Moxifloxacin is used to treat certain infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus, skin, and abdominal (stomach area) infections caused by bacteria. Avelox is in a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. It works by killing the bacteria that cause infections. Antibiotics will not work against colds, flu, or other viral infections.
Avelox comes as tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food once a day for 5 to 21 days. The length of treatment depends on the type of infection being treated. Your doctor will tell you how long to take moxifloxacin. Take Avelox at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take moxifloxacin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with moxifloxacin. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor. Take moxifloxacin until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. Do not stop taking moxifloxacin unless you experience the symptoms of tendinitis or tendon rupture described in the IMPORTANT WARNING section or the symptoms of allergic reaction described in the SIDE EFFECTS section. If you stop taking moxifloxacin too soon or if you skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
Moxifloxacin is also sometimes used to treat tuberculosis (TB) and endocarditis (infection of the heart lining and valves) when other medications cannot be used. Moxifloxacin also may be used to treat or prevent anthrax (a serious infection that may be spread on purpose as part of a bioterror attack) in people who may have been exposed to anthrax germs in the air if other medications are not available for this purpose. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition. This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking moxifloxacin,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic or have had a severe reaction to moxifloxacin, other quinolone or fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gatifloxacin (Tequin) (not available in the US), gemifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin) (not available in the US), nalidixic acid (NegGram), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), and sparfloxacin (Zagam) (not available in the US), or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the medications listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section and any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); certain antidepressants; antipsychotics (medications to treat mental illness); nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, others); cisapride (Propulsid) (not available in the US); diuretics ('water pills'); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin, others); or certain medications for irregular heartbeat including amiodarone (Cordarone), disopyramide (Norpace), procainamide (Procanbid), quinidine, and sotalol (Betapace, Betapace AF, Sorine). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- take moxifloxacin at least 4 hours before or at least 8 hours after you take any of these medications: antacids containing magnesium or aluminum (Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, others); didanosine (Videx); sucralfate (Carafate); or vitamin supplements that contain iron or zinc.
- tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had a prolonged QT interval (a rare heart problem that may cause irregular heartbeat, fainting, or sudden death) or an irregular heartbeat, and if you have or have ever had nerve problems, cerebral arteriosclerosis (narrowing of blood vessels in or near the brain that can lead to stroke or mini-stroke), seizures, chest pain, a slow heartbeat, a low level of potassium in your blood, or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or if you are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking moxifloxacin, call your doctor.
- you should know that moxifloxacin may cause dizziness and lightheadedness. Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or participate in activities requiring alertness or coordination until you know how moxifloxacin affects you.
- plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light (tanning beds and sunlamps) and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Moxifloxacin may make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Call your doctor if you develop skin redness or blisters during your treatment with moxifloxacin.
Make sure you drink plenty of water or other fluids every day during your treatment with moxifloxacin.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Moxifloxacin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
- loss of appetite
- change in ability to taste food
- sores in the mouth or on the tongue
- white patches in the mouth
- dry mouth
- vaginal itching or burning
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, or those mentioned in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, stop taking moxifloxacin, and call your doctor immediately:
- severe diarrhea (watery or bloody stools) that may occur with or without fever and stomach cramps (may occur up to 2 months or more after your treatment)
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face or throat
- loss of consciousness
- blistering or peeling skin
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- dark urine
- excessive tiredness
- muscle or joint pain
- pale skin
- shortness of breath
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- fast, pounding or irregular heartbeat
- not trusting others or feeling that others want to hurt you
- thinking about harming or killing yourself
- hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- pain, numbness, burning, tingling and/or weakness in the arms, hands, legs or feet
Moxifloxacin may cause problems with bones, joints, and tissues around joints in children. Moxifloxacin should not be given to children younger than 18 years old. Talk to your child's doctor about the risks of giving moxifloxacin to your child. Moxifloxacin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to moxifloxacin. Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish taking moxifloxacin, call your doctor. It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.