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What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

By mouth

Ofloxacin is used to treat certain bacterial infections in many different parts of the body. It may also be used for other problems as determined by your… Read more

Brand names include: Floxin


Treats infections that are caused by bacteria. This medicine is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. Ofloxacin injection is no longer available in the United… Read more

Into the ear

Ofloxacin belongs to the family of medicines called antibiotics. Ofloxacin otic solution is used to treat infections of the ear canal. It also is used… Read more

Brand names include: Floxin, Floxin Otic Singles

Into the eye

Ofloxacin is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections of the eye, such as conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers. Ofloxacin is available only with… Read more

Brand names include: Ocuflox, Ofloxacin

Drug classes About this
Antibacterial, Antibiotic

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Management of Acute Otitis Media: Update

Acute Otitis Media (AOM), a viral or bacterial infection of the ear, is the most common childhood infection for which antibiotics are prescribed in the United States. In 2001, the Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center conducted a systematic review of the evidence comparing treatments of AOM.

Clinical Guidelines for Type 2 Diabetes: Prevention and Management of Foot Problems [Internet]

The aim of the guideline is to provide recommendations to help health care professionals in their management of people with Type 2 diabetes. The guideline is aimed at all health care professionals providing care to people with diagnosed Type 2 diabetes in primary and secondary care, irrespective of location. Depending on the type, stage and severity of clinical problem, the guidelines may also be valuable to those who work in the tertiary sector of diabetes care.

A systematic review of the effectiveness of ofloxaxin otic solution for the treatment of suppurative otitis media

The objectives of the study were to determine the effectiveness and incidence of adverse events of ofloxacin otic solution for suppurative otitis media compared with other treatments. All randomized controlled trials and nonrandomized comparative clinical trials published from 1966 to 2000 using ofloxacin otic solution as one of the interventions were reviewed and data were extracted and analyzed. Eleven clinical trials (9 randomized and 2 nonrandomized) enrolling 1,484 adults and children were finally included in the analysis. Five studies employed clear concealment procedure in the allocation of treatment whereas evaluation of outcome was at least single-blinded in 6 trials. The probability of overall cure rate was higher with 0.3% ofloxacin otic solution than with other topical or systemic antibiotics in 9 of the studies analyzed (OR = 2.67; 95% CI = 2.04, 3.50). Resolution of secondary outcome parameters evaluated at least 1 week after treatment was higher with 0.3% ofloxacin otic solution: resolution of otalgia (4 trials; OR = 2.41; 95% CI = 1.2, 4.82); resolution of otorrhea (11 trials; OR = 2.78; 95% CI = 2.12, 3.65), and bacterial eradication rate (6 trials; OR = 3.86; 95% CI = 2.54, 5.87). A subgroup analysis of 4 studies comparing ofloxacin otic solution with antibiotic- and steroid-containing otic solution showed a higher cure rate for ofloxacin otic solution (OR = 2.73; 95% CI = 1.52, 4.90). Another subgroup analysis on 3 studies comparing ofloxacin otic solution with oral systemic antibiotics showed higher resolution of otorrhea with ofloxacin otic solution (OR = 2.78; 95% CI = 2.12, 3.65). Of 4 studies with data on adverse events, the probability of adverse events was lower with ofloxacin otic solution than with other topical antibiotics (OR = 0.28; 95% CI = 0.19, 0.42). Subgroup analysis showed that 0.3% ofloxacin otic solution showed better results in terms of overall cure rate, resolution of otorrhea, otalgia, bacterial eradication rate and incidence of adverse events. Whether due to chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) or draining tympanostomy tube, the overall cure rate (CSOM OR = 4.86; with tympanostomy tube OR = 2.13) and resolution of otorrhea (CSOM OR = 4.42; with tympanostomy tube OR = 1.66) were likewise in favor of 0.3% ofloxacin otic solution. The studies included in this meta-analysis showed generally homogenous results in all clinical and laboratory outcomes analyzed, except for the evaluation of adverse events. The authors conclude that 0.3% ofloxacin otic solution is better than other otic antibiotic drops and other oral antibiotics in terms of overall cure rate and resolution of secondary outcome parameters. Estimates on the beneficial effects of ofloxacin otic solution are limited to the period of study included in this review.

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Summaries for consumers

There is no evidence of difference in clinical and microbiological efficacy of quinolones for uncomplicated acute cystitis in women, but there is some evidence of differences in occurrence and range of adverse reactions.

Urinary tract infection (UTI) refers to the presence of a certain threshold number of bacteria in the urine. Bacterial cystitis (bacteria in the bladder, also called acute cystitis) can occur in men and women and the signs and symptoms include dysuria (pain on passing urine), frequency, cloudy urine, occasionally haematuria (blood in the urine), and is often associated with pyuria (high urine white blood cell count). There is an additional important distinction between complicated and uncomplicated UTI. Complicated UTIs are those associated with fever and/or back pain (indicating kidney infection), UTIs in men, UTIs associated with indwelling or intermittent urinary catheters, obstructive uropathy (any changes in the urinary tract due to obstruction), vesicoureteric reflux (urine travels from the bladder back up toward the kidneys) and other urological abnormalities. These types of infections require more intensive treatment. Uncomplicated acute cystitis is the most prevalent form of uncomplicated UTI in women. Quinolones are recommended as the drugs of choice for acute cystitis in regions where the level of resistance to other antimicrobials namely co‐trimoxazole is high. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate which quinolone is most effective in treating uncomplicated acute cystitis and to also investigate safety and how well they are tolerated. Eleven studies (7535 women) were identified. No two studies compared the same quinolones. We found no significant differences in clinical or microbiological efficacy between quinolones. Several adverse events were reported in the individual studies. These included photosensitivity, insomnia, skin adverse events, central nervous system adverse events and adverse events leading to withdrawal to treatment. We were unable to determine which quinolone would be the safest or the most tolerated due to the lack of head‐to‐head data.

Fluoroquinolones for treating enteric fever

Researchers in The Cochrane Collaboration conducted a review of the effect of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in people enteric fever. After searching for relevant studies, they identified 26 studies involving 3033 patients. Their findings are summarized below.

Interventions to treat chronic infection of the prostate gland (chronic bacterial prostatitis)

Chronic bacterial prostatitis (CBP) involves infection and inflammation of the prostate gland in men of all ages. It can cause problems urinating, including discomfort and pain, increased frequency and urge, or problems emptying the bladder. Bacteria infecting the prostate are the cause of CBP. These bacteria may be sexually transmitted. To cure CBP, antibiotics must be administered for extended periods of time (four weeks or longer), but a permanent cure is not always guaranteed. Other drugs may be combined with antibiotics to improve CBP symptoms. This review found that fluoroquinolones like ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, lomefloxacin, ofloxacin or prulifloxacin have equivalent effects and equivalent success rates in CBP patients. If atypical bacteria like chlamydia are suspected to cause CBP, macrolide antibiotics such as azithromycin may achieve better results compared to the fluoroquinolone ciprofloxacin. It must be taken into account that some of the studies that have been performed are of poor quality or have been performed on small numbers of participants. More studies are needed, focusing on new agents or on optimized doses of currently prescribed antibiotics.

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