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Chloramphenicol is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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  • Note: for use only in those serious infections for which less potentially dangerous drugs are ineffective or contraindicated.
  • Acute infections caused by Salmonella typhi
  • Serious infections caused by Salmonella species, H. influenzae, specially meningeal infections, Rickettsia, Lymphogranuloma-psittacosis Chlamydia group, various Gram-negative bacteria causing bacteremia and meningitis.
  • Part of a cystic fibrosis regimen when other agents are ineffective or contraindicated.
  • Ocular infections (ophthalmic drops and ointments)


  • Lung abscess
  • Gas gangrene (in PCN allergic pts)
  • Brain abscess
  • Paratyphoid fever
  • Q fever (Coxiella burnetii)
  • Rocky mountain spotted fever and other endemic (murine or scrub) typhus infections caused by Rickettsia species
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Meningitis in PCN-allergic patients.

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Last updated: January 31, 2016


Pham, Paul A, and John G Bartlett. "Chloramphenicol." Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, The Johns Hopkins University, 2016. Pediatrics Central, peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540119/all/Chloramphenicol.
Pham PA, Bartlett JG. Chloramphenicol. Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2016. https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540119/all/Chloramphenicol. Accessed April 21, 2019.
Pham, P. A., & Bartlett, J. G. (2016). Chloramphenicol. In Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. Available from https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540119/all/Chloramphenicol
Pham PA, Bartlett JG. Chloramphenicol [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2016. [cited 2019 April 21]. Available from: https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540119/all/Chloramphenicol.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Chloramphenicol ID - 540119 A1 - Pham,Paul,Pharm.D. AU - Bartlett,John,M.D. Y1 - 2016/01/31/ BT - Johns Hopkins ABX Guide UR - https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540119/all/Chloramphenicol PB - The Johns Hopkins University DB - Pediatrics Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -