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Tendinopathy and Tendon Rupture
Fluoroquinolones, including FLOXIN® (ofloxacin) , are associated with an increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture in all ages. This adverse reaction most frequently involves the Achilles tendon, and rupture of the Achilles tendon may require surgical repair. Tendinitis and tendon rupture in the rotator cuff (the shoulder), the hand, the biceps, the thumb, and other tendons have also been reported. The risk of developing fluoroquinolone-associated tendinitis and tendon rupture is further increased in older patients usually over 60 years of age, in those taking corticosteroid drugs, and in patients with kidney, heart or lung transplants. Factors, in addition to age and corticosteroid use, that may independently increase the risk of tendon rupture include strenuous physical activity, renal failure, and previous tendon disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. Tendinitis and tendon rupture have been reported in patients taking fluoroquinolones who do not have the above risk factors. Tendon rupture can occur during or after completion of therapy; cases occurring up to several months after completion of therapy have been reported. FLOXIN® (ofloxacin) should be discontinued if the patient experiences pain, swelling, inflammation or rupture of a tendon. Patients should be advised to rest at the first sign of tendinitis or tendon rupture, and to contact their healthcare provider regarding changing to a non-quinolone antimicrobial drug.
THE SAFETY AND EFFICACY OF OFLOXACIN IN PEDIATRIC PATIENTS AND ADOLESCENTS (UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS), PREGNANT WOMEN, AND LACTATING WOMEN HAVE NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED. (See PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric Use, Pregnancy, and Nursing Mothers Subsections.)
In the immature rat, the oral administration of ofloxacin at 5 to 16 times the recommended maximum human dose based on mg/kg or 1-3 times based on mg/m² increased the incidence and severity of osteochondrosis. The lesions did not regress after 13 weeks of drug withdrawal. Other quinolones also produce similar erosions in the weight-bearing joints and other signs of arthropathy in immature animals of various species. (See Animal Pharmacology.)
Exacerbation of Myasthenia Gravis
Fluoroquinolones, including FLOXIN® (ofloxacin) , have neuromuscular blocking activity and may exacerbate muscle weakness in persons with myasthenia gravis. Postmarketing serious adverse events, including deaths and requirement for ventilatory support, have been associated with fluoroquinolone use in persons with myasthenia gravis. Avoid FLOXIN® (ofloxacin) in patients with a known history of myasthenia gravis. (See PATIENT INFORMATION and ADVERSE REACTIONS: Post-Marketing Adverse Events.)
Central Nervous System Effects
Convulsions, increased intracranial pressure, and toxic psychosis have been reported in patients receiving quinolones, including ofloxacin. Quinolones, including ofloxacin, may also cause central nervous system stimulation which may lead to: tremors, restlessness/agitation, nervousness/anxiety, lightheadedness, confusion, hallucinations, paranoia and depression, nightmares, insomnia, and rarely suicidal thoughts or acts. These reactions may occur following the first dose. If these reactions occur in patients receiving ofloxacin, the drug should be discontinued and appropriate measures instituted. Insomnia may be more common with ofloxacin than some other products in the quinolone class. As with all quinolones, ofloxacin should be used with caution in patients with a known or suspected CNS disorder that may predispose to seizures or lower the seizure threshold (e.g., severe cerebral arteriosclerosis, epilepsy) or in the presence of other risk factors that may predispose to seizures or lower the seizure threshold (e.g., certain drug therapy, renal dysfunction). (See PRECAUTIONS: General, PATIENT INFORMATION, DRUG INTERACTIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS.)
Serious and occasionally fatal hypersensitivity and/or anaphylactic reactions have been reported in patients receiving therapy with quinolones, including ofloxacin. These reactions often occur following the first dose. Some reactions have been accompanied by cardiovascular collapse, hypotension/shock, seizure, loss of consciousness, tingling, angioedema (including tongue, laryngeal, throat, or facial edema/swelling), airway obstruction (including bronchospasm, shortness of breath, and acute respiratory distress), dyspnea, urticaria, itching, and other serious skin reactions. This drug should be discontinued immediately at the first appearance of a skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity. Serious acute hypersensitivity reactions may require treatment with epinephrine and other resuscitative measures, including oxygen, intravenous fluids, antihistamines, corticosteroids, pressor amines, and airway management, as clinically indicated. (See PRECAUTIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS.)
