Moxifloxacin is an antibiotic effective against both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. This medication is aggressive and a doctor may prescribe it as an antibiotic of last resort after therapy with other drugs does not work. In some nations, regulatory agencies restrict the use of this medication with the goal of preventing the development of antibiotic resistance. In these cases, doctors can only prescribe moxifloxacin when other antibiotics fail or are not a good option.
A doctor can prescribe this medication for the treatment of infections like community-acquired pneumonia and acute bacterial sinusitis. Tablets are available for patients to take courses of medication at home, and the drug can also be given intravenously. An ophthalmic solution is available for management of eye infections, including infections in children who may not respond to other medications. Before prescribing, the doctor may request a culture to find out what kind of bacteria is present at the site of the infection.
Patients on moxifloxacin are at risk of injuries to the liver and heart, especially if they have underlying conditions involving these organs. They may also develop sensitivity to light, leading to skin and eye irritation when out in bright sunshine. Neurological effects including tingling and numbness can also be an issue in some patients, and some experience psychosis, a rare reaction. Another moxifloxacin side effect of concern is acute tendinitis, where the tendons become inflamed.
This drug can interact poorly with a number of prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter drugs and herbal remedies. When consulting with a doctor to make a decision about a prescription, patients should discuss all the medications they take. Reviewing medical history is also important, as a history of disease could be an issue when a doctor is choosing a medication for treatment of an infection. It may be necessary to temporarily stop taking some other medications while on this antibiotic.
As with other antibiotics, it is important to fully finish a course of moxifloxacin, even if a patient starts to feel better. If the medication is stopped too soon, remaining bacteria can begin breeding again and may flare up, causing the infection to return. The second infection will be harder to treat, as it includes bacteria with some natural resistance to moxifloxacin. Over time, this can result in the development of antibiotic resistance in the general population, caused by passing the infectious bacteria on to other people.