Chloramphenicol is used to treat infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae. It is also used to treat typhoid fever.
This medicine may be used to treat other infections as decided by your doctor.
Take Chloramphenicol exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take this medicine 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Take Chloramphenicol at regular intervals. Do not skip any doses. You must complete the entire course of this medicine. If you don't, the infection will not be properly controlled.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not take Chloramphenicol if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine or any of its ingredients.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- porphyria (an inherited disorder that may cause skin or nervous system abnormalities)
- blood disorders
as Chloramphenicol may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Chloramphenicol if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with Chloramphenicol, alert your doctor immediately. Chloramphenicol may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking Chloramphenicol.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
For as long as you are taking this medicine, you may need to have regular blood tests to check your body’s response to the medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have blood tests.
Chloramphenicol may cause any of the following side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, bloating, tiredness, thirst, and swelling.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
- severe, persistent or bloody diarrhoea
This medicine will cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Alert your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Alert your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- paracetamol (painkiller)
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin
- certain medicines for diabetes e.g. chlorpropamide, tolbutamide, gliclazide
- medicines that decrease blood cells e.g. carbamazepine, sulfonamides, phenylbutazone
- medicines for cancer
- medicines for mood disorders e.g. clozapine, fluphenazine
- sulfonamide antibiotics e.g. co-trimoxazole
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin
- medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. ciclosporin, tacrolimus
- birth control pills
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. zidovudine
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Chloramphenicol.
Avoid vaccinations during treatment with Chloramphenicol.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.