Moxifloxacin (Avelox) | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

moxifloxacin, Oral tablet

Generic Name:
Avelox,Avelox ABC Pack

moxifloxacin, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Avelox
  • Avelox ABC Pack
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for moxifloxacin

Oral tablet
1

This drug comes as a tablet you take by mouth and as an ophthalmic solution (eye drop). It’s also available as an intravenous (IV) drug, which is only given by a healthcare provider.

2

Moxifloxacin is used to treat bacterial infections. It won’t work to treat a viral infection, such as the common cold.

3

Moxifloxacin oral tablet is available as the brand-name drug Avelox. It’s also available as a generic drug.

4

Common side effects of this drug include nausea, diarrhea, and headache.

5

In some cases, moxifloxacin may cause serious side effects. These include kidney failure, liver failure, seizures, and a life-threatening skin rash called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Tendon rupture warning. This drug can increase your risk of irritating or rupturing your tendons (the cords that attach your muscles to your bones).  Your risk may be higher if you’re older than 60 years, take a corticosteroid drug, or have had a kidney, heart, or lung transplant. 

Muscle weakness warning. This drug can cause muscle weakness. If you have myasthenia gravis, this drug may make your muscle weakness worse.  You should not take this medication if you have myasthenia gravis.

Diarrhea

This drug may cause diarrhea.  Symptoms can include frequent bloody or watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, and loss of appetite. Call your doctor if these symptoms are severe or if they continue after you stop taking the drug.

Peripheral neuropathy

This drug can cause peripheral neuropathy (nerve pain). Symptoms include burning, pain, tingling, numbness, and or weakness in your muscles and body parts. These symptoms often start in your hands and feet and spread to your arms and leg. Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

Finish taking your medication

You must finish the entire course of treatment of this drug as prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking the drug or skip doses if you start to feel better. Not finishing your course of treatment could cause your infection to last longer. You could also develop a resistance to the medication. This means that if you get a bacterial infection again, moxifloxacin may not work to treat it.

What is moxifloxacin ?

Moxifloxacin is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet and an ophthalmic solution. It’s also available as an intravenous (IV) drug, which is only given by a healthcare provider.

Moxifloxacin is available as the brand-name drug Avelox. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version.

Why it's used

Moxifloxacin is used to treat bacterial infections, including:

  • throat, sinus, and lung infections
  • community-acquired pneumonia
  • skin infections
  • stomach infections

How it works

Moxifloxacin belongs to a class of drugs called fluoroquinolones. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

This drug works by stopping a bacteria’s ability to copy their DNA. This action kills bacteria and stops them from reproducing. This treats your infection.

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SECTION 2 of 5

moxifloxacin Side Effects

Oral tablet

More Common Side Effects

Some of the more common side effects of moxifloxacin include:

  • nausea

  • diarrhea

  • headache

  • vomiting

  • dizziness

  • nervousness

  • agitation

  • nightmares

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Liver failure. Symptoms include:

    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
    • pain in the upper right part of your abdomen
    • nausea and vomiting
  • Steven-Johnson’s syndrome. This is a serious, life-threatening skin rash. Symptoms include:

    • fever
    • rash
    • sores in or around your mouth, nose, eyes, or genitals
    • peeling skin
  • Kidney failure. Symptoms include:

    • making less urine than normal
    • swelling of your feet, legs, and arms
    • chest pain or pressure
  • Seizures

  • Peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms typically start in your hands and feet and spread to your arms and legs. Symptoms include:

    • tingling
    • burning
    • pain
    • numbness
    • weakness
    • sensitivity to touch
  • Severe diarrhea. These symptoms will last after you stop taking the drug.  Symptoms include:

    • watery or bloody diarrhea
    • stomach cramping
    • fever
    • loss of appetite
    • nausea
  • Torsades de pointes (irregular heart rhythm). This drug can change your heart beat in a way that puts you at risk for a life-threatening, irregular heart rhythm called torsades de pointes. Symptoms include:

    • palpitations (feeling like your heart is skipping a beat)
    • fast, irregular heart beat
    • dizziness
    • fainting
    • seizures
  • Tendon rupture. Your Achilles tendon is the most likely to rupture. Symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture include:

    • sudden, severe pain
    • swelling
    • redness and warmth around the area
    • trouble walking
    • not being able to stand on your tiptoes in the injured foot
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Moxifloxacin doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

moxifloxacin May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Moxifloxacin can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. 

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Interactions that increase your risk of side effects
  • Side effects from moxifloxacin. Taking moxifloxacin with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from moxifloxacin. Examples of these drugs include:
    • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone. Using these drugs with moxifloxacin can increase your risk of tendon rupture.
    • Antipsychotic drugs, such as chlorpromazine, haloperidol, and ziprasidone. Using these drugs with moxifloxacin can increase your risk of a life-threatening, irregular heart rhythm called torsades de pointes.
  • Side effects from other drugs: Taking moxifloxacin with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from these drugs. Examples of these drugs include:
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and diclofenac. Taking moxifloxacin with NSAIDs can increase your risk of convulsions (violent, involuntary movements).
    • Heart rhythm drugs, such as sotalol, amiodarone, and dofetilide. Taking moxifloxacin with these drugs can increase your risk of heart rate problems, including torsades de pointes. This is a life-threatening, irregular heart rhythm.
    • Warfarin. Moxifloxacin can increase the amount of warfarin in your body. This can cause side effects, such as bleeding.