Other serious and sometimes fatal events, some due to hypersensitivity, and some due to uncertain etiology, have been reported rarely in patients receiving therapy with quinolones, including ofloxacin. These events may be severe and generally occur following the administration of multiple doses. Clinical manifestations may include one or more of the following:
- fever, rash, or severe dermatologic reactions (e.g., toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome);
- vasculitis; arthralgia; myalgia; serum sickness;
- allergic pneumonitis;
- interstitial nephritis; acute renal insufficiency or failure;
- hepatitis; jaundice; acute hepatic necrosis or failure;
- anemia, including hemolytic and aplastic; thrombocytopenia, including thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura; leukopenia; agranulocytosis; pancytopenia; and/or other hematologic abnormalities.
The drug should be discontinued immediately at the first appearance of skin rash, jaundice, or any other sign of hypersensitivity and supportive measures instituted (See PATIENT INFORMATION and ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Rare cases of sensory or sensorimotor axonal polyneuropathy affecting small and/or large axons resulting in paresthesias, hypoesthesias, dysesthesias and weakness have been reported in patients receiving quinolones, including ofloxacin. Ofloxacin should be discontinued if the patient experiences symptoms of neuropathy including pain, burning, tingling, numbness, and/or weakness or other alterations of sensation including light touch, pain, temperature, position sense, and vibratory sensation in order to prevent the development of an irreversible condition.
Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including FLOXIN® (ofloxacin) , and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.
C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.
If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS.)
Ofloxacin has not been shown to be effective in the treatment of syphilis.
Antimicrobial agents used in high doses for short periods of time to treat gonorrhea may mask or delay the symptoms of incubating syphilis. All patients with gonorrhea should have a serologic test for syphilis at the time of diagnosis. Patients treated with ofloxacin for gonorrhea should have a follow-up serologic test for syphilis after three months and, if positive, treatment with an appropriate antimicrobial should be instituted.
Prescribing FLOXIN® (ofloxacin tablets) Tablets in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
Adequate hydration of patients receiving ofloxacin should be maintained to prevent the formation of a highly concentrated urine.
Administer ofloxacin with caution in the presence of renal or hepatic insufficiency/impairment. In patients with known or suspected renal or hepatic insufficiency/impairment, careful clinical observation and appropriate laboratory studies should be performed prior to and during therapy since elimination of ofloxacin may be reduced. In patients with impaired renal function (creatinine clearance < 50 mg/mL), alteration of the dosage regimen is necessary. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
Moderate to severe photosensitivity/phototoxicity reactions, the latter of which may manifest as exaggerated sunburn reactions (e.g., burning, erythema, exudation, vesicles, blistering, edema) involving areas exposed to light (typically the face, “V” area of the neck, extensor surfaces of the forearms, dorsa of the hands), can be associated with the use of quinolones after sun or UV light exposure. Therefore, excessive exposure to these sources of light should be avoided. Drug therapy should be discontinued if photosensitivity/phototoxicity occurs (See ADVERSE REACTIONS/Post-Marketing Adverse Events).
As with other quinolones, ofloxacin should be used with caution in any patient with a known or suspected CNS disorder that may predispose to seizures or lower the seizure threshold (e.g., severe cerebral arteriosclerosis, epilepsy) or in the presence of other risk factors that may predispose to seizures or lower the seizure threshold (e.g., certain drug therapy, renal dysfunction). (See WARNINGS and DRUG INTERACTIONS.)
A possible interaction between oral hypoglycemic drugs (e.g., glyburide/glibenclamide) or with insulin and fluoroquinolone antimicrobial agents have been reported resulting in a potentiation of the hypoglycemic action of these drugs. The mechanism for this interaction is not known. If a hypoglycemic reaction occurs in a patient being treated with ofloxacin, discontinue ofloxacin immediately and consult a physician. (See DRUG INTERACTIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS.)
