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Side Effects


In clinical studies, 8119 patients received daily oral doses of 320 mg FACTIVE.  In addition, 1797 healthy volunteers and 81 patients with renal or hepatic impairment received single or repeat doses of gemifloxacin in clinical pharmacology studies.  The majority of adverse reactions experienced by patients in clinical trials were considered to be of mild to moderate severity.

FACTIVE was discontinued because of an adverse event (determined by the investigator to be possibly or probably related to drug) in 2.0% of patients, primarily due to rash (0.8%), nausea (0.3%), diarrhea (0.3%), urticaria (0.2%) and vomiting (0.2%).  Comparator antibiotics were discontinued because of an adverse event at an overall comparable rate of 2.1%, primarily due to diarrhea (0.5%), nausea (0.4%), vomiting (0.3%), rash (0.3%), abdominal pain (0.2%) and vertigo (0.2%). The mostcommonly reported adverse events with a frequency of ?2% forpatients receiving 320 mg FACTIVE versus comparator drug (beta-lactam antibiotics, macrolides or other fluoroquinolones) are as follows: diarrhea 5.0% vs. 6.2%; rash 3.5% vs. 1.1%; nausea 3.7% vs. 4.5%; headache 4.2% vs. 5.2%; abdominal pain 2.2% vs. 2.2%; vomiting 1.6% vs. 2.0%; and dizziness 1.7% vs. 2.6%.  

Adverse Events with a Frequency of Less than 1%

Additional drug-related adverse events (possibly or probablyrelated) in the 8119 patients, with a frequency of >0.1% to ?1% included: abdominal pain, anorexia, constipation, dermatitis, dizziness, dry mouth, dyspepsia, fatigue, flatulence, fungal infection, gastritis, genital moniliasis, genital pruritus, hyperglycemia, increased alkaline phosphatase, increased ALT, increased AST, increased creatine phosphokinase, insomnia, leukopenia, pruritus, somnolence, taste perversion, thrombocythemia, urticaria, vaginitis, and vomiting.

Other adverse events reported from clinical trials which have potential clinical significance and which were considered to have a suspected relationship to the drug, that occurred in ?0.1% of patients were: abnormal urine, abnormal vision, anemia, arthralgia, asthenia, back pain, bilirubinemia, dyspnea, eczema, eosinophilia, facial edema, flushing, gastroenteritis, granulocytopenia, hot flashes, increased GGT, increased non-protein nitrogen, leg cramps, moniliasis, myalgia, nervousness, non-specified gastrointestinal disorder, pain, pharyngitis, photosensitivity/phototoxicity reactions, pneumonia, thrombocytopenia, tremor, vertigo. (See PRECAUTIONS.)

In clinical trials of acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis (ABECB) and community acquired pneumonia (CAP), the incidences of rash were as follows (Table 3):

Table 3. Incidence of Rash by Clinical Indication in Patients Treated with FACTIVE

ABECB (5 days)
N = 2284
CAP (5 days)
N = 256
CAP (7 days)
N = 643
n/N % n/N % n/N %
Totals 27/2284 1.2 1/256 0.4 26/643 4.0
Females, < 40 years NA* 1/37 2.7 8/88 9.1
Females, ≥ 40 years 16/1040 1.5 0/73 0 5/214 2.3
Males, < 40 years NA* 0/65 0 5/101 5.0
Males,≥  40 years 11/1203 0.9 0/81 0 8/240 3.3

* insufficient number of patients in this category for a meaningful analysis (See PRECAUTIONS).

Laboratory Changes

The percentages of patients who received multiple doses of FACTIVE and had a laboratory abnormality are listed below. It is not known whether these abnormalities were  related to FACTIVE or an underlying condition.

