Chloramphenicol Chemical structure: Chloramphenicol in Kenya

Mode of Action of Chloramphenicol:

Chloramphenicol is a broad-spectrum antibiotic originally isolated from Streptomyces venezuelae.  It inhibits bacterial protein synthesis by interfering with the transfer of activated amino acids from soluble RNA to ribosomes.

Drug Label Information | Brands:

Brands of Chloramphenicol in Kenya

Amphenical®, Oss-Chemie
Biophenical®, Biodeal
Chloramphenicol, Dawa
Chloramphenicol, Flamingo (injection)
Chlorazen®, Zenufa
Chlorocide®, Regal
Dawaphenicol®, Dawa
Elycetin®, Elys
Gestanicol®, Gesto
Chloramphenicol, Shelys
Kloran®, Sphinx
Maxamycetin®, Mac’s
Medicol®, Medipharm
Mediphenicol®, Medivet
Oramnicol®, Lab and Allied
Tyde-S®, Neon


Acute infections caused by Salmonella typhi

It is not recommended for the routine treatment of the typhoid carrier state.

Serious infections caused by susceptible strains listed below:

a) Salmonella species

b) H. influenzae, specially meningeal infections

c) Rickettsia

d) Lymphogranuloma-psittacosis group

e) Various gram-negative bacteria causing bacteremia, meningitis or other serious gram-negative infections.

f) Other susceptible organisms which have been demonstrated to be resistant to all other appropriate antimicrobial agents.

Cystic fibrosis regimens

*In treatment of typhoid fever some authorities recommend that chloramphenicol be administered at therapeutic levels for 8 to 10 days after the patient has become afebrile to lessen the possibility of relapse.


Chloramphenicol is contraindicated in individuals with a history of previous hypersensitivity and/or toxic reaction to it. It must not be used in the treatment of trivial infections or where it is not indicated, as in colds, influenza, infections of the throat; or as a prophylactic agent to prevent bacterial infections.


Blood Dyscrasias

The most serious adverse effect of chloramphenicol is bone marrow depression. Serious and fatal blood dyscrasias (aplastic anemia, hypoplastic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and granulocytopenia) are known to occur after the administration of chloramphenicol.

Gastrointestinal Reactions

Nausea, vomiting, glossitis and stomatitis, diarrhea and enterocolitis may occur in low incidence.

Neurotoxic Reactions

Headache, mild depression, mental confusion, and delirium have been described in patients receiving chloramphenicol. Optic and peripheral neuritis have been reported, usually following long-term therapy. If this occurs, the drug should be promptly withdrawn.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Fever, macular and vesicular rashes, angioedema, urticaria, and anaphylaxis may occur. Herxheimer’s reactions have occurred during therapy for typhoid fever.

“Gray Syndrome”

Toxic reactions including fatalities have occurred in the premature and neonate; the signs and symptoms associated with these reactions have been referred to as the “gray syndrome.”


Concurrent therapy with other drugs that may cause bone marrow depression should be avoided.