colds, or other kinds of virus infections. It is not an effective treatment for syphilis infections, but it may delay or mask symptoms.

This medication can only be obtained with a valid prescription from your physician. It is available in tablet dosage forms, and is manufactured under the US brand name Floxin. Ofloxacin can also be obtained as a generic medication. It was originally patented in the year 1980 and approved for use in healthcare in 1985. Today, ofloxacin is included on the List of Essential Medicines by the World Health Organization, which is the safest and most effective medications that are necessary for a health system.

Conditions treated

Type of medicine

  • Fluoroquinolone antibiotic

Side Effects

In addition to necessary benefits medications can provide, they may also cause undesired side effects. Not all of the side effects listed below may take place; however, if they do they could require medical care. Be sure to take note of the following side effects in case medical care must be obtained.

Consult with your physician right away if you experience any of the side effects listed below:

Less Common Side Effects (Medical Care Required)

  • White spots, ulcers, or sores in mouth or on lips
  • Vomiting
  • Voice changes
  • Vision blurred
  • Urination increase
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Thirst increase
  • Tarry, black stools
  • Swollen, tender glands in neck
  • Swollen glands
  • Sweating
  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Speech slurred
  • Soreness or dryness of the throat
  • Sore throat
  • Skin paleness
  • Shakiness
  • Seizures
  • Runny nose
  • Red pinpoint spots on skin
  • Pus in urine
  • Pale, cool skin
  • Nightmares
  • Nausea
  • Lower side or back pain
  • Hunger increase
  • Hoarseness
  • Headache
  • Gum bleeding
  • General sensation of illness
  • Fever
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Eye pain
  • Dry, flushed skin
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty or painful urination
  • Difficulty breathing with exertion
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Cold sweats
  • Cloudy urine
  • Chills
  • Chest pain
  • Breath odor that is fruit-like
  • Body pains or aches
  • Blood in the stools or urine
  • Anxiety

Rare Side Effects (Medical Care Required)

  • Unusual or false sense of well-being
  • Unconsciousness
  • Swelling
  • Spinning sensation
  • Sleeping difficulty
  • Skin rash, itching, welts or hives
  • Shaking or trembling of the feet or hands
  • Shakiness in the feet, hands, arms, or legs
  • Reduced urine volume
  • Reduced urination frequency
  • Reduced hearing or other changes in hearing
  • Redness or flushing of the skin (specifically on neck and face)
  • Racing, pounding, irregular, or fast pulse or heartbeat
  • Prickling, numbness, itching, crawling, burning, tingling, or "pins and needles"feelings
  • Pleasure or interest loss
  • Painful or difficulty urinating
  • No pulse or blood pressure
  • No breathing
  • Muscle stiffness or pains
  • Muscle jerking of extremities or spasm
  • Muscle cramping or aching
  • More frequent passing of urine
  • Loss of hearing
  • Loss of consciousness (sudden)
  • Lightheadedness, faintness, or dizziness when standing quickly from a sitting or lying position
  • Joint swelling
  • Joint pain
  • Itching, soreness, or redness of the skin
  • Irritability
  • Increased urination
  • Increased sweating
  • Increased sunlight sensitivity (specifically, the eyes)
  • Hive-like, large swelling of the sex organs, feet, legs, hands, throat, tongue, lips, eyelids, or face
  • Heart stopping
  • Feeling, hearing, or seeing things that are not actually there
  • Feeling of movement (constant) of surroundings or self
  • Feeling of heat or warmth
  • Feeling empty or sad
  • Fast or slow heartbeat
  • Ear pounding
  • Discouragement
  • Difficulty urinating (dribbling)
  • Difficulty seeing in the dark
  • Difficulty performing tasks that should be routine
  • Difficulty moving
  • Convulsions
  • Continuing unexplained noise, buzzing, or ringing in the ears
  • Concentration difficulty
  • Changes in vision (color)
  • Burning during urination
  • Blisters, welting, or sores
  • Bladder control loss
  • Appetite loss

Additional Side Effects - Incidence Not Known (Medical Care Required)

