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Pronounced: AV-eh-locks
Generic name: Moxifloxacin hydrochloride

Why is this drug prescribed: Avelox, an antibiotic, is prescribed to treat sinus and lung infections. It kills bacteria that can cause sinusitis, pneumonia, and secondary infections in chronic bronchitis. It also fights skin infections caused by staph or strep. Avelox is a member of the quinolone family of antibiotics. Like all antibiotics, Avelox works only against bacteria. It will not cure an infection caused by a virus.

Most important fact about this drug: In rare cases, antibiotics can cause a serious allergic reaction. Stop taking Avelox and call your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following warning signs: skin rash, tingling, hives, shortness of breath, swelling of the face or throat, or difficulty swallowing.

How should you take this medication: Avelox may be taken with or without food. Even if you feel better, finish taking all the medicine that has been prescribed for you. If you stop taking the drug too soon, surviving bacteria could cause a relapse. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids while taking Avelox. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose in an effort to "catch up." --Storage instructions... Store Avelox at room temperature. Avoid high humidity.

What side effects may occur: Most people taking Avelox do not experience side effects; and when reactions do occur, they are usually mild. If you do develop a side effect, however, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Avelox. More common side effects may include: Nausea, diarrhea, dizziness Less common side effects may include: Abdominal pain, indigestion, headache, abnormal taste, vomiting Rare side effects may include: Allergic reaction (occasionally severe), anxiety, appetite loss, bladder infection, blood clotting changes, back pain, body pain, breathing difficulties, chest pain, chills, confusion, constipation, cough, digestive system disorders, dim vision, drowsiness, dry mouth, dry skin, fungal infections, gassiness, hallucinations, hand pain, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, incoordination, increased cough, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, itching, joint pain, labored breathing, leg pain, low blood pressure, mouth sores, nasal inflammation, nervousness, personality changes, pneumonia, rapid heartbeat, rash, sinus inflammation, sore throat, stomach irritation, sweating, swelling, tingling or burning sensations, tongue inflammation, tremors, urinary inflammation, vaginal inflammation, vague feeling of illness, vertigo, weakness, yellow eyes and skin A variety of other extremely rare side effects have been reported. Check with your doctor if any new or unusual symptoms develop.

Why should this drug not be prescribed: If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other quinolone antibiotic, such as Cipro, Floxin, Levaquin, Maxaquin, Noroxin, or Penetrex, you should not take Avelox.

Special warnings about this medication: Avelox may make you dizzy or light-headed. Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or engage in activities requiring mental alertness or coordination until you know how the drug affects you. Avelox can cause certain heart irregularities in people already prone to the problem. If you are being treated for an abnormal heartbeat, make sure the doctor is aware of it. You may have to avoid Avelox. Also tell the doctor if you or anyone in your family has a history of heart problems. If you develop palpitations or fainting spells while taking Avelox, contact your doctor immediately. Before you take Avelox, you should tell your doctor if you have a history of convulsions or blockage of the arteries in the brain. Quinolone-type antibiotics like Avelox have been known to cause convulsions and other problems with the nervous system, including symptoms such as agitation, anxiety, dizziness, confusion, depression, hallucinations, nervousness, nightmares, tremors, and suicidal thoughts. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these reactions. This type of medication also may cause Achilles and other tendon ruptures, especially in older adults and those taking steroids. If you experience pain or inflammation in a tendon contact your doctor. Like other antibiotics, it can also cause serious intestinal inflammation. If you develop diarrhea, let your doctor know immediately. Avelox can make your skin more sensitive to light, so you should avoid excess sunlight and tanning beds. You should avoid Avelox if you have a low level of potassium in your blood. Low potassium can be caused by the water pills (diuretics) often prescribed for high blood pressure. If you are taking a diuretic, make sure the doctor knows about it before you begin treatment with Avelox. A case of diarrhea during Avelox therapy could signal development of a potentially dangerous bowel inflammation. Call your doctor for treatment at the first sign of a problem. Avelox has not been tested in children under 18.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: Multivitamins containing iron or zinc; antacids containing magnesium, calcium, or aluminum; Carafate (sucralfate); or Videx (didanosine) reduce the effectiveness of Avelox. Take it at least 4 hours before or 8 hours after any of these products. Do not take Avelox with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil, Motrin, and Naprosyn because it may increase the risk of nerve stimulation and convulsions. Other drugs to use cautiously while taking Avelox include: Amiodarone (Cordarone) Antipsychotic drugs such as Haldol, Stelazine, and Thorazine Erythromycin (E-Mycin, Erythrocin) Procainamide (Procan SR) Quinidine (Quinidex) Sotalol (Betapace) Tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil, Norpramin, and Triavil Warfarin (Coumadin) You also should avoid Avelox if the amount of potassium in your blood is low. Low potassium can sometimes be caused by diuretic medications such as Lasix. If you are taking a diuretic medicine, tell your doctor before taking Avelox. In fact, inform your doctor of all medications you are taking, including over-the-counter remedies.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Avelox during pregnancy have not been studied. It should be used during pregnancy only if the benefits outweigh the possible risk to the unborn baby. If you are expecting, make sure the doctor is aware of it before you start taking this drug. Avelox may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage: Acute Bacterial Sinusitis The usual dose is one 400-milligram tablet daily for 7 to 14 days. Acute Bacterial Infection with Chronic Bronchitis The usual dose is one 400-milligram tablet daily for 5 days. Pneumonia The usual dose is one 400-milligram tablet daily for 7 to 14 days. Skin Infections The usual dose is one 400-milligram tablet daily for 7 days.

Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of Avelox overdose may include: Convulsions, decreased activity, diarrhea, sleepiness, tremors, vomiting

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