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Access.health.qld.gov.au

Version: 2. 6th January, 2011
Meningococcal disease - antibiotics for close contacts of a person
with meningococcal infection: ciprofloxacin, rifampicin

Description:
Close contacts of a person with meningococcal disease sometimes develop the disease. Some close contacts arecarriers of the meningococcal bacteria and can transmit these bacteria to others who may become ill. To decreasethis risk, public health authorities give antibiotics to very close contacts. These are mostly household members, butcan include others such as sexual partners. Background:
Only people who were in close contact with a case in the seven days before the person fell ill receive antibiotics. Theantibiotics get rid of the bacteria from the throat and nose and help reduce further disease transmission. However,these antibiotics cannot be used to treat someone who is already developing the disease (different antibiotics areused for treatment).
All contacts, whether or not they have received antibiotics or have been vaccinated, need to be alert for symptoms ofthe disease and the need to seek urgent medical attention if symptoms develop (see the meningococcal disease factsheet and meningococcal disease symptom chart under Other Resources). The risk is highest during the first fourweeks after contact with a person who has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease.
The antibiotics given to very close contacts are usually either ciprofloxacin or rifampicin. Pregnant women may needa different antibiotic (ceftriaxone) given as a single injection.
Ciprofloxacin:
The dose of ciprofloxacin for persons 12 years of age or older is a single dose of 500mg taken in tablet form. Youshould not take this medicine if you: . havehadapreviousallergicreactiontociprofloxacin It is quite safe to take ciprofloxacin if you are on the birth control pill.
It is important that you take your tablet as follows: . Thetabletshouldbeswallowedwholewithafullglassofwater.
. Donottakethetabletifyouhavetakenantacid/indigestionmedicinesormedicinescontainingironormineral supplements within the last four hours.
. Donottakealcoholwiththismedicineasitmaymakeyoudrowsy,affectingyourabilitytodriveoroperate A very uncommon side effect of an allergic reaction with facial swelling, tightness in the throat or breathing difficultyhas been reported in about one in 1,000 people following a single dose of ciprofloxacin. This may happen soon aftertaking the tablet. If this occurs, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Rifampicin:
Rifampicin should not be taken by a person who: Rifampicin is taken twice a day for two days (a total of four doses). It should be taken on an empty stomach, half anhour before or two hours after food. A few people feel off after taking rifampicin. Stomach upset, headache anddizziness can occur.
(c) 2008 The State of Queensland (Queensland Health) : Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of theperson printing the document to refer frequently to for updates. Rifampicin can also stain urine and tears a pink-orange colour. This discolouration is harmless and stops when themedication is discontinued. Rifampicin can permanently stain soft contact lenses so use of these during treatmentshould be avoided.
Interactions with other medicines:
If you are taking any prescription drugs, check with your doctor as the dosage of your medication may needadjustment while on rifampicin.
Women taking the contraceptive pill should continue to take it, omitting any pill free interval while taking rifampicinand for the seven days after the last dose of rifampicin. They should also use additional barrier contraception suchas condoms or diaphragm while taking rifampicin and for four weeks after the last dose of rifampicin.
Help and Assistance:
For further information please contact your local doctor, nearest public health unit or the 13HEALTH information line(13 43 25 84).
Other Resources:
(c) 2008 The State of Queensland (Queensland Health) : Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of theperson printing the document to refer frequently to for updates.

Source: http://access.health.qld.gov.au/hid/InfectionsandParasites/BacterialInfections/meningococcalDiseaseAntibioticsForCloseContactsOfAPersonWithMeningococcalInfectionCiprofloxacinRifampicin_is.pdf

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