  • Yellowing of skin or eyes
  • White, curd-like, or thick discharge (vaginal) usually with mild or no odor
  • Weight loss (unusual)
  • Weight gain
  • Weakness in feet, legs, hands, or arms
  • Vomiting of substance similar in appearance to coffee grounds or blood
  • Vaginal bleeding or menstrual flow increase
  • Urine that is dark in color
  • Uncontrollable actions
  • Tiredness (severe)
  • Tendency to overreact or quick reacting emotionally
  • Tearing or excessive discharge
  • Tarry, black or red stools
  • Swollen, red skin
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Swelling, pain, or redness of the eyelid, eye, or inner eyelid lining
  • Swelling, inflammation, or pain in the hands, shoulders, or calves
  • Swelling or puffiness around the tongue, lips, eyes, face, or eyelids
  • Swelling of the lower legs, fingers, or face
  • Swelling of the lower legs, fingers, or face
  • Sweating increase
  • Sunburn (severe)
  • Stomach, leg, or back pains
  • Stomach pain or upper abdominal pain (right side)
  • Stomach pain (prolonged)
  • Stomach or abdominal tenderness
  • Slow or irregular heart rate
  • Skin darkening
  • Skin cracks
  • Shuffling walk
  • Shaking
  • Sexual intercourse pain
  • Sensitivity to sunlight (skin)
  • Scaly skin
  • Restlessness
  • Red, painful lumps beneath the skin (usually on legs)
  • Quickly shifting moods
  • Paralysis
  • Nosebleeds
  • Noisy breathing
  • Muscle weakness
  • Mental or mood changes
  • Mental depression
  • Loss of comprehension in understanding language
  • Loosening, peeling, or blistering of skin
  • Limb stiffness
  • Lesions of the skin (red, usually with a purple middle)
  • Knee or ankle pain
  • Joint inflammation
  • Itching, dry, or burning eyes
  • Itching of the genitals or vagina
  • Irritated, red eyes
  • Indigestion
  • Hyperventilation
  • High fever
  • Heightened blood pressure
  • Heat loss from body
  • Heartburn
  • Heartbeat irregularity
  • Hand numbness
  • General swelling of the body
  • General sensations of discomfort
  • Eye movements (uncontrolled)
  • Euphoria
  • Dysphoria
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Drooling
  • Double vision
  • Disorientation to place or time, unusual behavior, hyperactivity, lack of recognition toward people, or restlessness (specifically for children taking 2% cyclopentolate)
  • Discoloration or redness of the skin
  • Difficulty swallowing, speaking, chewing, or breathing
  • Diarrhea that is severe or watery (may be bloody)
  • Depersonalization
  • Delusions of combativeness, suspiciousness, mistrust, or persecution
  • Dark brown or red urine
  • Crying
  • Coughing that produces blood
  • Coughing that produces a flem that is pink and frothy in appearance
  • Considerations of killing oneself
  • Confusion about time, place, and identity
  • Burning, cramping, stomach, or abdominal pain (severe)
  • Bruising or bleeding (unexplained)
  • Breath odor (unpleasant)
  • Body movements twisted
  • Blue fingernails and lips
  • Bloating
  • Bleeding (prolonged), usually from cuts
  • Behavioral changes
  • Balance control loss
  • Back, neck, or face movements (uncontrolled)
  • Awkwardness or unsteadiness
  • Appetite loss
  • Acting, feeling, and talking with excitement

Occasionally, side effects take place that do not typically require medical care. These side effects will likely diminish over the course of treatment as you become more adjusted to the medication. In addition, your medical professional can likely inform you of additional methods of preventing or reducing some side effects. Consult with your physician if you are experiencing any of the side effects below and they become prolonged or bothersome, or simply if you think of questions regarding them.

Less Common

  • Taste loss
  • Taste changes
  • Runny nose
  • Passing gas
  • Full feeling
  • Excess gas or air in the intestines or stomach

Some patients may experience additional side effects not listed above. If you experience other side effects, be sure to consult with your medical professional.

Contact your physician if you are seeking medical advice regarding side effects. The FDA also accepts reports of side effects, and they can be reached by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.


Only take this medication as your physician has prescribed. Never take an amount that is greater, never take it more frequently, and do not take it for a duration that is longer than your physician ordered.

A medication overview guide comes with ofloxacin. Follow directions and read them thoroughly. Consult with your physician if you think of questions you need assistance answering.

Ofloxacin can be taken without food or with food.

Ample fluids should be consumed while on this medication. Drink an excess of water to have a greater likelihood of preventing undesired side effects ofloxacin can cause.

Patients who are taking antacids at the same time as ofloxacin that contain magnesium or aluminum (Mylanta® or Maalox®), multivitamins (with zinc, iron, or calcium), sucralfate (Carafate®), or didanosine (Videx®) should take these drugs at least two hours prior to or two hours after taking this medication. These medications could inhibit the effectiveness of ofloxacin from working as it should.

Continue to use this medication for the entire course of treatment, even if you are feeling better after the initial doses. The infection could potentially not clear up if the medication is stopped too early.

