What Are the Most Common Ofloxacin Side Effects?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 14 January 2020
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Ofloxacin side effects can be severe and may include tendon damage, heart abnormalities, and seizures in extreme cases. Medications in this class, called quinolones, are associated with significant side effects and are only recommended when they are the best possible choice. In addition, ofloxacin interactions can be a cause for concern if the patient is taking other medications. Before starting treatment, it can help to review a patient’s entire medical history to check for risk factors.

Formulations like ear drops, eye drops, and tablets are available. Some ofloxacin side effects can include gastrointestinal upset as well as irritation at the site the medication is applied in the case of eye and ear medications. Patients may also notice fatigue or mild depression while on the medication. If these symptoms do not resolve or grow worse, they can be a sign of a bad reaction.

Some patients develop dizziness, rapid heart rate, and fainting, signs of serious ofloxacin side effects. Other adverse reactions can include liver or kidney damage, aggressive skin rashes, seizures, excessive bleeding, and peripheral neuropathy, where numbness and tingling indicate the presence of nerve damage. In addition, some patients develop psychiatric symptoms like depression, anxiety, and paranoia.


This medication is also associated with tendinitis, a painful inflammation of one or more tendons that can lead to rupture. Patients may experience this side effect even after being off the medication for several weeks. It is important to pay attention to pain and soreness in the joints and muscles which could be early warning signs of tendon damage. Changes to the heart rhythm can also occur in some patients on this medication.

Medication conflicts with some antibiotics, antidepressant medications, steroids, and antivirals are also an issue. Drug interactions with ofloxacin can increase the concentration in the blood, which may make the side effects more intense. Patients starting a course of therapy should discuss any medications they are taking or have taken recently, including over the counter drugs like supplements. It may be possible to avert serious ofloxacin side effects by covering these aspects of the patient’s medical history before taking the drug.

People who notice symptoms like severe rashes, dizziness, or confusion while taking ofloxacin should call their medical providers. These can be a sign of a bad drug reaction. It may be necessary to visit the office for an evaluation and to consider a different medication for the duration of treatment. The doctor may also put a note in the patient's chart about the bad ofloxacin side effects, which can indicate the patient may not be able to take other quinolones either.


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Post 3

@ddljohn-- I don't think that the side effects of ofloxacin is as rare as we are made to believe. I have come across many people on online forums claiming that they developed muscle and tendon problems after using ofloxacin. I personally developed tendinitis from it and I thought that I was one of the few people who had this kind of reaction. But this side effect is actually very common.

Ofloxacin also made my skin very sensitive to sunlight.

Post 2

@donasmrs-- Although the possible side effects are many, most people who take ofloxacin for a short period of time do not experience these side effects. When I took the medication, I only experienced a mild stomach upset from it.

Ofloxacin is not related to penicillin group antibiotics which makes it a good choice for patients who are allergic penicillin. Also sometimes, an infection does not respond to an antibiotic so a different group antibiotic has to be used. So ofloxacin might be the best choice in this kind of situation as well.

If the drug did not have benefits and if it was dangerous, I'm sure the FDA would have banned it by now. So there are clearly benefits of the drug despite the side effects. And a doctor will always compare the risks with the advantages before prescribing a patient medication.

Post 1

If this antibiotic has so many severe negative side effects, why is it still on the market? I have a hard time believing that ofloxacin would be the best possible choice for a patient considering that there are many other wide spectrum antibiotics out there.

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