Chloramphenicol--not so innocuous: a case of optic neuritis

BMJ Case Rep. 2011 Mar 3:2011:bcr1020103434. doi: 10.1136/bcr.10.2010.3434.


The authors present a case of optic neuritis in an adult patient who had been self-prescribing extraordinarily large dosages of chloramphenicol for chronic prostatitis over several years. The visual symptoms resolved upon cessation of the drug and prescription of B group vitamins. Chloramphenicol optic neuritis has not been described in the literature for over 20 years and previously predominantly in children with cystic fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Chloramphenicol / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Optic Neuritis / chemically induced*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Chloramphenicol