Last edited 03/2021 and last reviewed 06/2022
Chloramphenicol is an antibacterial and antirickettsial which should be reserved for the treatment of severe life-threatening infections due to H. influenzae and typhoid fever since when given parenterally it may be toxic .
Chloramphenicol acts to inhibit peptidyl transferase on 70S ribosomes such that it prevents peptide bond formation.
- FBC needed before and during treatment on a regular basis
- neonates - grey baby syndrome
- beware interactions - see current issue BNF
- avoid repeated course and prolonged treatment
- reduce doses in hepatic or renal failure
- pregnancy and breast feeding
Routes of administration:
- i.v. injection
- i.v. infusion
Check the Summary of Product Characteristics before prescribing
chloramphenicol topical treatment and agranulocytosis
chloramphenicol and breastfeeding
chloramphenicol eye drops containing borax or boric acid buffers (boron): use in children younger than 2 years