Dosing Information

Different patients will receive different doses of ofloxacin according to their unique medical needs. Always follow the instructions on the prescription label or the orders given by your doctor. The information included below covers only general doses of this medication. If you were given a dose that is different, do not adjust it unless otherwise instructed by your physician.

How much medication prescribed will depend directly on how strong the medication is. Other factors that impact the dose prescribed are the amount of doses taken per day, the allotted time between doses, and the total duration of time the medication is taken for depend on the health concerns for which this medication is prescribed.

Oral Dose Information (Tablet Form)

Infection Treatment:

  • Adults: Take 200-400 mg (milligrams) once every for every 12-hour period over the course of 3-14 days. This may depend on the medical issue that this medication is prescribed for. Prostatitis is typically treated for a period of 6 weeks. Gonorrhea is typically treated with one oral dose (400 mg).
  • Children: Physician must determine dosage information based on patient's unique needs.

Missed Dose

If a dose of this medication is missed, be sure to take it as soon as you recognize that the dose was missed. However, if it is nearer to the scheduled next dose, the skipped dose may remain missed and you can return to the original dosing schedule. Never take a double dose of this medication.


Drug Interactions

While some medications never should be taken at the same time, in other circumstances two medications may be combined despite the chance of interaction. Under these circumstances, your physician may be inclined to adjust the dose, or they may prefer to take other types of precautions. While on this medication, it is imperative that your medical care professional is aware if you are taking any of the drugs listed below. The list below of interactions was selected due to their potential significance. It is not all-inclusive.

Taking this medication with any of the drugs below is not suggested. Your physician may choose not to prescribe this medication, or they may adjust prescriptions of other medications that you may be taking.

  • Ziprasidone
  • Thioridazine
  • Terfenadine
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Saquinavir
  • Piperaquine
  • Pimozide
  • Mesoridazine
  • Dronedarone
  • Cisapride
  • Bepridil
  • Amisulpride
  • Amifampridine

Taking this prescription with any of the medications below is typically not suggested, but some cases may require the combination. If both medications are prescribed simultaneously, your physician may be inclined to reduce the dose or frequency for one or both medications.

  • Zuclopenthixol
  • Warfarin
  • Voriconazole
  • Vinflunine
  • Vildagliptin
  • Vemurafenib
  • Vardenafil
  • Vandetanib
  • Triptorelin
  • Trimipramine
  • Trifluoperazine
  • Toremifene
  • Tolbutamide
  • Tolazamide
  • Tizanidine
  • Tetrabenazine
  • Telithromycin
  • Tedisamil
  • Tacrolimus
  • Sunitinib
  • Sulpiride
  • Sotalol
  • Sorafenib
  • Solifenacin
  • Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
  • Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
  • Sodium Phosphate
  • Sitagliptin
  • Sevoflurane
  • Sematilide
  • Saxagliptin
  • Salmeterol
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Repaglinide
  • Rasagiline
  • Ranolazine
  • Quinine
  • Quinidine
  • Quetiapine
  • Protriptyline
  • Promethazine
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Procainamide
  • Pramlintide
  • Posaconazole
  • Pitolisant
  • Pioglitazone
  • Pimavanserin
  • Perflutren Lipid Microsphere
  • Pazopanib
  • Pasireotide
  • Panobinostat
  • Paliperidone
  • Ondansetron
  • Octreotide
  • Nortriptyline
  • Norfloxacin
  • Nilotinib
  • Nateglinide
  • Nafarelin
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Moricizine
  • Miglitol
  • Mifepristone
  • Metronidazole
  • Methadone
  • Metformin
  • Mefloquine
  • Lumefantrine
  • Lopinavir
  • Liraglutide
  • Linagliptin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Leuprolide
  • Lapatinib
  • Insulin Lispro, Recombinant
  • Insulin Glulisine
  • Insulin Glargine, Recombinant
  • Insulin Detemir
  • Insulin Degludec
  • Insulin Bovine
  • Insulin Aspart, Recombinant
  • Insulin
  • Imipramine
  • Iloperidone
  • Ibutilide
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Histrelin
  • Haloperidol
  • Halofantrine
  • Granisetron
  • Goserelin
  • Gonadorelin
  • Glyburide
  • Gliquidone
  • Glipizide
  • Glimepiride
  • Gliclazide
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Fluconazole
  • Flecainide
  • Fingolimod
  • Exenatide
  • Escitalopram
  • Erythromycin
  • Efavirenz
  • Droperidol
  • Donepezil
  • Domperidone
  • Dolasetron
  • Dofetilide
  • Disopyramide
  • Deslorelin
  • Desipramine
  • Delamanid
  • Degarelix
  • Dasatinib
  • Dapagliflozin
  • Dabrafenib
  • Cyclobenzaprine
  • Crizotinib
  • Clozapine
  • Clomipramine
  • Clarithromycin
  • Citalopram
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Cholera Vaccine, Live
  • Chlorpropamide
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Chloroquine
  • Canagliflozin
  • Buserelin
  • Bretylium
  • Benfluorex
  • Bedaquiline
  • Azithromycin
  • Azimilide
  • Astemizole
  • Asenapine
  • Arsenic Trioxide
  • Aripiprazole
  • Apomorphine
  • Anagrelide
  • Amoxapine
  • Amitriptyline
  • Amiodarone
  • Alosetron
  • Alogliptin
  • Alfuzosin
  • Acetohexamide
  • Acecainide
  • Acarbose

