Ofloxacin Ophthalmic Solution – Uses, Side Effects, Drug Resistance

ofloxacin ophthalmic solution

Ofloxacin ophthalmic solution is used to treat ear infections.

Ofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that is used to treat infections caused by bacteria. What are fluoroquinolone? It is important to study this class of antibiotics before we discuss ofloxacin.


Fluoroquinolone consists of ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, Gemifloxacin, and delafloxacin. The mechanism of action is displayed by inhibiting bacterial enzymes, DNA gyrase, and topoisomerase IV. This enzyme is required for DNA separation. By inhibiting this enzyme, fluoroquinolones inhibit bacterial cell division.


It was approved for use in medicine in 1985. This drug is listed on the WHO’s list of Essential Medicine. Ofloxacin is effective against many gram-positive and gram-negative microorganisms. Following are some of the bacteria that are susceptible to this drug:

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Staphylococcus pneumonia
  • Enterobacter aerogenes
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Proteus mirabilis
  • It is also effective against Chlamydia trachomatis

There are many other susceptible bacteria, but many are now having developed resistance to the drug. It is also important to note that in 2017, it was on the 278th number on the most prescribed drug list.


The following are the uses of ofloxacin:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Community-acquired Pneumonia
  • Epididymitis
  • Uncomplicated Cystitis
  • Acute Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Urinary Tract Infections

Ofloxacin Ophthalmic Solution

These ophthalmic solutions are only great for infections that are caused by bacteria. Using this for other infections will not work. This is because their mechanism of action is implemented by stopping the growth of bacteria.

Precautions before Taking the Medicine

The first and foremost precaution should be to wash your hands as you administer the drops to your eyes. If the hands are not clean, then you might exacerbate the infection.

You should also tell your doctor or pharmacist beforehand if you are allergic to fluoroquinolones such as ciprofloxacin or moxifloxacin because if you are allergic to one of them, you will be allergic to all of them.

Another thing to note is that ofloxacin may cause tearing of the tendons. This tearing mostly affects the Achilles’ tendon. It will not go away even after you stop taking the medication. Not all people are susceptible to this, but the following of these are more susceptible:

  • Children
  • Geriatrics
  • People receiving Steroids
  • People who recently got an organ transplant

You should let your physician or pharmacist know if you had joints and bone problems previously. Suppose you have heart issues, hypertension, a genetic disease, diabetes, muscle disorders, liver or kidney disease, a seizure. In that case, you should let the medical practitioner know before they start to prescribe you medication.

Use of Ofloxacin Drops

When you start to apply ofloxacin ophthalmic solution to your eye, wash your hands, so contamination does not occur. Do not let the dropper tip touch the eye. When you are using this medication, do not use contact lenses.

You should tilt your head back and pull the lower eyelid to make space. The space will be shaped like a pouch. Hold the dropper over the eye and do not let the dropper tip touch the eye. Look downward and close your eye for 1 to 2 minutes so that the medication can be absorbed. Apply pressure on the corner of the eye so that the medication does not leak through the eye.

You should use the medication for the period specified by the doctor, even if the symptoms disappear. This will make it difficult for the bacteria to develop resistance to the medication.

Side Effects of Ofloxacin

The following are some of the side effects of ofloxacin:

  • You may feel stinging or burning in the eye after administration.
  • Temporary blurred vision
  • Eye discomfort
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Dryness
  • Tearing
  • Photosensitivity
  • Serious allergic reaction to any of the drugs included in the fluoroquinolones will result in allergic reactions to all of them

Serious side effects are very uncommon, but you should consult your physician right away if you have any eye swelling or pain. Prolonged use may also cause fungal infection. It is advised only to use the medication of the prescribed period. If you notice any worsening effects, then let your doctor know.

You may suffer from blurred vision, so it is advised not to drive or use heavy machinery. During pregnancy, your doctor will calculate the risk over benefits before prescribing this medication to you.

Drug Interaction

If you are taking any of these drugs, kindly tell your doctor beforehand because these drugs might interfere with the mechanism of action of the ofloxacin:

  • Warfarin
  • Diuretics
  • Theophylline
  • Medications that control heart rhythms
  • Antipsychotics
  • Steroids

All of these drugs interfere with ofloxacin and reduce its efficacy.

Missed Dose

If you miss any dose and it is time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and administer the next dose.


The medication should be stored away from light and moisture. Keep the medication away from children and pets so they would not accidentally ingest the medication. Sharing the medication with others is strictly prohibited. It should never be injected instead of administering into the eye.

Drug Resistance

Whenever antibiotics are used, whether fluoroquinolones or tetracyclines, there is a chance that the bacteria might develop drug resistance. The resistance to ofloxacin develops due to the mutation of DNA gyrase. DNA gyrase is one of the enzymes that are affected by the ofloxacin. Mutation of this enzyme makes the bacteria able to resist the drug. When drug resistance develops, it becomes complicated to treat diseases that were treated by the drug before.

Drug resistance occurs because of drug misuse. The patient either stops taking the medication after the symptoms disappear or take the medication even after the prescribed period is over.


Ofloxacin ophthalmic solution is a very good medication that treats bacterial eye infections. The main issue that the doctors and pharmacists face is drug resistance, so the patient should take the medication for the prescribed period so that resistance does not develop.

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