General Description: An oral antibiotic used to treat many common bacterial infections in dogs and cats (ex. urinary tract, skin and respiratory tract infections). Chloramphenicol may be given with or without food. Chloramphenicol is available in capsules, tablets or as an oral suspension.
What is this drug?
Chloramphenicol is a broad spectrum antibiotic
Chloramphenicol is given by mouth (eye and ear products are available as well)
Reasons for prescribing:
Useful to treat a variety of bacterial infections (ex. bladder, respiratory, skin) in dogs and cats
What dogs/cats should not take this medication?
Patients with abnormal bone marrow, anemia or other blood abnormalities
Patients with liver or kidney disease
Use with caution in cats due to possibility of abnormal blood cell production
Pregnant, nursing or very young animals
Newly vaccinated pets
Pets known to have had an allergic reaction to chloramphenicol
May be given on a full or empty stomach.
Read and follow the label carefully.
Some chloramphenicol tablets are enteric coated to hide the natural bitter taste. Hiding crushed tablets in the pet’s food will likely not be effective. Hand-pilling is probably your best option. After administration, watch the pet closely to ensure the entire dose was consumed.
This medication is usually given three times daily. If three times a day is inconvenient and you predict doses may be missed, another antibiotic with a less frequent administration schedule could be substituted.
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. Missed doses reduce the effectiveness of therapy.
Give this medication for as long as your veterinarian directs. Finish the entire course of treatment.
Ideally, give the medication at the same time daily.
What if dose is missed?
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
What to tell/ask veterinarian before giving medication?
Talk to your veterinarian about:
When will your pet need to be rechecked
What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
Risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:
If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet’s medicines can be given together.
If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
Storage and Warnings:
Store capsules, tablets and powder in tight, light resistant, childproof containers in a dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight. Protect the oral suspension from freezing.
People should not take this product. The FDA bans its use for humans (and food animals). Wash hands after handling this medication (wearing gloves would be ideal). Children and pregnant women should not handle this product. Avoid inhaling the powder if you crush tablets.
While your dog is undergoing treatment, wear gloves to clean up vomit, urine and feces and place all waste in a plastic bag in trash can.
Unused chloramphenicol should be returned to your veterinarian or pharmacist for proper disposal.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets. Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.
Pet owners allergic to chloramphenicol and/or other antibiotics should avoid handling this drug.
Potential side effects:
Decrease in appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and depression
Abnormal blood cell production (especially in cats)
Young animals may accumulate toxic levels of chloramphenicol
It is important to stop therapy and contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your pet has a medical problem or side effect from this product’s therapy
Can this drug be given with other drugs?
Yes, but possible interactions may occur with aminoglycosides, amoxicillin, clindamycin, cyclophosphamide, erythromycin, lincomycin, penicillins, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, rifampin, streptomycin and tylosin.
May interfere with vaccinations
If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian
Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet eats more than the prescribed amount.
What else should I know?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal’s condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
As with all prescribed medicines, chloramphenicol should only be given to the dog/cat for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.
This is just a summary of information about chloramphenicol. If you have any questions or concerns about chloramphenicol or for the condition it was prescribed, contact your veterinarian.