Taking ofloxacin with any of the medications below could cause there to be an increased chance of some side effects to take place, however in some situations the combination of medications could be the most optimal form of treatment for you. If your doctor chooses to prescribe both medications, they may alter the dose or frequency of dose for one or both of the drugs.

  • Zinc
  • Triamcinolone
  • Sucralfate
  • Prednisone
  • Prednisolone
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Lanthanum Carbonate
  • Iron
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Fluocortolone
  • Fludrocortisone
  • Didanosine
  • Dexamethasone
  • Deflazacort
  • Cosyntropin
  • Cortisone
  • Corticotropin
  • Budesonide
  • Betamethasone

Other Interactions

Some medications should not be taken near mealtime or when having specific kinds of food as there can be a greater possibility of interactions taking place. Also, the use of tobacco or alcohol with some prescription drugs can increase the likelihood of interactions taking place. Always consult with your physician regarding how ofloxacin is impacted by food, tobacco, or alcohol.

Medical Interactions

Patients with other medical issues may experience usefulness in the effectiveness of ofloxacin. Be sure that your physician is aware of any other health issues you may have, specifically:

  • Tendon disorder (such as rheumatoid arthritis) or history of; take caution, side effects could become worse
  • Seizures (history of, including epilepsy) take caution; conditions can be made worse
  • Organ transplant (lung, kidney, or heart) or history of
  • Myocardial ischemia (low levels of blood supply within the heart)
  • Myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness that is severe) or history of; patients with these conditions should not take ofloxacin
  • Liver disease (also counting cirrhosis)
  • Kidney disease
  • Hypokalemia (lower levels of potassium within the blood, often uncorrected)
  • Heart rhythm issues (such as prolonged QT interval, including history of)
  • Heart disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Diabetes
  • Brain disease (arteries experiencing hardening)
  • Bradycardia (slower heartbeat)


It is imperative that your physician carefully monitors your progress during the time that you are taking ofloxacin. This will give your doctor a chance to ensure the medicine is working as it should and will give them an opportunity to see if you should continue taking it. Urine and blood tests could also be necessary to monitor for undesired effects.

Be sure to inform your physician if you experience symptoms that are prolonged, symptoms that do not become better within the period of a couple days, or if any symptoms start to become worse.

Severe allergic reactions can be triggered by this medication, including anaphylaxis (a medical issue that can potentially be life-threatening and emergency medical care is required). Contact your physician immediately if you experience hoarseness, hives, itching, rash, difficulty swallowing, trouble breathing, or swelling of the mouth, face, or hands after taking ofloxacin.

Severe skin reactions can take place after taking ofloxacin. Consult with your physician immediately if you experience loosening of the skin, peeling, blistering, red lesions on the skin, severe skin rash or acne, ulcers or sores on the skin, or chill or fever while taking this medication.

Consult with your physician immediately if you have stools that are clay in color, urine that is darkened, stomach or abdominal pain, or yellow skin or eyes. These could be signs of a severe liver issue.

This medication could trigger diarrhea, which can be severe in certain circumstances. This can take place as long as two months before or after you stop taking ofloxacin. Do not take diarrhea medication without prior approval from your physician. Diarrhea medications can actually make the diarrhea become worse or longer lasting. If you have concerns or questions regarding this, or if diarrhea becomes prolonged or becomes worse, consult with your physician.

Inform your physician immediately if you begin to have burning pain, tingling, or numbness in your feet, legs, arms, or hands. These could be signs of peripheral neuropathy.

This medication can rarely cause tendon tearing (attaches muscles to the bone) or inflammation. The chance of experiencing tendon issues can be increased for patients over the age of 60, patients with serious kidney issues, patients who have had an organ transplant (lung, kidney, or heart), patients who are taking steroid medications (prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone, or or Medrol®, patients who have had tendon issues in the past (rheumatoid arthritis). If you experience swelling or sudden pains in the tendons (in the back of the wrist, elbow, shoulder, leg, or knee), consult with your physician immediately. Do not exercise unless your physician gives you permission to do so.

