Family doctor



NORFLOXACIN - a patient's guide


This medicine is used to treat urinary tract infections such as cystitis. This article profiles the medication, the side effects, and how it should be taken.

Brand: Noroxin


Norfloxacin is an antibiotic used for:

  • Upper and lower urinary tract infections including cystitis
  • Gastroenteritis (tummy bug) from certain bacteria
  • Gonorrhoea


Usually 400 mg twice a day.

The length of treatment depends on the problem. For example, uncomplicated cystitis is usually treated for 3 to 7 days, other urinary tract infections 7 to 10 days, and bacterial gastroenteritis for 5 days.


  • Do not use if allergic to norfloxacin or other ingredients in the tablet, or similar quinolone antibiotics
  • Do not use in children before puberty
  • Take care in patients with history of convulsions (seizures, epilepsy), myasthenia gravis, defects in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity or kidney problems.
  • Norfloxacin is not recommended in pregnancy.

Side effects:

Side effects are uncommon - only around 3% of patients reported side effects in studies of over 2000 patients. The following are some possible side effects:

  • Stomach upset, heartburn, abdominal pain, diarrhoea
  • Headache, dizziness, confusion, convulsions (rare)
  • Skin rash
  • Increased sensitivity to the sun
  • Allergy
  • Liver problems
  • Tendinitis or tendon rupture (more likely if steroids are also taken)
  • Vaginal candidiasis (thrush)


  • Multivitamins, iron, zinc, antacids and sucralfate should not be taken 2 hours before or 2 hours after using norfloxacin.
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Theophylline
  • Cyclosporin
  • Warfarin
  • Didanosine
  • Caffeine
  • Fenbufen

Patient information:

  • Follow the instructions on the label of the medicine or as directed by your doctor.
  • Take preferably on an empty stomach (at least one hour before or two hours after eating), and wash it down with a glass of water.
  • Do not take antacids, iron, zinc, or multivitamins for 2 hours before or after taking norfloxacin.
  • Finish the course of norfloxacin that you have been prescribed by your doctor to make sure it works. Don't stop part way through the course, even if you feel better, unless your doctor says to stop.
  • Do not share with anyone else.
  • If taking norfloxacin for a urinary tract infection you may want to also take sachets to make the urine alkaline, this makes it less painful to urinate.

See also:

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