Moxifloxacin for infection (Avelox)

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Take one tablet daily and complete the full course of treatment.

Do not take indigestion remedies, or medicines containing iron or zinc, in the two hours before or after you take moxifloxacin.

Moxifloxacin may impair your alertness, so make sure your reactions are normal before driving or operating machinery.

Do not take painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, while you are on moxifloxacin.

Type of medicineA quinolone antibiotic
Used forBacterial infections in adults
Also calledAvelox®
Available asTablets and injection

Moxifloxacin is used to treat bacterial infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, and pelvic inflammatory disease. It is only used for infections which have not improved with other antibiotic treatment, or where other antibiotics cannot be prescribed in preference to it.

Moxifloxacin works by killing the bacteria that are causing the infection.

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking moxifloxacin it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are under 18 years of age or over 60 years of age.
  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby, or breast-feeding.
  • If you have ever experienced tendon problems after taking another quinolone antibiotic (ofloxacin, levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid, or norfloxacin).
  • If you have ever been told you have an unusual heartbeat.
  • If you have a heart condition (such as heart failure), or if you have had a heart attack.
  • If you have been told you have a salt imbalance in your blood.
  • If you have problems with the way your liver works.
  • If you have epilepsy or any other condition that causes fits.
  • If you have ever had a mental health problem.
  • If you have a condition causing tired and weak muscles, called myasthenia gravis.
  • If you know you have glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. This is a genetic disorder which causes problems after eating foods such as fava beans.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about moxifloxacin and a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take moxifloxacin exactly as your doctor tells you to. It is usual to take one tablet daily. Your dose will be on the label of the pack to remind you. Try to take your doses at the same time of day each day, as this will help you to remember to take them.
  • Swallow moxifloxacin tablets whole with a drink of water. Do not chew or break the tablets, as they have a bitter taste. You can take them before or after meals.
  • Do not take indigestion remedies, or medicines containing iron or zinc, during the two hours before you take moxifloxacin, or during the two hours after you have taken a dose. This is because these interfere with the way moxifloxacin is absorbed by your body and stop it from working fully.
  • Even if you feel your infection has cleared up, keep taking this antibiotic until the course is finished, unless you are told to stop.This is to prevent the infection from coming back. A course of treatment often lasts for around 5-14 days, although it may be for longer than this. If you still feel unwell after finishing the course, go back to see your doctor.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
  • If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with this antibiotic. In particular, do not take painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, while you are being treated with moxifloxacin.
  • Moxifloxacin may cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than normal. Protect your skin particularly if you are exposed to strong sunlight for long periods during the day. Do not use sunbeds.
  • Moxifloxacin may impair your ability to concentrate. Make sure your reactions are normal before you drive, operate machinery or do any other jobs which could be dangerous if you are not sufficiently alert.
  • If you are using oral combined hormonal contraception (the 'pill'), additional contraceptive precautions such as condoms are not required during a course of this antibiotic unless you are sick (vomit) or have diarrhoea. If you need further advice, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • If you have diabetes, you may need to check your blood glucose levels more regularly, as moxifloxacin may affect the levels of sugar in your blood.
  • Some people develop thrush (redness and itching in the mouth or vagina) after taking a course of antibiotics. If you think you have thrush, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
  • This antibiotic may stop the oral typhoid vaccine from working. If you are having any vaccinations, make sure the person treating you knows that you are taking this medicine.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with moxifloxacin. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Common moxifloxacin side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicineWhat can I do if I experience this?
Feeling or being sick, and abdominal painStick to simple foods - avoid rich or spicy meals
DiarrhoeaDrink plenty of water to replace lost fluids. If the diarrhoea is severe or continues to be a problem, speak with your pharmacist or doctor
Oral and/or vaginal thrushSpeak with your pharmacist or doctor if this occurs
HeadacheAsk your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller
Feeling dizzyIf this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines
Palpitations, heart rhythm changes Speak with your doctor if you suspect this

Important: there are also a number of less common but more serious side-effects which have been associated with moxifloxacin. Speak with your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following:

  • An allergic-type reaction, such as swelling around your face or mouth, a skin rash, or any difficulty breathing.
  • Pain or inflammation in your muscles or joints.
  • Any feelings of burning, tingling, numbness or weakness.
  • Any signs of jaundice, such as yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr John Cox
Document ID:
4132 (v29)
Last Checked:
Next Review:
The Information Standard - certified member

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