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Generic name: levofloxacin (oral) [ LEE-voe-FLOX-a-sin ]
Brand name: Levaquin
Dosage forms: oral solution, oral tablet
Drug class: Quinolones and fluoroquinolones

What is Levofloxacin?

Levofloxacin, an antibacterial, can be used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. Levofloxacin can also be used for people who have been exposed to anthrax or certain types of disease.Levofloxacin should only be used to treat bacterial infections when safer antibiotics cannot be used. Levofloxacin, a fluoroquinolone anti-biotic (flor-oKWIN-olone), can have serious or even disabling side-effects.Levofloxacin has been FDA-approved since 1996.


Levofloxacin may cause serious side effects such as tendon damage, nerve damage, or serious mood or behavioural changes.If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop using levofloxacin immediately and contact your doctor  headache; irritability; numbness or tingling in your hands or feet; burning pains; confusion; anxiety; paranoia Or agitation; problems with memory or concentration; self-harming thoughts; or sudden joint pains.If you experience severe pain in your back, chest, or stomach, seek emergency medical attention.

Before you take this drug

If you have an allergy to levofloxacin or any other fluoroquinolones such as Ciprofloxacin, Gemifloxacin (such as Moxifloxacin), Norfloxacin (such as Ofloxacin), and others, then you should avoid using levofloxacin.Levofloxacin can cause swelling or tears in a tendon (the fibre that connects muscles to bones in the body). This is most common in the Achilles tendon in the heel. This can occur during treatment or even several months after stopping levofloxacin. Tendon problems are more common in children, older adults, or those who have used steroid medication or had an organ donation.

Inform your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Tendon problems, bone problems, or arthritis (especially in children)
  • Aneurysms, a narrowing or hardening in the arteries, and blood circulation problems
  • Heart problems High blood pressure
  • A genetic disorder such as Ehlers-Danlos or Marfan syndrome;
  • Diabetes;
  • A muscle or nerve disorder such as myasthenia gravis
  • Kidney disease
  • Seizures or epilepsy;
  • A head injury or brain tumour;
  • Long-QT syndrome
  • Low potassium levels in the blood (hypokalemia)

Do not administer this medicine to an infant without consulting a doctor.Levofloxacin is not known to harm unborn babies.Tell your doctor immediately if you plan to get pregnant.

Levofloxacin should not be used while breastfeeding.

Similar/related drugs

Prednisone, Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Ciprofloxacin, Cephalexin, Azthromycin, and Metronidazole

How to take Levofloxacin?

Levofloxacin is prescribed in accordance with the instructions on your prescription.Levofloxacin should be taken with water at the same time every day. To keep your kidneys functioning properly, drink extra fluids while taking levofloxacin.You can take Levofloxacin with or without eating.Take the levofloxacin liquid oral solution at least an hour before or two hours after eating.Measuring liquid medicine is important. Use the provided dosing device or a dose-measuring tool (not a spoon).Even if you feel better quickly, continue to take levofloxacin as prescribed. You can get resistant to infections if you skip doses. Levofloxacin does not treat a virus, such as the flu, or a cold.Do not share levofloxacin with anyone else.You may get false results if you take levofloxacin. Inform the lab staff that you're taking it.Store away from heat and moisture. When not in use, keep the bottle tightly shut.

What happens if I miss the dose?

If you are almost due for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take more than one dose at a time.

What happens if I overdose?

Call 1-800-222-1222 for poison help or seek immediate medical attention.

What should be avoided?

Do not drive or engage in any hazardous activities until you have a better understanding of how levofloxacin affects you. You may be unable to react properly.Antibiotics can cause diarrhoea. This could be an indication of a new illness. Call your doctor if you have bloody or watery diarrhoea before taking anti-diarrhoea medication.Levofloxacin can cause sunburn. Avoid tanning beds or sunlight. When you're outdoors, wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher). If you experience severe sunburn, rash, or swelling, tell your doctor.

Side effects of Levofloxacin

If you experience symptoms of an allergic response to levofloxacin, such as hives, difficulty breathing, swelling or pain in the face or throat, or a severe reaction like a fever, sore mouth, or burning in the eyes, or skin pain or blistering, or have rashes that are red or purple and cause blistering or peeling, seek emergency medical attention.Levofloxacin may cause serious side effects, such as tendon problems, nerve side effects (which could cause permanent nerve damage), mood or behaviour changes that are severe (even after just one dose), and low blood sugar levels (which can cause coma).

If you experience:

  • Low sugar: headache, nausea, irritability, or dizziness; vomiting or rapid heart rate.
  • Nerve symptoms in the hands, arms, or legs include tingling, numbness, and burning pain.
  • Mood or behaviour changes that are serious: nervousness, confusion, or agitation; hallucinations; memory problems; or trouble concentrating.
  • Signs of tension rupture: sudden pain, swelling, or bruising; stiffness or tenderness in the joints.

Levofloxacin can cause damage to the aorta (the main blood vessel of the body) in rare cases. If you experience severe pain or bleeding in your back, chest, or stomach, seek emergency medical attention.

If you experience any symptoms, stop taking levofloxacin immediately and contact your doctor.

  • Diarrhoea that is bloody or watery; severe stomach pain
  • Heartbeats that are fast or pounding, chest fluttering, dizziness, or the feeling of passing out;
  • The first sign of any skin rash is important, regardless of how mild it may be.
  • Muscle weakness and breathing problems
  • Seizure (convulsions);
  • Increased skull pressure—severe headaches, dizziness and nausea, vision issues, eye pain, or ringing in the ears;
  • Liver disorders: upper stomach discomfort, lack of appetite, dark urine, and clay coloured stools, jaundice, and yellowing of the skin and eyes.

Levofloxacin can cause a number of side effects.

  • Nausea, constipation, diarrhoea;
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Trouble sleeping

There may be other side effects.Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report adverse effects, you can contact the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Interaction with other drug

Levofloxacin can be less effective if taken with certain medicines. Take your levofloxacin 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking any of the medicines listed below.

  • Antacids that contain magnesium or aluminium (such as Maalox or Rolaids), and the ulcer medicine suralfate.
  • Didanosine (Videx), powder, or chewable tablets
  • Vitamin or mineral supplements containing aluminium, iron, magnesium, or zinc

Tell your doctor what other medications you are taking, including:

  • Theophyllin;
  • A diuretic, or "water pill".
  • Heart rhythm medication
  • Insulin (or oral diabetes medication) (check your blood glucose regularly);
  • Medicine to treat mental illness or depression
  • Steroid medicine (such as prednisone);
  • A blood thinner Warfarin Coumadin Jantoven
  • Nsaids are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These include aspirin (Advil), ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac (Indomethacin), celecoxib (Aleve), and many others.

This list is incomplete. There are other drugs that may interact with levofloxacin. These include prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. The list is not exhaustive.




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