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Fluoroquinolone antibiotics

Drugs & Medication

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics


From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, by MultiMedia

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The quinolones are a family of broad-spectrum antibiotics. The parent of the group is nalidixic acid. The majority of quinolones in clinical use belong to the subset of fluoroquinolones, which have a fluoro group attached the central ring system.



Quinolones and fluoroquinolones are bactericidal drugs, actively killing bacteria. Quinolones inhibit the bacterial DNA gyrase or the topoisomerase IV enzyme, thereby inhibiting DNA replication and transcription. Quinolones can enter cells easily and therefore are often used to treat intracellular pathogens such as Legionella pneumophila and Bacillus anthracis.

Adverse effects

Quinolone antibiotics were once considered relatively safe, but several side effects have become evident with experience. For example, numerous case reports have implicated their use since 1965 in spontaneous tendon ruptures or damage, especially with the concurrent use of a systemic corticosteroid. In the fall of 2004, the Food and Drug Administration upgraded the warnings found within the package inserts for all drugs within this class regarding such serious adverse reactions.

  • Peripheral neuropathy (irreversible nerve damage): "Rare cases of sensory or sensor motor axonal polyneuropathy affecting small and or large axons resulting in paresthesias, hypoaesthesias, dysesthesias, and weakness have been reported in patients taking quinolones. Therapy should be discontinued if the patient experiences symptoms of neuropathy including pain, burning, tingling, numbness and or weakness or is found to have deficits in light touch, pain, temperature, position sense, vibratory sensation, and or motor strength in order to prevent the development of an irreversible condition."
  • Tendon damage: "Ruptures of the shoulder, hand, Achilles tendon or other tendons that require surgical repair or resulted in prolonged disability have been reported in patients receiving quinolones. Post-marketing surveillance reports indicate that this risk may be increased in patients receiving concomitant corticosteroids, especially the elderly. Fluoroquinolone therapy should be discontinued if the patient experiences pain, inflammation, or rupture of a tendon. Patients should rest and refrain from exercise until diagnosis of tendonitis or tendon rupture had been excluded. Tendon rupture can occur during or after therapy with quinolones."

Other problems include:

  • Heart problems (prolonged QT Interval / Torsades de pointes)
    Pseudomembranous colitis
    Rhabdomyolysis (muscle wasting)
    Stevens-Johnson syndrome
    Lowered seizure threshold


Resistance to quinolones can develop rapidly, even during a course of treatment. Numerous pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus, enterococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Streptococcus pyogenes now exhibit resistance worldwide.[1] Widespread veterinary usage of quinolones, particularly in Europe, has been implicated.


The quinolones are divided into generations based on their antibacterial spectrum. The earlier generation agents are generally more narrow spectrum than the later ones.

1st generation

  • cinoxacin (Cinoxacin®)
    flumequine (Flubactin®) (*Veterinary use*)
    nalidixic acid (NegGam®, Wintomylon®)
    oxolinic acid
    piromidic acid
    pipemidic acid

2nd generation

  • ciprofloxacin (Cipro®, Ciproxin®)
  • enoxacin (Enroxil®, Penetrex®)
    fleroxacin (Megalone®)
    levofloxacin (Cravit®, Levaquin®, Quixin®)
    lomefloxacin (Maxaquin®)
    norfloxacin (Noroxin®, Quinabic®, Janacin®)
    ofloxacin (Floxin®, Oxaldin®, Tarivid®)

3rd generation

  • balofloxacin
    gatifloxacin (Tequin®)
    grepafloxacin (Raxar®)
    pazufloxacin Mesilate
    sparfloxacin (Zagam®)

4th generation

  • clinafloxacin
    gemifloxacin (Factive®)
    moxifloxacin (Avelox®)
    Gatifloxacin (Zymar®)
    trovafloxacin (Trovan®)

In development

  • ecinofloxacin

Veterinary use

The quinolones have been widely used in agriculture and several agents exist which have veterinary but not human use.

  • danofloxacin (Advocin®, Advocid®) (*Veterinary use*)
    difloxacin (Dicural®, Vetequinon®)
    enrofloxacin (Baytril®)
    marbofloxacin (Marbocyl®, Zenequin®) (*Veterinary use*)
    orbifloxacin (Orbax®, Victas®) (*Veterinary use*)
    sarafloxacin (Floxasol®, Saraflox®, Sarafin®) (*Veterinary use*)

External links

Home | Up | Aminoglycoside antibiotics | Beta-lactam antibiotics | Fluoroquinolone antibiotics | Glycopeptide antibiotics | Glycylcycline antibiotics | Lincosamide antibiotics | Nitroimidazole antibiotics | Polyketide antibiotics | Polymyxin antibiotics | Polypeptide antibiotics - Lantibiotics | Rifamycin antibiotics | Sulfonamide antibiotics | Tetracycline antibiotics | Antibiotic resistance | Arsphenamine | Prontosil | Sulfone

Drugs & Medication, made by MultiMedia | Free content and software

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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