Torsades de pointes
Some quinolones, including ofloxacin, have been associated with prolongation of the QT interval on the electrocardiogram and infrequent cases of arrhythmia. Rare cases of torsades de pointes have been spontaneously reported during post-marketing surveillance in patients receiving quinolones, including ofloxacin. Ofloxacin should be avoided in patients with known prolongation of the QT interval, patients with uncorrected hypokalemia, and patients receiving Class IA (quinidine, procainamide), or Class III (amiodarone, sotalol) antiarrhythmic agents.
Information for Patients
Patients should be advised
- contact their healthcare provider if they experience pain, swelling, or inflammation of a tendon, or weakness or inability to use one of their joints; rest and refrain from exercise; and discontinue FLOXIN® (ofloxacin) treatment. The risk of severe tendon disorders with fluoroquinolones is higher in older patients usually over 60 years of age, in patients taking corticosteroid drugs, and in patients with kidney, heart or lung transplants;
- that fluoroquinolones like FLOXIN® (ofloxacin) may cause worsening of myasthenia gravis symptoms, including muscle weakness and breathing problems. Patients should call their healthcare provider right away if you have any worsening muscle weakness or breathing problems;
- that antibacterial drugs including FLOXIN® (ofloxacin tablets) Tablets should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When FLOXIN® (ofloxacin tablets) Tablets are prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by FLOXIN® (ofloxacin tablets) Tablets or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
- that peripheral neuropathies have been associated with ofloxacin use. If symptoms of peripheral neuropathy including pain, burning, tingling, numbness, and/or weakness develop, they should discontinue treatment and contact their physicians;
- to drink fluids liberally;
- that mineral supplements, vitamins with iron or minerals, calcium- , aluminum- or magnesium-based antacids, sucralfate or Videx® (didanosine) should not be taken within the two-hour period before or within the two-hour period after taking ofloxacin (See DRUG INTERACTIONS);
- that ofloxacin can be taken without regard to meals;
- that ofloxacin may cause neurologic adverse effects (e.g., dizziness, lightheadedness) and that patients should know how they react to ofloxacin before they operate an automobile or machinery or engage in activities requiring mental alertness and coordination (See WARNINGS and ADVERSE REACTIONS);
- that ofloxacin may be associated with hypersensitivity reactions, even following the first dose, to discontinue the drug at the first sign of a skin rash, hives or other skin reactions, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty in swallowing or breathing, any swelling suggesting angioedema (e.g., swelling of the lips, tongue, face; tightness of the throat, hoarseness), or any other symptom of an allergic reaction (See WARNINGS and ADVERSE REACTIONS);
- that photosensitivity/phototoxicity has been reported in patients receiving quinolone antibiotics. Patients should minimize or avoid exposure to natural or artificial sunlight (tanning beds or UVA/B treatment) while taking quinolones. If patients need to be outdoors while using quinolones, they should wear loose-fitting clothes that protect skin from sun exposure and discuss other sun protection measures with their physician. If a sunburn-like reaction or skin eruption occurs, patients should contact their physician;
- that if they are diabetic and are being treated with insulin or an oral hypoglycemic drug, to discontinue ofloxacin immediately if a hypoglycemic reaction occurs and consult a physician (See PRECAUTIONS: General and DRUG INTERACTIONS);
- that convulsions have been reported in patients taking quinolones, including ofloxacin, and to notify their physician before taking this drug if there is a history of this condition;
- that diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibiotic. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible;
- to inform their physician of any personal or family history of QTc prolongation or proarrhythmic conditions such as hypokalemia, bradycardia, or recent myocardial ischemia; if they are taking any Class IA (quinidine, procainamide), or Class III (amiodarone, sotalol) antiarrhythmic agents. Patients should notify their physicians if they have any symptoms of prolongation of the QTc interval including prolonged heart palpitations or a loss of consciousness.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Long-term studies to determine the carcinogenic potential of ofloxacin have not been conducted.
