Chloramphenicol is a potent antibiotic that is often used to treat infections that haven’t responded to less strong antibiotics. This medication is injected directly into the veins in a hospital. Doctors inject it every six hours for a number of weeks; after the patient’s condition improves, he or she might be prescribed a different antibiotic that can be taken at home.
Some people who take this medication develop leukemia, or cancer of the white blood cells, afterwards. This medication can also cause aplastic anemia and other blood diseases. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience shortness of breath, dizziness or if you begin to bruise easily. You should also report any flu-like symptoms to your doctor.
This medication should only be taken if other antibiotics fail to work and should not be taken for minor infections. Patients should finish a complete course of this medication rather than stopping treatment once they feel better; otherwise bacteria may become resistant to this medication.