Several types of antibiotics are available now for treating infections caused by microbes. Some of these drugs work against a narrow spectrum of microbes; on the other hand – drugs such as moxifloxacin belong to a broad-spectrum genre of drugs. It broad spectrum drug is known to work against both gram-negative as well as gram-positive bacteria. Those strands which positively react to a stain test are labelled as gram-positive, and those which do not react are called gram-negative. In essence, cell walls of microbes form the basis for these two classifications. Moxifloxacin has the capabilities to stop further spread of a wide range of bacterial infections. It may be helpful to know how this drug works.

In the late 90s, this drug was cleared by the food and drug administration (FDA) as a treatment option for microbial infections – especially, growth of harmful or disease-causing bacteria. The drug finds its use to treat infections in the respiratory tract including tuberculosis, community-acquired version of pneumonia, meningitis, sinusitis, etc. Not stopping with these applications, this drug is also used for treating a few skin conditions caused by microbial attacks, discomforts caused in the abdomen due to infections, chronic spells of bronchitis as well as anthrax.

How does moxifloxacin work?

Moxifloxacin is found to be more effective against bacterial strands of the Staphylococcus genre including sub-species such as Staphylococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermis, etc. This drug works by inhibiting an enzyme responsible for the cell-level multiplication of the microbe. This enzyme – called as DNA gyrase – lets the double helix structure of bacterial DNA from getting untwisted. This action forms the basis for reproduction of each cell of bacteria. Once the helix is blocked from duplicating itself into a replica, it halts the spread of bacterial growth.

The active ingredients of this drug bind themselves to the enzyme. Such binding is critical to the bactericidal activity of this drug. In essence, this is the mode of action of moxifloxacin and also, a few other fluoroquinolone or quinolone-based antibiotics. In clinical terms, the DNA gyrase enzyme is referred as topoisomerase II as well as IV. Of these enzymes, the topoisomerase-IV controls the division of DNA of bacterial cells. Without this enzyme, it becomes difficult for the microbe to partition itself and make way for further cellular divisions.

Even prior to partition or cell-level division, loosening of the coiled helix is critical for further progression of infections. Topoisomerase plays a very important role in this activity. Moxifloxacin controls the release of this essential enzyme. Moxifloxacin also leads to a complete rupture of the dual strand of its DNA.

Soon after intake, the drug is absorbed off the gastric tract. Nearly 47% of the drug is eliminated in an unchanged form; of this, nearly 21% is excreted through urine and more than 24% is through stools. You may be advised to drink a lot of fluids, especially water. Presence of foods in your gastric channel never intervenes into the absorption process. Hence, you can take this drug either before or after a meal.

Side effects of this medication

This drug is unlikely to cause any major side effects in many people. However, in some remote cases, the drug is known to have caused discomforts in the gastrointestinal tract as well as in the upper-GI region. These may show up as nausea, pain in the stomach, vomiting and indigestion. In some rare instances, this drug may cause nerve related discomforts; these include sleep-related disorders, weird dreams / thoughts, feeling excessively dizzy, severe spells of headache, etc. A few people may take an excessive dosage of moxifloxacin or faster cure; this is not a safe practice. An excessive intake of this drug may not expedite the healing process. Instead, it may turn counterproductive and lead to an overdosed condition. Likely signs of an overdose are respiratory problems such as wheezing, gasping for breath, shortened cycles of respiration, etc., loss of coordination, fainting or passing out. An overdose may also trigger skin conditions like hives as well as itchiness.

Upon noticing any of these signs, you are advised to call 911 immediately. If you are living in the US, it is recommended to call the helpline contacts of food and drug administration (FDA). Those who live in any of the Canadian provinces can reach out to Health Canada as quickly as possible; you may also consider rushing to a poison control center located in your province.

Measures taken to enhance the efficacy of moxifloxacin

Foremost of all, it is essential to inform your doctor if you have any prior allergies or hypersensitivity to fluoroquinolone or quinolone-based antibiotics. A few examples of these drugs include levofloxacin, Cipro, etc. It is equally important to tell your medical team about prior ailments and disorders. You also need to share needful details about cardiac conditions (like heart arrests or recent cardiac attacks), hepatic dysfunction (such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, etc.) and CNS-related problems like seizures, fits or convulsions.

You are advised to monitor your blood sugar levels periodically. Consult your treating physician if you experience frequent urges to urinate, persistent sensation of thirstiness, staying hungry most of the time, numbing of fingers or toes, tremors as well as blurring of vision. If you are living with diabetes mellitus, your physician may advise intake of foods on a regular basis, without skipping even a single meal. Upon sensing higher levels of blood sugar, your medical team may change the antibiotic med for a safer substitute.

Last but not least, this drug can make you feel excessively dizzy. Hence, it is extremely unsafe to take alcohol while using moxifloxacin. Those who have habits of taking alcohol or other intoxicants regularly must talk to their doctor about such lifestyle. You may be advised to reduce the daily intake of such intoxicants. As an extended safety measure, you are not advised to drive, operate heavy machines or perform tasks that need concentration and focus.

In sum, moxifloxacin inhibits enzymes that enable cell-level multiplication of bacterial strands. Known as DNA gyrase, the enzyme relaxes and untwists the double helix structure of the microbe’s DNA. As the helix is not made to unwind, replication and growth of bacteria gets halted. This is how moxifloxacin works. This drug is unlikely to trigger major side effects in users. But, in some cases, it can cause a few discomforts in your gastric tract as well as in your central nervous system. Talk to your physician if you experience any discomforts soon after taking moxifloxacin.

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