Ofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone whose primary mechanism of action is inhibition of bacterial DNA gyrase. In vitro it has a broad spectrum of activity against aerobic Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, although it is poorly active against anaerobes. Ofloxacin, unlike most other broad spectrum antibacterial drugs, can be administered orally as well as intravenously. Penetration into body tissues and fluids is highly efficient. Clinical trials with orally and intravenously administered ofloxacin have confirmed its potential for use in a wide range of infections, where it has generally proved as effective as standard treatments. Ofloxacin in well tolerated, and in comparison with other available fluoroquinolones is less likely to cause clinically relevant drug interactions. Ofloxacin thus offers a valuable oral treatment (with an option for intravenous administration if necessary) for use in a wide range of clinical infections, but with a particular advantage in more severe or chronic infections when recourse to parenteral broad spectrum agents would normally be required, thereby providing cost savings and additionally allowing outpatient treatment.