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What Is Moxifloxacin Hydrochloride?

By Clara Kedrek
Updated May 17, 2024
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Moxifloxacin hydrochloride is an antibiotic medication used to treat a number of infectious diseases. The drug is able to fight bacterial infections by inhibiting the ability of these bacteria to reproduce. It effectively treats conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, cellulitis, and infections of the gastrointestinal tract. Common side effects of the medication include nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.

The ability of moxifloxacin hydrochloride to fight bacterial infections in the human body stems from its ability to prevent bacteria from reproducing. Specifically, the medication inhibits a bacterial protein called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) gyrase, a substance required for the bacteria to copy its genetic material in preparation for replicating. Moxifloxacin belongs to a class of antibacterial agents called the fluoroquinolones, which all work to fight infections using this mechanism of action. Other members of the fluoroquinolone class include ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid, gatifloxacin, and levofloxacin.

Typically moxifloxacin hydrochloride can be administered as a pill or as a solution injected into the veins. Many times people with more severe infections who have been hospitalized receive the drug in an intravenous form. The drug is known by its trade name Avelox®. Often people refer to the drug as simply moxifloxacin because this is the active ingredient.

A number of different diseases can be treated with moxifloxacin hydrochloride. It is often the drug chosen to treat pneumonia in otherwise healthy patients. Other respiratory tract infections such as sinusitis and bronchitis can also be alleviated with the help of this medication. Another application of the drug can be found in the treatment of abdominal infections. Doctors can also use the medication to treat infections of the skin.

Common side effects of taking moxifloxacin hydrochloride include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and diarrhea. Rarely, the medication can cause more adverse reactions including seizures, heart arrhythmias, and muscular problems. Some people are allergic to the drug and can develop rash, swelling, and a narrowing of the airways that if left untreated could be fatal.

Although moxifloxacin hydrochloride is typically well tolerated, people with certain underlying medical conditions should avoid taking it. As the medication can sometimes cause seizures, patients with epilepsy should avoid it. In addition, patients with myasthenia gravis could experience worsening muscular weakness if they take the drug. Administration of moxifloxacin to children is typically avoided since initial safety studies showed that rats had problems with the proper development of their musculoskeletal systems if exposed to the drug at an early age.

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