Chloramphenicol: indications and properties of the drug

Everyone is periodically faced with indigestion, which is accompanied by diarrhea. To quickly get rid of this condition, many people take time-tested chloramphenicol. This drug is considered the most effective in combating diarrhea. In addition, indications for use of chloramphenicol are quite extensive and include a number of infectious diseases. Before taking this medicine you should definitely consult with an experienced doctor, as there are a number of contraindications.

Of product characteristics

Chloramphenicol refers to synthetic antimicrobial drugs and has a wide spectrum of action. The drug is quite effective against many pathogenic microorganisms, it is often prescribed for the treatment of various infectious diseases. Widely used in pediatric practice and ophthalmology. Levomicetin is considered a strong antibiotic, it is prescribed in cases when other medications of this group are ineffective.

The active substance acts as a chloramphenicol, a feature which is the ability to destroy pathogenic microbes that are sensitive to it. It has been proven high efficacy of chloramphenicol against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, some viruses, E. coli, meningococcus and strains, which are resistant to sulfa remedies, and antibiotics penicillin and tetracycline.

This drug is ineffective against Escherichia coli, the causative agent of tuberculosis, and many acid-fast bacilli. When applied topically in ophthalmology substance misses the lens of the eye, but provides a good concentration in the vitreous body, cornea and iris.

The concentration of the drug in tissues when used in therapeutic dosage is about 5 hours. The active substance can get into breast milk and can pass through the placental barrier. The main part of a drug metabolized by the liver, excreted mainly in the urine and only a small part is excreted in the feces.

Pathogenic microbes resistance to chloramphenicol is not growing very long time, so the drug can be used long courses.

Release form

The pharmaceutical industry produces this drug in different forms, which makes application as easy as possible. In the pharmacies you can find:

  • conventional tablets;
  • capsules;
  • eye drops;
  • alcohol tincture for topical use;
  • powder to prepare solution for injection;
  • ointment for external use.

Tablets can contain different amount of active ingredient, so you need to be very careful when buying.

This antibacterial drug is distinguished by low price and availability. But this does not mean that you can buy it and start taking only the advice of a neighbor. The medication has many side effects and contraindications, so the reception must be agreed with your doctor and be under his control.

When shown drug

Prescription shown in diseases of the infectious and inflammatory nature, which were caused by antibiotic-sensitive microorganisms. In addition, the antibiotic used for:

  • salmonellosis;
  • dysentery;
  • typhoid fever;
  • meningitis;
  • brucellosis;
  • legalese.

The special properties of chloramphenicol will be used in the case if other antimicrobial agents are ineffective or cannot be taken because of individual intolerance.

Treatment with chloramphenicol

Tablets and capsules are intended for oral use only and should glottis whole, without chewing. Drink the medication half an hour before eating, and those patients who experience nausea when treating with antibiotics should take chloramphenicol one hour after a meal. Between doses of tablets or capsules needed to maintain equal time intervals. The course of treatment and calculates the effective dosage of the attending physician based on the diagnosis and the patient's weight.

Dosage for adult patients is usually 250-500 mg up to four times per day. In the case of severe infections this dosage may be doubled.

Treatment using high doses of medications may be performed only in a hospital. Constantly monitor blood counts and kidney and liver. Daily dose should not exceed 4 grams.

Children over 8 years old take 250 mg 3 times a day. For children aged 3 to 8 years, the dosage is 125 mg to 4 times per day. Treatment for adults and children of all ages should be no less than a week, but normal tolerance can be increased to two weeks.

A drug powder is used for preparation of solution for intravenous and intramuscular injection. For children is permitted only intramuscular administration. For cultivation using water for injection or glucose solution.

Eye drops is indicated for conjunctivitis and other inflammatory eye diseases. The ointment is prescribed forthe treatment of purulent wounds which heal poorly.

