levofloxacin, Levaquin

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GENERIC NAME: levofloxacin

BRAND NAME: Levaquin

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Levofloxacin is an antibiotic that is used for treating bacterial infections. Many common infections in humans are caused by bacteria. Bacteria can grow and multiply, infecting different parts of the body. Drugs that control and eradicate these bacteria are called antibiotics. Levofloxacin is an antibiotic that stops multiplication of bacteria by preventing the reproduction and repair of their genetic material, DNA. It is in a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones, a class that includes ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), trovafloxacin (Trovan), and lomefloxacin (Maxaquin). The FDA approved levofloxacin in December 1996.

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 250, 500 and 750 mg; Oral solution: 25 mg/mL; Injection: 500 mg/20 ml and 750 mg/30 ml; Premix ready to use injection: 250 mg/50 ml, 500 mg/100 ml, and 750 mg/150 ml.

STORAGE: Levofloxacin should be stored at 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F)

PRESCRIBED FOR: 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.

DOSING: The usual dose is 250-750 mg given once daily for 3-14 days depending on the type of infection. Anthrax is treated with 500 mg daily for 60 days. It is important to take oral formulations at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after any antacid or mineral supplement containing iron, calcium, zinc, or magnesium since these bind levofloxacin and prevent its absorption into the body.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Iron, calcium, zinc, or magnesium can attach to levofloxacin and other fluoroquinolones and prevent their absorption from the intestine into the blood. Therefore, products (for example, antacids) that contain iron, calcium, zinc or magnesium should be taken at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after levofloxacin. Other drugs that contain these minerals and can similarly interact with levofloxacin include sucralfate (Carafate) and didanosine (Videx, Videx EC).

Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with levofloxacin may increase the risk of CNS stimulation, resulting in over-excitation. There have been reports of changes in blood sugar (increases and decreases) in patients treated with fluoroquinolones and antidiabetic agents. Fluoroquinolones may increase the effect of warfarin (Coumadin).

PREGNANCY: Levofloxacin is not recommended for use in pregnant women since levofloxacin causes joint and bone deformities in juvenile animals of several species.

NURSING MOTHERS: Levofloxacin is excreted in breas -milk. Mothers should decide whether to stop breastfeeding or discontinue levofloxacin.




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