Sounds like 'mox-ee-flox-ah-sin'

Key points about moxifloxacin

  • Moxifloxacin is an antibiotic used to treat infections which haven't improved with other antibiotics, or when other antibiotics can't be prescribed.
  • Moxifloxacin is also called Avelox®.
  • Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects.
blue unaunahi tile generic
Print this page

Moxifloxacin is an antibiotic used to treat infections caused by bacteria. It works by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria (bugs) and getting rid of the infection. Moxifloxacin is only used for infections which haven't improved when you've been treated with other antibiotics, or when other antibiotics can't be prescribed. Like all antibiotics, it's not effective against infections caused by viruses.

In Aotearoa New Zealand moxifloxacin is available as tablets (400mg) and can be given as an injection in the hospital.

  • The usual dose of moxifloxacin for adults is 400mg once a day.
  • Your doctor will advise you how long to take moxifloxacin for, depending on the type of infection.
  • For most infections, you should start to feel better within a few days.
  • Always take your moxifloxacin exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much to take, how often to take it and any special instructions.

  • Timing of your doses: You can take moxifloxacin tablets with or without food, at about the same time each day. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. Don't chew them.
  • Missed dose: If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if it is nearly time for your next dose, take the next dose at the right time. Don't take extra doses to make up for a forgotten dose. If you are not sure what to do, ask your healthcare provider.
  • Finish the course: Take the whole course of antibiotics for the number of days you have been told to. Don't stop taking it, even if you feel your infection has cleared up. If you stop your treatment early, your infection could come back.

  • Don't drink milk or take indigestion remedies or medicines with iron or zinc (such as multivitamin tablets) 2 hours before or after you have taken moxifloxacin. These interfere with the way moxifloxacin is absorbed and stop it from working fully.
  • Moxifloxacin can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so it's important to cover up and wear sunscreen if you spend time outside, especially in the summer months.
  • Limit alcohol while you are taking moxifloxacin. Alcohol can increase your chance of side effects such as dizziness or feeling faint. 
  • Moxifloxacin can interact with some medicines, herbal supplements and rongoā Māori, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting moxifloxacin and before starting any new products.
  • Moxifloxacin can cause dizziness, so be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.

Like all medicines, moxifloxacin can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Tendon problems

Moxifloxacin can cause tendon problems such as tendinitis or tendon rupture. The Achilles tendon in your ankle or calf is most likely to be affected but other tendons can also be involved.

You're at higher risk if you:

  • are over 60 years of age
  • are taking steroids (eg, prednisone)
  • have chronic kidney disease or have had a kidney, heart or lung transplant.

Let your healthcare provider know straight away if you get pain and swelling in your joints. This can happen from a few hours after the first dose to months after you've stopped the treatment.

Other problems

Side effects What should I do?
  • Feeling sick, nausea, stomach pains
  • Mild diarrhoea (runny poos)
  • Headache
  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
  • Problems sleeping
  • Sore muscles
  • These are quite common when you first start taking moxifloxacin and usually go way with time.
  • Tell your doctor if they continue.
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion or anxiety
  • Be careful when driving or using tools until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Problems with your heart rate or breathing
  • Swelling of your ankles
  • Seizures
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline 0800 611 116. 
  • Signs of problems with your liver such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pain in the abdomen
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline 0800 611 116.
  • Allergic reaction such as skin rash, itching, swelling of the lips, face, and mouth or difficulty breathing such as chest tightness, or wheezing
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline 0800 611 116. 
Did you know that you can report a medicine side effect to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product.(external link)

Moxifloxacin(external link) New Zealand Formulary Patient Information
Avelox(external link) Medsafe Consumer Information Sheet


  1. Moxifloxacin(external link) New Zealand Formulary

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist, Healthify He Puna Waiora. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

Reviewed by: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland

Last reviewed: