Chloramphenicol is an antibiotic of broad spectrum of action. It is active concerning some gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Chloramphenicol is active against strains resistant to penicillin, streptomycin, sulfonamides. It is used in cases of typhoid, paratyphoid, salmonellosis (generalized form), brucellosis, rickettsioses (including typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Q fever), tularemia, dysentery, brain abscess, meningococcal disease, trachoma, lymphogranuloma inguinale, chlamydial infection, yersiniosis, ehrlichiosis, urinary tract infection, purulent wound infection, purulent peritonitis, biliary tract infections. Also it is used locally to treat bacterial skin infections, including boils, sores, infected burns, bedsores, ulcers, etc.
When taken orally, the drug is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. The active substance of Chloramphenicol penetrates into the organs and body fluids, passes through the BBB and the placental barrier. The active components of the drug can penetrate into the breast milk.
Chloramphenicol has some contraindications and can’t be prescribed to people, experiencing the following: hypersensitivity, diseases of the blood system, acute intermittent porphyria, marked impairment of renal function and liver deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, psoriasis, eczema, fungal skin diseases, the neonatal period (up to 4 weeks) and early children age. Chloramphenicol should be used with caution and restriction in cases of cardiovascular system diseases and tendency to allergic reactions.
As the majority of drugs the antibiotic Chloramphenicol may cause the occurrence of some side reactions. They may include: on the side of hemopoietic system (thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia); of the digestive system (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence); CNS and peripheral nervous system (peripheral neuritis, optic neuritis, headache, depression, confusion, delirium, visual and auditory hallucinations); allergic reactions (skin rash, urticaria, angioedema). Such cases are quite rare and usually vanish after the treatment.
If taken orally, this medication passes into breast milk of lactating women and may cause serious adverse reactions in breastfed babies. When applied topically, systemic absorption is possible. In this regard, lactating women should stop either breastfeeding or the use of the drug.
You should consult with your doctor and inform the doctor about any reactions from your organism while taking this medication. If after taking Chloramphenicol you feel bad and it bothers you, then you should seek medical help immediately.
During the course of the treatment with Chloramphenicol, it is necessary to regularly monitor the picture of peripheral blood.
Method of Application and Dosage
Before taking this medication you should consult with your doctor and get a recipe, as it is a prescription medicine. The drug is taken orally. The dosage regimen is individual as there are many factors, connected with your health history, that influence the dosage.
It is usually recommended to take the drug 30 minutes before having a meal. If you experience nausea and vomiting, then take it 1 hour after having a meal. Single dose for adults is 0.25-0.5 g; the daily dosage is commonly 2.0 g. In especially severe cases it can be increased up to 4 g, only under the strict supervision of a physician and monitoring the state of the blood and kidney function.
The daily dosage should be divided into 3-4 drug intakes. A single dose for children under 3 years old is 10-15 mg / kg body weight. The daily dosage for children of the age of 3-8 years old is 0.15-0.2 g. For children over 8 years old the daily dosage is 0.2-0.3 g. The daily dosage should be divided into 3-4 intakes per day. The treatment course with the dug Chloramphenicol usually lasts 7-10 days.
In the case of overdosing the patients may experience a cardiovascular syndrome in premature infants and newborns treated with high doses of the antibiotic drug (the cause of development is the accumulation of chloramphenicol due to immaturity of liver enzymes and its direct toxic effect on the myocardium). The following symptoms are possible: gray skin color, low body temperature, irregular breathing, lack of reactions, cardiovascular failure (mortality rate reaches 40%).
In the case of getting the symptoms of overdosing you should seek immediate medical help. The treatment of overdosing consequences is usually conducted with the help of symptomatic therapy.
Before taking the drug you should discuss with your doctor if there is any potential risk for your health. Tell your doctor about all the diseases and illnesses you have had recently of are having at the moment.
Inform the doctor if you have to take any other medicines in combination with your prescribed antibiotic drugs. Avoid taking alcoholic drinks during your treatment course.