Chloramphenicol is a drug used to treat severe infections caused by bacteria. It is commonly given when other medicines are not as effective. This medicine will not work for infections that are caused by a virus like the common cold. This medicine will only be given to you if you have a prescription from your healthcare provider.
When applied to the eyes or ears, chloramphenicol is effective for treating bacterial infections and has few side effects.
You should not take this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to it before because it can cause a worse type of allergic reaction.
- Chloramphenicol can be taken as an injection given by a healthcare provider or as a capsule or liquid taken by mouth. It is also available as an eye or ear drop or an eye ointment. You may require the injection if your infection is severe or you can not take anything by mouth.
- If you forget a dose, then take it as soon as you remember but if you remember at a time close to your next dose, then take only the next dose.
- Do not add more doses or intentionally skip a dose. Doing this can put you at risk of an infection that is more difficult to treat.
- If you take more of this medicine than prescribed for you, go to the nearest health centre (with the remaining medicine) and report the overdose.
- Do not take more of this medicine than prescribed, and do not share it with others. This may make the medicine not work against this infection or other infections.
You may experience mild unpleasant effects of this medicine. They will usually go away within 2 to 3 days. You should mention these or other unpleasant effects to your healthcare provider, especially if it stays longer than a week.
A common side-effect is that you may experience pain or a burning feeling in your eyes when you use the eye drop or ointment.
Serious side-effects with this medicine include:
- You may begin to feel weak or tired easily.
- You may notice that you bleed easily.
If you notice any of the above while taking the liquid or injection, it may be a sign that your bone marrow is not producing enough cells. You must visit your healthcare provider immediately.
It is important that you inform your healthcare provider if you have any disease condition. This will help them check your risk for any severe unpleasant effects.
- Do not take chloramphenicol if you have had a drug reaction to it before, like a rash that went away when you stopped taking it.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you have had another drug reaction before, even if they are unrelated to this medicine.
- If you are currently taking other medicines, you must tell your healthcare provider.
- If you have blood problems or cancer, do not take this medicine.
- This medicine may not be healthy for your baby. You need to tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant while taking this medicine.
- Chloramphenicol can be passed in your breastmilk. Therefore, do not take this medicine while breastfeeding.