Clinical Chemistry: increased ALT (1.7%), increased AST (1.3%), increased creatine phosphokinase (0.7%), increased alkaline phosphatase (0.4%), increased total bilirubin (0.4%), increased potassium (0.3%), decreased sodium (0.2%), increased blood urea nitrogen (0.3%), decreased albumin (0.3%), increased serum creatinine (0.2%), decreased calcium (0.1%), decreased total protein (0.1%), decreased potassium (0.1%), increased sodium (0.1%), increased lactate dehydrogenase (<0.1%) and increased calcium (<0.1%).

CPK elevations were noted infrequently: 0.7% in FACTIVE patients vs. 0.7% in the comparator patients.

Hematology: increased platelets (1.0%), decreased neutrophils (0.5%), increased neutrophils (0.5%), decreased hematocrit (0.3%), decreased hemoglobin (0.2%), decreased platelets (0.2%), decreased red blood cells (0.1%), increased hematocrit (0.1%), increased hemoglobin (0.1%), and increased red blood cells (0.1%).

In clinical studies, approximately 7% of the FACTIVE treated patients had elevated ALT values immediately prior to entry into the study. Of these patients, approximately 15% showed a  further elevation of their ALT at the on-therapy visit and 9% showed a further elevation at the end of therapy visit.  None of these patients demonstrated evidence of hepatocellular jaundice.  For the pooled comparators, approximately 6% of patients had elevated ALT values immediately prior to entry into the study.  Of these patients, approximately 7% showed a further elevation of their ALT at the on-therapy visit and 4% showed a further elevation at the end of therapy visit.

In a clinical trial where 638 patients received either a single 640 mg dose of gemifloxacin or 250 mg BID of ciprofloxacin for 3 days, there was an increased incidence of ALT elevations in the gemifloxacin arm (3.9%) vs. the comparator arm (1.0%).  In this study, two patients experienced ALT elevations of 8 to 10 times the upper limit of normal.  These elevations were asymptomatic and reversible.

Post-Marketing Adverse Reactions

The majority of the post-marketing adverse events reported were cutaneous and most of these were rash. Some of these cutaneous adverse events were  considered serious.  The majority of the rashes occurred in women and in patients under 40 years of age.

The following are additional adverse reactions reported during the post-marketing use of FACTIVE. Since these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is impossible  to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to FACTIVE exposure:

Read the Factive (gemifloxacin mesylate) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


Administration of repeat doses of FACTIVE had no effect on the repeat dose pharmacokinetics of theophylline, digoxin or an ethinylestradiol/levonorgestrol oral contraceptive product in healthy subjects.  (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Drug-Drug Interactions.)

Concomitant administration of FACTIVE and calcium carbonate, cimetidine, omeprazole, or an estrogen/progesterone oral contraceptive produced minor changes in the pharmacokinetics of gemifloxacin, which were considered to be without clinical significance.  (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY.)

Concomitant administration of FACTIVE with probenecid resulted in a 45% increase in systemic exposure to gemifloxacin.  (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY.)

FACTIVE had no significant effect on the anticoagulant effect of warfarin in healthy subjects on stable warfarin therapy.  However, post-marketing reports of increases in the INR, or PT, and/or clinical episodes of bleeding in patients have been noted with the use of quinolones, including FACTIVE, and warfarin, or its derivatives.  In addition, infectious disease and its accompanying inflammatory process, age and general status of the patient are risk factors for increased anticoagulation activity.  Therefore, the PT, INR or other suitable coagulation test should be closely monitored if a quinolone antimicrobial, including FACTIVE, is administered concomitantly with warfarin or its derivatives.

Quinolones form chelates with alkaline earth and transition metals.  The absorption of oral gemifloxacin is significantly reduced by the concomitant administration of an antacid containing aluminum and magnesium. Magnesium-and/or aluminum-containing antacids, products containing ferrous sulfate (iron), multivitamin preparations containing zinc or other metal cations, or Videx (didanosine) chewable/buffered tablets or the pediatric powder for oral solution should not be taken within 3 hours before or 2 hours after FACTIVE.  Sucralfate should not be taken within 2 hours of FACTIVE. (See  CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY.)

Read the Factive Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/9/2016

Side Effects

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