Side effects

Tablets, capsules and powder for preparation of injection can cause some side effects in the digestive tract, nervous system and heart. It appears such unpleasant conditions:

  • nausea and vomiting;
  • violation of defecation – constipation or diarrhea;
  • the development of dysbiosis;
  • stomatitis;
  • enterocolitis;
  • irregular blood pressure;
  • headache and dizziness;
  • fatigue;
  • Deterioration of sight and hearing;
  • hallucinations;
  • hyperthermia.

In addition, are often recorded cases of allergic rashes, sometimes very heavy nature. It can be a simple allergic rash, persistent dermatitis, pruritus and angioedema.

If you notice any side effects, you should stop taking the drug and contact your doctor, who will adjust the treatment.


From the antibacterial drug has a number of contraindications, in which it is not prescribed or prescribed only after weighing all the risks. Chloramphenicol should not be taken under such conditions and diseases:

  • High sensitivity to the components that are part of the medicine.
  • Dysfunction of hematopoiesis.
  • Severe chronic diseases of the liver and kidneys.
  • Skin disease fungus, eczema and psoriasis.
  • Colds are viral in nature.
  • Angina.
  • As a prophylactic to prevent complications during surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Children up to age 3 years.

With care prescribed to elderly patients, and those suffering cardiovascular pathologies. Those people who have a pronounced sensitivity to drugs, should be treated only under the supervision of medical staff.

Patients whose work is somehow connected with machinery or precision instruments, have to be extremely careful during the course of treatment.


Overdose most often occurs because of self-treatment, when the dose is calculated incorrectly, or negligently, when drugs are stored in an accessible place. In some cases, the symptoms of overdose can appear in people with special sensitivity.

Symptoms of overdose may occur in the use of large daily doses over 3 grams, of an antibacterial drug for over two days. Intoxication is expressed in these conditions:

  • Pale skin.
  • Sharp pain in the throat.
  • High temperature.
  • Bleeding and hemorrhage throughout the body.
  • Atypical fatigue and strong muscle weakness.

A particular danger is the gray collapse, which occurs most often in infants and young children. It is manifested by bloating, vomiting, breathing problems, skin color becomes gray and disrupted the heart.

At the first sign of overdose call an ambulance or take the patient to the hospital on their own. Without medical help can be fatal. You should not hesitate, if overdose occurs in a small child!

Help with an overdose

If toxicity caused by the antibiotic, immediately call an ambulance, but before the arrival of medics carry out such remedial measures:

  1. The stomach is washed several times to remove not absorbed into the bloodstream antibiotic.
  2. Give any sorbents.
  3. Give the victim plenty of drinking for a quick withdrawal of the drug through the kidneys.

In hospital is usually prescribed symptomatic treatment aimed at normalization of work of organs and systems of the body. In severe cases, can be performed forced diuresis.

At the time of the assistance effects of the overdose will not, but some time you may experience indigestion and allergic rashes.

How to avoid overdose

To avoid poisoning by chloramphenicol, it is necessary to observe simple rules.

  1. Keep medicines out of reach of children. Preferably, if it is a special kit, with lock and key.
  2. Not to self-medicate, to make diagnoses and to prescribe medications should only by a qualified doctor. Even if the same symptoms was a neighbor, not the fact that the drug that helped her, to help others;
  3. Do not exceed the dosage that the doctor prescribed, hoping for a speedy recovery. Nothing but harm, it will not.
  4. Do not use for the treatment of expired medicines. All medications in the home medicine Cabinet should be periodically updated.
  5. Do not use antibiotics in conjunction with alcohol – this can lead to serious complications.
  6. When assigning a doctor a medicine to clarify your weight and focus on high-sensitivity to drugs, if any.

Chloramphenicol is available in almost every home medicine Cabinet. This drug people take when there are digestive disorders. Do not forget that this antibacterial drug has many side effects and contraindications, and treatment shouldbe conducted only under the supervision of a physician.