GENERIC NAME: levofloxacin
BRAND NAME: Levaquin
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
USES: Levofloxacin is used to treat infections of the sinuses, skin, lungs, ears, airways, bones, and joints caused by susceptible bacteria. Levofloxacin also is frequently used to treat urinary infections, including those resistant to other antibiotics, as well as prostatitis (infection of the prostate). Levofloxacin is effective in treating infectious diarrhea caused by E. coli, Campylobacter jejuni, and Shigella bacteria. Levofloxacin also can be used to treat various obstetric infections, including mastitis (infection of the breast). Inhalational anthrax exposure also is treated with levofloxacin.
WARNING: Levofloxacin should be used with caution in patients with central nervous system diseases such as seizures, because rare seizures have been reported in patients receiving levofloxacin. Levofloxacin should be avoided in children and adolescents less than 18 years of age, as safe use in these patients has not been established.
Levofloxacin as well as other antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics, has been associated with tendinitis and even rupture of tendons, particularly the Achilles tendon. Many antibiotics, including levofloxacin, can alter the normal bacteria in the colon and encourage overgrowth of a bacterium responsible for the development of inflammation of the colon, (C. difficile or pseudomembranous colitis). Patients who develop signs of pseudomembranous colitis after starting levofloxacin (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their physician immediately. Patients taking levofloxacin can develop sensitivity of the skin to direct sunlight (photosensitivity) and should avoid exposure to sunlight or use sunblock. Fluoroquinolones have neuromuscular blocking activity and can worsen muscles weakness in individuals with myasthenia gravis. They also worsen low blood glucose levels when combined with sulfonylureas (for example, glyburide [Micronase, Diabeta, Glynase, Prestab]).
SIDE EFFECTS: The most frequently reported side events of levofloxacin are:
Less common side effects include
Rare allergic reactions have been described, such as:
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