Description:Chloramphenicol is an antibiotic useful for the treatment of a number of bacterial infections.This includes meningitis, plague, cholera, and typhoid fever. Its use is only recommended when safer antibiotics cannot be used. Monitoring both blood levels of the medication and blood cell levels every two days is recommended during treatment.It is available intravenously, by mouth, and as an eye ointment.
The original indication of chloramphenicol was in the treatment of typhoid, but the now almost universal presence of multiple drug-resistant Salmonella typhi has meant it is seldom used for this indication except when the organism is known to be sensitive. Chloramphenicol may be used as a second-line agent in the treatment of tetracycline-resistant cholera.
Chloramphenicol is active against the three main bacterial causes of meningitis: Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenzae. In the West, chloramphenicol remains the drug of choice in the treatment of meningitis in patients with severe penicillin or cephalosporin allergy and general practitioners are recommended to carry intravenous chloramphenicol in their bag. In low-income countries, the WHO recommend oily chloramphenicol as first-line to treat meningitis.
Although its use in veterinary medicine is highly restricted, chloramphenicol still has some important veterinary uses.It is currently considered the most useful treatment of chlamydial disease in koalas.The pharmacokinetics of chloramphenicol have been investigated in koalas.