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Chloramphenicol - Indications, Dosage, Side Effects and Precautions

Written & Compiled by Anushta Chandrapalan, M.Sc  | Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team
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Information about Chloramphenicol

Generic Name : Chloramphenicol
Pronunciation : Klor-am-FEN-eh-coal
Latest prescription information about Chloramphenicol. Learn how to pronounce the drug's name, its indications, dosage, how to take, when to take, when not to take, side effects, special precautions, warnings and its storage instructions . Also listed are the International and Indian trade name(s) of the drug and its price list.
ICD Code : Y40.2 | Therapeutic Classification : Anti- Infectives

Trade Names/Brand Names of Chloramphenicol

India : 


International : 


Other Name(s) of Chloramphenicol

Chloromycetin Injection

Why is Chloramphenicol Prescribed? (Indications)

This medication is an antibiotic, prescribed for certain types of bacterial infection. It kills or slows the growth of sensitive bacteria.

When should Chloramphenicol not be taken? (Contraindications)

Contraindicated in patients with bone marrow depression, who experience severe side effects after taking this medication, and hypersensitivity.

What is the dosage of Chloramphenicol?

Adult: PO- The recommended dose is 50 mg/kg/day in 4 divided doses, may increase to 100 mg/kg/day in more severe infections.
Eye Drops: As 0.5% solution: Instill 1 or 2 drops 2 hourly.

How should Chloramphenicol be taken?

It comes as a tablet to take by mouth, on an empty stomach.
It also comes as eye drops to instill into the affected eyes as directed by your physician.

What are the warnings and precautions for Chloramphenicol?

• Caution should be exercised in patients with history of kidney or liver disease, bone marrow problems, any allergy, who are taking other medications, during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

• Avoid long-term use of this medication; otherwise it may cause secondary infection.

• Newborns may develop with increased risk of gray syndrome with the following symptoms- swelling of the abdomen, pale or blue skin color, vomiting, shock, difficulty breathing, refusal to suck, loose green stools, limp muscles, low temperature; if it is so consult with your doctor.

• Avoid contact with people who have infections.

• Extreme caution needed in children younger than 1 year of age.

• Monitor complete blood counts regularly while taking this medication.

What are the side effects of Chloramphenicol?

   Central Nervous System : Headache, confusion, depression, inflammation of the optic nerve and nerve inflammation.
   Gastrointestinal : Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, tongue inflammation, mouth ulcer and intestinal inflammation.
   Blood : Bone marrow depression and decrease in blood cell counts.
   Miscellaneous : Hypersensitivity reactions such as fever, rash, shock, hives and Gray syndrome.

What are the other precautions for Chloramphenicol?

Avoid excess dosage.

What are the storage conditions for Chloramphenicol?

Store it at controlled room temperature (15-30oC).

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