Ofloxacin was not mutagenic in the Ames bacterial test, in vitro and in vivo cytogenetic assay, sister chromatid exchange (Chinese Hamster and Human Cell Lines), unscheduled DNA Repair (UDS) using human fibroblasts, dominant lethal assays, or mouse micronucleus assay. Ofloxacin was positive in the UDS test using rat hepatocytes and Mouse Lymphoma Assay.
Teratogenic Effects - Pregnancy Category C
Ofloxacin has not been shown to have any teratogenic effects at oral doses as high as 810 mg/kg/day (11 times the recommended maximum human dose based on mg/m² or 50 times based on mg/kg) and 160 mg/kg/day (4 times the recommended maximum human dose based on mg/m² or 10 times based on mg/kg) when administered to pregnant rats and rabbits, respectively. Additional studies in rats with oral doses up to 360 mg/kg/day (5 times the recommended maximum human dose based on mg/m² or 23 times based on mg/kg) demonstrated no adverse effect on late fetal development, labor, delivery, lactation, neonatal viability, or growth of the newborn. Doses equivalent to 50 and 10 times the recommended maximum human dose of ofloxacin (based on mg/kg) were fetotoxic (i.e., decreased fetal body weight and increased fetal mortality) in rats and rabbits, respectively. Minor skeletal variations were reported in rats receiving doses of 810 mg/kg/day, which is more than 10 times higher than the recommended maximum human dose based on mg/m².
There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Ofloxacin should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. (See WARNINGS.)
In lactating females, a single oral 200-mg dose of ofloxacin resulted in concentrations of ofloxacin in milk that were similar to those found in plasma. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions from ofloxacin in nursing infants, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. (See WARNINGS and ADVERSE REACTIONS.)
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients and adolescents below the age of 18 years have not been established. Ofloxacin causes arthropathy (arthrosis) and osteochondrosis in juvenile animals of several species. (See WARNINGS.)
Geriatric patients are at increased risk for developing severe tendon disorders including tendon rupture when being treated with a fluoroquinolone such as FLOXIN® (ofloxacin) . This risk is further increased in patients receiving concomitant corticosteroid therapy. Tendinitis or tendon rupture can involve the Achilles, hand, shoulder, or other tendon sites and can occur during or after completion of therapy; cases occurring up to several months after fluoroquinolone treatment have been reported. Caution should be used when prescribing FLOXIN® (ofloxacin) to elderly patients especially those on corticosteroids. Patients should be informed of this potential side effect and advised to discontinue FLOXIN® (ofloxacin) and contact their healthcare provider if any symptoms of tendinitis or tendon rupture occur (See BOXED WARNING, WARNINGS, and ADVERSE REACTIONS/Post-Marketing Adverse Event Reports).
In phase 2/3 clinical trials with ofloxacin, 688 patients (14.2%) were ≥ 65 years of age. Of these, 436 patients (9.0%) were between the ages of 65 and 74 and 252 patients (5.2%) were 75 years or older. There was no apparent difference in the frequency or severity of adverse reactions in elderly adults compared with younger adults. The pharmacokinetic properties of ofloxacin in elderly subjects are similar to those in younger subjects. Drug absorption appears to be unaffected by age. Dosage adjustment is necessary for elderly patients with impaired renal function (creatinine clearance rate ≤ 50 mL/min) due to reduced clearance of ofloxacin. In comparative studies, the frequency and severity of most drug-related nervous system events in patients ≥ 65 years of age were comparable for ofloxacin and control drugs. The only differences identified were an increase in reports of insomnia (3.9% vs 1.5%) and headache (4.7% vs 1.8%) with ofloxacin. It is important to note that these geriatric safety data are extracted from 44 comparative studies where the adverse reaction information from 20 different controls (other antibiotics or placebo) were pooled for comparison with ofloxacin. The clinical significance of such a comparison is not clear. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
Elderly patients may be more sensitive to drug-associated effects on the QT interval. Therefore, precaution should be taken when using ofloxacin with concomitant drugs that can result in prolongation of the QT interval (e.g. Class IA or Class III antiarrhythmics) or in patients with risk factors for Torsade de pointes (e.g. known QT prolongation, uncorrected hypokalemia). (See PRECAUTIONS: General: Torsades de pointes)This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 4/15/2011
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