Chloramphenicol - Antibiotic Medication

Chloramphenicol is an antibiotic medication commonly used to treat bacterial infections.
Where to get
Available with a prescription at pharmacies.
Applicable for
Prepared by Shruti Sahoo, reviewed by Dr. Eugene Smith

Chloramphenicol FAQ

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What is chloramphenicol used for?

Chloramphenicol is an antibiotic useful for the treatment of a number of bacterial infections. This includes use as an eye ointment to treat conjunctivitis. By mouth or by injection into a vein, it is used to treat meningitis, plague, cholera, and typhoid fever.

Why is chloramphenicol no longer available?

Because of its serious adverse effects, oral and topical chloramphenicol formulations are no longer available in the U.S. and intravenous chloramphenicol is used only for acute and serious infections that cannot be treated with less toxic alternative antibiotics.

What are the side effects of chloramphenicol?

Common side effects of chloramphenicol include bone marrow depression, blood disorders (including anemia), headache, confusion, delirium, depression, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and others. Avoid use in nursing mothers; discontinue either the drug or nursing. Consult your doctor if pregnant.

Does chloramphenicol stop bacterial growth?

Chloramphenicol is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that typically stops bacterial growth by stopping the production of proteins. Chloramphenicol was discovered after being isolated from Streptomyces venezuelae in 1947. Its chemical structure was identified and it was first synthesized in 1949.

Is chloramphenicol a synthetic antibiotic?

Chloramphenicol is a synthetically manufactured broad-spectrum antibiotic. It was initially isolated from the bacteria Streptomyces venezuelae in 1948 and was the first bulk produced synthetic antibiotic.

Is chloramphenicol bactericidal?

Chloramphenicol is bacteriostatic but may be bactericidal in high concentrations or when used against highly susceptible organisms. Chloramphenicol stops bacterial growth by binding to the bacterial ribosome (blocking peptidyl transferase) and inhibiting protein synthesis.

Chloramphenicol References

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