Ofloxacin Warnings

According to Drugs.com, ofloxacin is an oral, prescription medication that is in the fluoroquinolone class of antibacterial drugs. Ofloxacin is appropriate for use in adults who have mild to moderate bacterial infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, skin infections, urethral and cervical gonorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease, bladder infections and prostatitis.

Tendon Rupture and Tendonitis

Treatment with ofloxacin can lead to tendonitis and tendon rupture, especially at the Achilles tendon, says Drugs.com. If you are past the age of 60 or you are taking corticosteroids along with ofloxacin, you are particularly susceptible to this problem. If you experience pain, swelling, inflammation or tendon rupture at the heel, shoulder, thumb, biceps or other joint, stop taking ofloxacin and call your doctor immediately.

Central Nervous System Stimulation

According to Drugs.com, your first dose of ofloxacin may cause central nervous system effects such as tremors, agitation, anxiety, lightheadedness, confusion, hallucinations, paranoia, depression and insomnia. If you notice any of these effects, stop taking the drug and call your doctor.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

You may have a serious hypersensitivity or allergic reaction to ofloxacin after the first dose, warns Drugs.com. Symptoms may include cardiovascular collapse, low blood pressure, shock, seizure, loss of consciousness, tongue, throat or facial swelling, shortness of breath, hives and itching. You may need treatment with adrenaline, oxygen, intravenous fluids and antihistamines. Drugs.com recommends that you stop taking ofloxacin immediately if you see a skin rash or other sign of hypersensitivity, and report the problem to your doctor.

Liver Problems

The Mayo Clinic cautions that you may develop serious liver problems such as hepatitis while taking ofloxacin. If you experience nausea, vomiting, dark urine, stomach pain or yellow eyes or skin during treatment, immediately consult your doctor.


It is possible that the ofloxacin treatment regimen may lead to severe diarrhea, says the Mayo Clinic. If this happens, you should not use over-the-counter medicines for the diarrhea because you may make it worse.

Sensitivity to Sunlight

You may notice that while taking ofloxacin you are more sensitive to sunlight than you are normally, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you go into the sunlight even for a short period of time, severe sunburn or skin rash may result. Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., but if you must go outside, wear a hat and sunglasses and use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher.

Masked Syphilis Symptoms

Monthly Prescribing Reference says that ofloxacin may hide the symptoms of syphilis. Doctors should not treat gonorrhea with ofloxacin until they have first checked for syphilis. After three months, another test should be done.

About this Author

Robert DiPardo has been a pharmaceutical chemist for nearly 32 years, and he is a co-author on 71 scientific publications covering cardiovascular, osteoarthritis, alzheimers’s disease and other therapeutic areas. He retired from drug discovery research in 2009, and has been a health writer since January 2010. DiPardo holds a Master of Science degree in organic chemistry from Yale University.