Gatifloxacin (By mouth)
Treats certain infections that are caused by bacteria. This medicine is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. This medicine was withdrawn from the U.S. market.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to gatifloxacin or to similar medicines such as ciprofloxacin, enoxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, trovafloxacin, Avelox®, Cipro®, Levaquin®, Noroxin®, Penetrex®, or Trovan®. Do not use this medicine if you have diabetes.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.
- You may take this medicine with or without food. However, try to use the medicine at the same time each day.
- Drink extra fluids so you will pass more urine while you are using this medicine. This will keep your kidneys working well and help prevent kidney problems.
- Shake the bottle of oral liquid well just before you measure your dose. Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. Wash the measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup with water after you have used it.
- Use the oral liquid within 14 days (2 weeks) after you fill the prescription. Do not use any medicine that is more than 14 days old.
- The oral liquid form of this medicine may be given through a tube inserted into your stomach if you are unable to swallow it.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the tablets in a closed container at room temperature, away from direct heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Store the oral liquid in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. It will stay fresh for 14 days (2 weeks) in the refrigerator after the day you had the prescription filled.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using arsenic trioxide (Trisenox®), cisapride, digoxin, erythromycin, probenecid, or Lanoxin®. Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using a heart rhythm medicine, such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, Betapace®, Cordarone®, Cardioquin®, Norpace®, Procanbid®, Quinaglute®, or Tikosyn®.
- Tell your doctor if you take a diuretic ("water pill"), such as furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide, or if you are using a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin®). Tell your doctor if you are using a diabetes medicine, such as glyburide, Amaryl®, Actos®, Avandia®, Glucotrol®, or Glucophage®.
- Tell your doctor if you are also using medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, fluoxetine, nortriptyline, Elavil®, Pamelor®, Prozac®, Sarafem®, or Vivactil®), medicine to treat mental illness (such as haloperidol, mesoridazine, pimozide, prochlorperazine, quetiapine, thioridazine, ziprasidone, Compazine®, Geodon®, Haldol®, Mellaril®, Orap®, Serentil®, or Seroquel®), or pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, indomethacin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, or Celebrex®).
- There are many other medicines that you should not use together with gatifloxacin. This includes nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.
- Certain medicines must be used at least 4 hours before or 4 hours after you take gatifloxacin. These medicines include antacids, multivitamins with iron, magnesium, or zinc, sucralfate (Carafate®), or didanosine (Videx®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have a history of heart disease, stroke, heart rhythm problems, or a family history of a heart condition called Long QT Syndrome. Also make sure your doctor knows if you have diabetes, kidney problems, hypokalemia (low blood potassium), or a seizure disorder such as epilepsy. This medicine should not be given to children.
- If you have severe diarrhea, ask your doctor before taking any medicine to stop the diarrhea.
- This medicine may raise or lower your blood sugar, or it may cover up symptoms of very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If your blood sugar gets too low, you may feel weak, drowsy, confused, anxious, or very hungry. You may also sweat, shake, or have blurred vision, a fast heartbeat, or a headache that will not go away.
- The oral liquid form of this medicine contains phenylalanine. Make sure your doctor knows if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
- Call your doctor if you have pain, swelling, or tearing of a tendon. Tendons are found in the back of your knee or ankle, in your shoulder or elbow, or in your hand or wrist. If you have problems with your tendons, you may need to stop taking the medicine.
- This medicine may make you dizzy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
- This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
- Chest pain, or pounding, irregular heartbeat.
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
- Decrease in how much or how often you urinate.
- Diarrhea or dark-colored stools.
- Lightheadedness or fainting.
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach.
- Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
- Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
- Seizures or tremors.
- Unusual bleeding or bruising, skin rash, redness, blistering, or peeling.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Anxiety or difficulty sleeping.
- Feeling unusually agitated, nervous, or confused, shaking.
- Feeling unusually sad, seeing or hearing things that are not there.
- Headache, muscle pain, or joint pain.
- Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
- Vaginal itching or discharge.
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013