Patients who have an unusually slow heartbeat or potassium blood levels that are lower may experience heightened risks of having a heartbeat that is irregular, slow, or fast. Contact your physician immediately if you suspect that your heart is not beating in a normal manner.

Inform your physician if you experience any of these symptoms while taking ofloxacin: unusual behaviors or thoughts; difficulty sleeping; severe headache; feeling, hearing, hearing, or seeing things that are not there; feelings of anxiousness, depression, or confusion; or convulsions.

Certain patients who take this medication could become additionally sensitive to bright sunlight than they typically are. Sunlight exposure (even just briefly) could cause some patients to experience severe skin rashes, sunburn, redness, discoloration, or itching. Take note of the following points when first beginning to take ofloxacin:

  • Wear clothing that is protective, such as sunglasses or a hat.
  • Use a sun block with a SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or more. Certain patients could require a sunscreen with a much higher SPF, specifically if their complexion is especially fair. With any questions or concerns regarding this, please consult with your physician.
  • For severe reactions due to sun exposure, consult with your physician.
  • For severe allergic reactions due to the sun, consult with your physician.
  • Do not use a tanning booth, bed, or sun lamp.
  • Avoid spending time in direct sunlight, specifically between 10 AM and 3 PM, as much as possible.

This medication can make certain patients dizzy, drowsy, lightheaded, or less alert than usual. Be sure you are aware of your own reaction to this medication prior to taking it when driving, operating machinery, or performing any other type of activity that could become dangerous if you are not alert or dizzy. If these types of reactions become extremely bothersome, consult with your physician.

Diabetic patients who are on oral medication or insulin: ofloxacin can trigger low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) for certain patients. Signs of hypoglycemia need to be treated prior to causing the patient to pass out (experience unconsciousness). Different patients may experience varied signs of hypoglycemia. If you feel you may be experiencing signs of low blood sugar, discontinue taking ofloxacin and consult with your physician right away. Signs of low blood sugar are:

  • Unusual weakness or tiredness
  • Shakiness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Pale, cool skin
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Excessive hunger
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Cold sweats
  • Blurred vision
  • Behavioral shifts similar to a drunken state
  • Anxious feelings

Prior to having medical testing of any kind, be sure to inform the medical physician in charge that you are taking ofloxacin. Certain test results can be impacted by this medication.

Other medications should not be taken at the same time as ofloxacin unless previously approved by your physician. This refers to both nonprescription medications such as herbal supplements or vitamins as well as prescription medications.

When choosing whether or not a medication is right for you, always compare the possible benefits against the potential risks. This should be a decision that you make with your doctor. Consider the following aspects prior to taking this medication:

Specific Demographic Use


Inform your physician if you have experienced atypical or allergic reactions to this medication or other medications. Also inform your doctor if you have allergies of any kind, for example to animals, preservatives, dyes, or foods. Be sure to read the ingredients summary for any products that are not prescription.


Current research has not yet examined the relationship of age to ofloxacin effects in pediatric patients. Effectiveness and safety has not yet been determined for children.


Research has not yet discovered whether or not there are issues specific to the geriatric population that could impact the effectiveness of ofloxacin for elderly patients. Even so, elderly patients have a higher likelihood of developing kidney or heart issues that are age-related, or developing serious tendon issues (counting tendon rupture), which could require additional caution and dose adjustment for patients.


It is unclear how exactly ofloxacin may affect pregnancy. Either animal research has demonstrated a negative effect and adequate research in pregnant women has not yet been conducted; or, animal research has taken place and similar research in pregnant women has not yet occurred.


No current research has examined if there is a risk for the infant if the mother takes ofloxacin while breastfeeding. Mothers should compare the possible benefits against the possible risks prior to breastfeeding while taking ofloxacin.


Always be sure this medication is kept at room temperature in a sealed container. Ofloxacin should always be stored away from direct light, moisture, heat, and freezing conditions as these extreme temperatures can alter the chemical composition of the medication.

  • Be sure this medication is stored out of children's reach.
  • Dispose of medication that is no longer required or that is expired.
  • Consult with your physician regarding how you should properly dispose of unused medication.


Ofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that is advised for conjunctivitis and other bacterial infections. Common side effects are rash, headache, diarrhea, and vomiting. This medication is not intended for use during pregnancy. This medication interferes with the DNA of the bacteria to cause infection to disappear.