Fluoroquinolones are antibiotics that are commonly used to treat a variety of illnesses such as respiratory and urinary tract infections. These medicines include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (Noroxin), and ofloxacin (Floxin).
Quinolones are contraindicated if a patient has epilepsy, QT prolongation, pre-existing CNS lesions, or CNS inflammation, or the patient has suffered a stroke. They are best avoided in the athlete population.
Safety concerns exist for fluoroquinolone use during pregnancy, so they are contraindicated except for when no other safe alternative antibiotic exists. However, one meta-analysis looking at the outcome of pregnancies involving quinolone use in the first trimester found no increased risk of malformations. They are also contraindicated in children due to the risks of damage to the musculoskeletal system.
Their use in children is not absolutely contraindicated, however. For certain severe infections where other antibiotics are not an option, their use can be justified. Quinolones should also not be given to people with a known hypersensitivity to the drug.