Drug: Chloramphenicol

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Chloramphenicol is a powerful antibiotic, which can treat many different types of bacterial infection. The article offers an in-depth guide to the drug, Chloramphenicol, including its uses, possible side effects and how it should be taken.

What is Chloramphenicol?

This medication belongs to a group of medicines called antibiotics that work by stopping bacteria (germs) from multiplying. It is used mainly for severe infections that are resistant to other antibiotics. Chloramphenicol is highly effective but because of its potential severe side effects it is considered as last resort antibiotic.

Uses of Chloramphenicol

The main function of this medicine is to stop the bacteria from multiplying. It has a wide range of activity on many bacterial types such as;

  • Meningitis
  • Typhoid fever
  • Cholera
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Rickettsial diseases

Please consult your health care provider before using Chloramphenicol so as to know if it applies to your specific condition.

Side Effects Of Using Chloramphenicol.

In treating infections, chloramphenicol may cause certain side effects, some of them serious. These include:

  • Nausea and vomiting,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Headache,
  • Skin rash or itching( minor).

More serious reactions requiring immediate medical attention include:
  • suppression of blood marrow
  • severe allergic reaction
  • optic neuritis

Precautions and Warnings for Chloramphenicol

Chloramphenicol should be used with caution because it can have dangerous side effects. Some important precautions include:

  • Avoiding use in the patients with blood disorders history.
  • Blood levels should be monitored during therapy to prevent toxicity.
  • Care should be exercised when prescribing in pregnancy or breastfeeding.
  • Possible interactions with other drugs need to be known.

Prior to commencing on chloramphenicol treatment, seek the advice of your physician or pharmacist if it is appropriate for you.        


This is a powerful antibiotic that can treat certain bacterial infections. However, one must consider using it cautiously since its’ severe side effects require doctor’s continuous monitoring. Therefore, people who are prescribed Chloramphenicol must understand its uses, side effects and precautions associated with taking it.

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