Interactions that can make your drugs less effective
  • When moxifloxacin is less effective: When moxifloxacin is used with certain drugs, it may not work as well to treat your condition. This is because the amount of moxifloxacin in your body may be decreased. Examples of these drugs include:
    • Antacids, sucralfate, didanosine, multivitamins, and iron, zinc, or magnesium supplements. You should take moxifloxacin at least 4 hours before taking these drugs or 8 hours after taking these drugs.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Moxifloxacin warnings
heart conditions
People with heart conditions

This drug can change your heart rhythm. If you have QT prolongation, you shouldn’t take this medication.

diabetes
People with diabetes

This drug can change your blood glucose (sugar) levels. You and your doctor should monitor you blood sugar levels carefully while you take this medication.

myasthenia gravis
People with myasthenia gravis

If you have myasthenia gravis, this drug may make your muscle weakness worse. You shouldn’t take this medication if you have this condition.

seizures
People with seizures

This drug can cause seizures. If you have a history of seizures, ask your doctor if this drug is safe for you.

liver problems
People with liver problems

If you have a history of liver problems, you are at higher risk for a life-threatening, irregular heart rhythm called torsades de pointes.  Your doctor will monitor you more closely during your treatment with this drug.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

Moxifloxacin is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should be used only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. 

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

Moxifloxacin may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.

Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your baby. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

seniors
For seniors

If you’re older than 65 years, you may be at higher risk of heart rhythm problems and tendon rupture. If you have diabetes, you may also have a higher risk for blood sugar changes.

children
For children

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

allergies
Allergies

Moxifloxacin can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include: 

  • trouble breathing
  • loss of consciousness (blacking out)
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat
  • hives
  • rash
  • sores in or around your mouth, nose, eyes, or genitals
  • peeling skin 

Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room if you develop these symptoms. 

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take moxifloxacin (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Throat, sinus, and lung infections

Generic: moxifloxacin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 400 mg

Brand: Avelox

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 400 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Typical starting dose: One 400 mg tablet taken once per day. The length of treatment is usually 5–21 days depending on the condition being treated.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in people younger than 18 years.

Community-acquired pneumonia

Generic: moxifloxacin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 400 mg

Brand: Avelox

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 400 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Typical starting dose: One 400 mg tablet taken once per day. The length of treatment is usually 5–21 days depending on the condition being treated.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in people younger than 18 years.

Skin infections

Generic: moxifloxacin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 400 mg

Brand: Avelox

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 400 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Typical starting dose: One 400 mg tablet taken once per day. The length of treatment is usually 5–21 days depending on the condition being treated.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in people younger than 18 years.

Stomach infections

Generic: moxifloxacin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 400 mg

Brand: Avelox

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 400 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Typical starting dose: One 400 mg tablet taken once per day. The length of treatment is usually 5–21 days depending on the condition being treated.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in people younger than 18 years.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Moxifloxacin comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all

Your infection may not get better or may get worse. You must finish the entire course of treatment as prescribed by your doctor. Don’t stop taking it or skip doses if you start to feel better. Doing so could cause your infection to last longer. You could also develop a resistance to the medication. This means that if you get a bacterial infection again, this drug may not work to treat it.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body.  Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • agitation
  • seizures
  • irregular heart rhythm

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.   

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

The symptoms of your infection will get better.

Moxifloxacin is used for short-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking moxifloxacin
take this drug with or without food
You can take this drug with or without food. Taking it with food may help to reduce upset stomach
timing
Take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor
Don’t cut or crush
Don’t cut or crush the tablet
storage
Store this drug carefully
See Details
medication may be refillable
A prescription for this medication may be refillable
See Details
Travel
Travel
See Details
Clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
diet
Your diet
See Details
Sun sensitivity
Sun sensitivity
See Details

Store this drug carefully

  • Store moxifloxacin at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C). Keep it away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication may be refillable

Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you, such as in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include: 

  • Blood sugar levels: You doctor will monitor your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.
  • International normalized ratio (INR): If you take warfarin, your doctor will check your INR and prothrombin time.
  • Heart rhythm: If you have liver problems or are at high risk for an irregular heart rhythm, you doctor will check your heart rhythm.

Your diet

Drink plenty of water. While you’re taking this drug, you should stay well hydrated.

Sun sensitivity

This drug can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. This drug increases your risk of sunburn. Avoid being in the sun if you can. If you must be outside, wear protective clothing and sunscreen.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

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How Much Does moxifloxacin Cost?

Oral tablet

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on January 6, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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