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Gemifloxacin is an antibiotic in the quinolone antibiotic class. It is also prescribed under the brand name Factive. This particular antibiotic carries the risk of tendon damage, though this complications is rare. Patients over the age of 60 are at a greater risk of developing tendon ruptures and tendinitis.
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This medication is an antibiotic and it is prescribed to treat bacterial infections. This medication will not treat viruses like the flu and the common cold. Overusing this medication can lead to it becoming less effective.
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This medication is taken orally and most patients will take it once a day. They can take it with food if it causes stomach upset or without food. The length of time it needs to be taken and the dosage will depend on how the patient responds and what bacterial infection they have. Patients should consume adequate fluids when taking this medication and should take it three hours after other medications or two hours before other medications.
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Patients with certain medical conditions may not be able to take this medication. Patients should tell their doctors about all known medical conditions before starting this antibiotic. These medical conditions include magnesium or potassium deficiency, abnormal heart rhythm, diabetes, seizures or a condition in which they can occur, heart problems, nervous system disorder, tendon/joint problems, and kidney disease.
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Patients may experience side effects when taking gemifloxacin. The common side effects include nausea, difficulty sleeping, diarrhea, headache, lightheadedness, and dizziness. Serious side effects do not effect most patients, but if they do occur the patient should contact their doctor immediately or seek emergency medical attention. The serious side effects include sun sensitivity and mental or mood changes (confusion, thoughts of suicide, anxiety, depression, hallucinations). In rare instances patients may experience very rare, serious side effects that warrant immediate medical attention. These include abnormal bleeding or bruising, liver problems, chronic/severe headache, nerve problems, chest pain, seizures, irregular/rapid heartbeat, fainting, and a new infection.
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Certain drugs and medications may interact with this antibiotic. Patients should notify their doctor about all medications they are taking before starting this medication. The drugs and medications this antibiotic may interact with include heart rhythm-affecting drugs, strontium, macrolide antibiotics, antipsychotic medications, corticosteroids, urinary alkalinizers, liver bacterial vaccines, blood thinners, diuretics, diabetes medications, probenecid, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, tricyclic antidepressants, theophylline antidepressants, and phenothiazines.
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Risks and Warnings
Some patients may experience a tendon rupture or tendinitis while they are taking this antibiotic or after they are done taking it. This complication is seen more often in those over 60, those who have had certain transplants (heart, kidney, lung), and those taking corticosteroids. Patients may experience pseudomembranous colitis (severe intestinal condition) that causes cramping and pain in the abdominal area, chronic diarrhea, and mucus/blood in the stool. Patients who use this medication often or use it for long periods of time are at risk for developing new yeast infections and oral thrush. Patients with allergies should alter their doctors before taking this medication. Patients should use caution when performing activities that require full mental alertness and they should avoid alcohol. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult their doctor before taking this antibiotic.
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RxList. (2009). Gemifloxacin. Retrieved on October 27, 2009 from Website: http://www.rxlist.com/factive-drug.htm
PubMed Health. (2009). Gemifloxacin. Retrieved on April 2, 2011 from PubMed Health: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000258/
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