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What is the most important information I should know about norfloxacin?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to norfloxacin, or if you have problems with your tendons, or a history of tendon rupture while taking a medicine similar to norfloxacin, such as Avelox, Cipro, Floxin, Levaquin, Maxaquin, Tequin, Trovan, or Zagam.

Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Norfloxacin can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result.
There are many other medicines that can interact with norfloxacin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

It is important to drink several glasses of water each day while you are taking norfloxacin to protect your kidneys.
Do not give this medication to anyone younger than 18 years old. Norfloxacin may interfere with bone development in growing children.

What is norfloxacin?

Norfloxacin is an antibiotic in a group of drugs called fluoroquinolones (flor-oh-KWIN-oh-lones). It fights bacteria in the body.
Norfloxacin is used to treat bacterial infections such as urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, and prostate infections.
Norfloxacin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking norfloxacin?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to norfloxacin, or if you have:
problems with your tendons; or

a history of allergy or tendon rupture while taking a medicine similar to norfloxacin, such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gatifloxacin (Tequin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), ofloxacin (Floxin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), or trovafloxacin (Trovan).
Before taking norfloxacin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
myasthenia gravis;
a personal or family history of “Long QT syndrome”;
low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia);
heart disease or heart rhythm disorder;
liver disease;
kidney disease; or
seizures or epilepsy.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use norfloxacin, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.
FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether norfloxacin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to anyone younger than 18 years old. Norfloxacin may interfere with bone development in growing children.
If you are being treated for gonorrhea, your doctor may want to test you to make sure you do not have another sexually transmitted disease called syphilis.

How should I take norfloxacin?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take norfloxacin on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating a meal or drinking milk.
Take norfloxacin with a full glass of water (8 ounces). It is important to drink several glasses of water each day while you are taking norfloxacin to protect your kidneys.

Take norfloxacin at evenly spaced intervals. Follow your doctor’s instructions.

Certain other medications can make norfloxacin less effective. Do not take any of the following medicines within 2 hours before or after you take norfloxacin:
sucralfate (Carafate);

didanosine (Videx) chewable tablets or powder for oral solution;
multivitamins or supplements that contain iron or zinc; or
antacids that contain magnesium or aluminum (Maalox, Mylanta, Milk of Magnesia, Rolaids, Tums).
Take norfloxacin for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Norfloxacin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you are more than 2 hours late in taking your medicine, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Symptoms of a norfloxacin overdose may include seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking norfloxacin?

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, call your doctor. Do not use any medicine to stop the diarrhea unless your doctor has told you to.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Norfloxacin can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.
Norfloxacin can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

What other drugs will affect norfloxacin?

Before taking norfloxacin, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

bepridil (Vascor);
caffeine;
cisapride (Propulsid);
droperidol (Inapsine);
methadone (Methadose);
nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Macrobid);
pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam);
probenecid (Benemid);
theophylline (Theo-Dur, Theolair, Slo-Phyllin, Slo-Bid, Elixophyllin);
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
antibiotics such as azithromycin (Zithromax), clarithromycin (Biaxin), dirithromycin (Dynabac), erythromycin (E-Mycin, E.E.S., Erythrocin, Ery-Tab), telithromycin (Ketek);
antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), amoxapine (Ascendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), or trimipramine (Surmontil);
heart rhythm medicine such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), dofetilide (Tikosyn), disopyramide (Norpace), procainamide (Procan), quinidine (Cardioquin, Quinaglute), or sotalol (Betapace);
insulin or an oral diabetes medication you take by mouth, such as glyburide (Micronase, Diabeta, Glynase);
medicines to treat psychiatric disorder, such as pimozide (Orap), haloperidol (Haldol), or thioridazine (Mellaril); or
aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), diclofenac (Voltaren), diflunisal (Dolobid), etodolac (Lodine), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), ketorolac (Toradol), mefenamic acid (Ponstel), meloxicam (Mobic), nabumetone (Relafen), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene).
If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use norfloxacin, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.
There may be other drugs not listed that can affect norfloxacin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

What are the possible side effects of norfloxacin?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using norfloxacin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • seizure (convulsions);
  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • sudden pain or swelling near your joints (especially in your arm or ankle);
  • numbness, pain, tingly feeling, or weakness; or
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Continue taking norfloxacin and talk with your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

  • dizziness, headache;
  • mild nausea, stomach cramps, heartburn, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • diarrhea, constipation, gas, rectal pain;
  • increased sweating;
  • weakness; or
  • dry mouth.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.