Chloramphenicol
DESCRIPTION

Chloramphenicol is a generic name antibiotic that can eradicate or stall bacterial infections.

How It Works

Chloramphenicol is a broad spectrum activity antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections in various parts of the body, including the eye. This medicine is metabolized in the liver and can penetrate bacterial cells to stop protein synthesis. When the cells can no longer form peptide bonds, the bacteria eventually die and the infection clears up. Chloramphenicol is only prescribed when other types of antibiotics are deemed ineffective against the infection.

Uses

Chloramphenicol was originally intended to treat typhoid. However, as the Salmonella type bacteria that causes the disease has become drug resilient, Chloramphenicol is only recommended when the microorganism is known to be vulnerable to the drug. Chloramphenicol is an effective treatment for cholera, meningitis (useful against all three types) and the plague.

Chloramphenicol can easily penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, it is considered a first-line treatment against abbesses in the brain caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus.

Chloramphenicol is the choice form of treatment for patients who are severely allergic to penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics, especially when infected with meningitis. Chloramphenicol is also used against Enterococcus faecium bacterial infections that are resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin.

Chloramphenicol is available as capsules, oral suspension, and powder for dissolving, injections and eye drops.

Dosage

Chloramphenicol should only be taken with a physician’s prescription.

Chloramphenicol doses are prescribed considering the bacterial strain being targeted and the weight of the patient.

Because Chloramphenicol can cause severe side effects, the medicine should be used exactly as prescribed. Do not increase the dose as doing so may result in a life-threatening adverse reaction. Do not discontinue Chloramphenicol before the period of treatment ends as it could cause the infection to return.

Chloramphenicol injections should be administered by a medical professional.

Do not take two doses of Chloramphenicol to make up for a missed dose. If a dose is missed, take it soon as you remember, but not with the next due dose.

Side Effects

Chloramphenicol may cause one or more of the following side effects:

Diarrhea
Vomiting
Nausea
Headache
Confusion
Sores in the mouth or on the tongue
Depressive feelings

Side effects should disappear within a week or so. Consult a doctor if side effects last for more than 7 days.

Chloramphenicol in the injection form can cause a decrease in certain kinds of blood cells leading to serious complaints such as leukemia or anemia. Therefore, immediately report to the doctor signs of pale skin, flu-like symptoms, excessive bleeding, easy bruising, and shortness of breath or fatigue.

Immediately report severe side effects such as watery or bloody diarrhea, especially if it persists for more than a week. This indicates that the infection has not cleared.

Side effects other than the ones mentioned above could occur in certain individuals.

Precautions

Do not take Chloramphenicol if you are known to be allergic to the drug or similar antibiotics.

Patients are recommended to undergo regular blood testing to make sure the number of red blood cells remain in the normal range when taking Chloramphenicol.

Chloramphenicol may cause adverse reactions with certain types of other drugs. Therefore, tell your doctor all the other types of medications you are taking when being prescribed this antibiotic.

Self-Care

Take Chloramphenicol same time each day to make it easier to remember to take a dose.

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