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

You should not take gatifloxacin if you have diabetes.
Before taking gatifloxacin, tell your doctor if you have a personal or family history of “Long QT syndrome” or other heart rhythm disorder, especially if you are being treated with one of these medications: quinidine (Cardioquin, Quinidex, Quinaglute), disopyramide (Norpace), bretylium (Bretylol), procainamide (Pronestyl, Procan SR), amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), or sotalol (Betapace).

If you take any of the following medicines, take them at least 4 hours after you take gatifloxacin: an antacid that contains magnesium or aluminum; vitamin or mineral supplements that contain zinc, magnesium or iron; or didanosine chewable/ buffered tablets or pediatric powder for oral solution (ddI, Videx, Videx Pediatric).
There are many other drugs that can affect gatifloxacin. 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.

Take this medication for as many days as it has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Gatifloxacin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Gatifloxacin 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. Call your doctor if you have severe sunburn, redness, itching, rash, or swelling after exposure to the sun.

What is gatifloxacin?

Gatifloxacin is an antibiotic in a group of drugs called fluoroquinolones. It fights bacteria in the body.
Gatifloxacin is used to treat bacterial infections of the lungs, sinuses, skin, and urinary tract. It is also used to treat certain sexually transmitted diseases.
Gatifloxacin may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.

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

You should not take gatifloxacin if you have diabetes.
Before taking gatifloxacin, tell your doctor if you have a heart rhythm disorder, especially if you are being treated with one of these medications: quinidine (Cardioquin, Quinidex, Quinaglute), disopyramide (Norpace), bretylium (Bretylol), procainamide (Pronestyl, Procan SR), amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), or sotalol (Betapace).
Before taking gatifloxacin, tell your doctor if you have:
a personal or family history of “Long QT syndrome”;
a low level of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia);
heart disease or a heart rhythm disorder;
kidney disease;
liver disease; or
epilepsy or another seizure disorder.
If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use gatifloxacin 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 and should not be used by a woman who is pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
It is unknown if gatifloxacin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not take gatifloxacin without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Gatifloxacin should not be given to a child younger than 18 years old.
If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to have side effects from gatifloxacin. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of this medication.

How should I take gatifloxacin?

Take gatifloxacin exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take it in larger doses or for longer than recommended by your doctor.
Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. Drink plenty of fluid while taking gatifloxacin.
Take each dose at the same time every day. You may take gatifloxacin with or without food.
Take this medication for as many days as it has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Gatifloxacin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
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 it is almost time for your next dose, 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 gatifloxacin overdose may include decreased activity, slowed breathing, vomiting, tremors, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking gatifloxacin?

Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Gatifloxacin 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. Call your doctor if you have severe sunburn, redness, itching, rash, or swelling after exposure to the sun.

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.
Gatifloxacin 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 gatifloxacin?

Certain medicines or minerals can make gatifloxacin less effective if taken at the same time. If you take any of the following medicines, take them at least 4 hours after you take gatifloxacin:
an antacid that contains magnesium or aluminum (such as Amphojel, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, or Rulox);
vitamin or mineral supplements that contain zinc, magnesium or iron; or
didanosine chewable/ buffered tablets or pediatric powder for oral solution (ddI, Videx, Videx Pediatric, others).
Other drugs may cause side effects if they are used during treatment with gatifloxacin. Before taking gatifloxacin, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
cisapride (Propulsid);
erythromycin (E-Mycin, Ery-Tab, E.E.S., others);
warfarin (Coumadin);
probenecid (Benemid and others);
digoxin (Lanoxin and others);
a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, others), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Anaprox), ketoprofen (Orudis KT, Orudis, Oruvail), and others;
heart rhythm medicine such as quinidine (Cardioquin, Quinidex, Quinaglute), disopyramide (Norpace), bretylium (Bretylol), procainamide (Pronestyl, Procan SR), amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), or sotalol (Betapace);
a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep), amoxapine (Asendin), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), doxepin (Sinequan), and others; or
a phenothiazine including chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), perphenazine (Trilafon), mesoridazine (Serentil), thioridazine (Mellaril), and others.
If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to take gatifloxacin, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.
There may be other drugs not listed that can affect gatifloxacin. 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 gatifloxacin?

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

  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats;
  • feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • numbness, tingly feeling, burning pain;
  • skin rash that is red and blisters or peels;
  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, lost appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
    sudden pain or swelling near your joints (especially in your arm or ankle); or
  • a skin rash.

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

  • mild nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea;
  • feeling dizzy, restless, or confused;
  • vaginal discharge or itching;
  • sleep problems (insomnia or nightmares); or
  • headache.

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.