Ciprofloxacin (20 mg/kg/d) or ofloxacin (12 mg/kg/d) given for a median of 15 weeks (range 12-40) were used for maintenance treatment of 57 adult patients with melioidosis. The median duration of follow-up in the 45 patients who complied with treatment and were followed for at least 6 months was 28 months (range 6-65). Fluoroquinolone treatment was well tolerated. There were 13 treatment failures (5 failures to respond, 8 relapses), a failure rate of 29% (95% confidence interval 17-43%). The median time to treatment failure was 7 months (range 2-26). These results are inferior to those with courses lasting 20 weeks of amoxycillin/clavulanic acid or the combination of chloramphenicol, doxycycline and trimethoprim/sulphamethoxazole, and suggest that the fluoroquinolones should be reserved as third line agents, and not used for the maintenance treatment of melioidosis unless there is resistance to, or intolerance of, the other available antimicrobial compounds.