Fluoroquinolones - Otic

By Lauren Forsythe, PharmD, DICVP; Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM, MPH

What are fluoroquinolone otic solutions?

Several fluoroquinolone antibiotic drops are used to treat bacterial infections in the ear. Enrofloxacin (brand name: Baytril Otic®) is approved for treating bacterial ear infections in dogs.

Additional fluoroquinolones such as ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin (brand names: Ciloxan® and Ocuflox®) are used in cats and dogs to topically treat bacterial infections in the ear “off label” or “extra label”. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off-label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully, as their directions may be significantly different from those on the label.

Some eye drops may be used off-label in the ear. Ensure you are administering the drops to the site indicated by your veterinarian.

Fluoroquinolones such as enrofloxacin are commonly used to compound ear drops specifically for the infection your pet has, so your pet’s fluoroquinolone-otic may be a compounded product.

How are fluoroquinolone otic medications given?

  • Fluoroquinolone otic medications are liquids that are applied dropwise, directly to the ear canal.
  • Ensure you follow your veterinarian’s directions regarding the appropriate sequence of ear cleaning in relation to administering this medication.
  • If giving this medication in both ears, ensure a designated syringe is used for each ear to prevent transferring infection between ears.
  • When using this medication with acidifying ear cleaners and/or aminoglycoside or other fluoroquinolone-containing agents, this product should be administered an hour apart from these other treatments.

What if I miss giving my pet the medication or my shipment is late?

If you miss a dose, give it when you remember. However, if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed, give it at the next scheduled time, and return to the regular dosing schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.

Are there any potential side effects?

Side effects of this medication include redness or increased inflammation. If this occurs, discontinue the medication, and contact your veterinarian.

Are there any risk factors for this medication?

  • This medication should not be used in patients with a history of hypersensitivity or allergy to fluoroquinolones.
  • In cats, fluoroquinolone-induced blindness has been demonstrated with topical use of this medication. If you notice signs of vision loss, stop using the medication and contact your veterinarian immediately.

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

Drug interactions have not been noted at this time with topical use of fluoroquinolones. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

Is there any monitoring that needs to be done with this medication?

  • There is no specific monitoring that needs to be done while your pet is taking this medication.
  • Your veterinarian may monitor your pet to be sure that the medication is working.
  • Your pet should be rechecked before treatment is discontinued.

How do I store fluoroquinolone otics?

  • Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature, as indicated on the label.
  • Store away from moisture and sunlight.
  • Do not freeze.
  • Do not use this solution if it becomes cloudy.
  • If the medication is compounded, dispose of any leftover medication once the expiration date on the label is reached.

What should I do in case of emergency?

If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

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