levofloxacin, Levaquin (cont.)

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SIDE EFFECTS: The most frequently reported side events of levofloxacin are nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and constipation. Less common side effects include difficulty sleeping, dizziness, abdominal pain, rash, abdominal gas, and itching.

Rare allergic reactions have been described, such as hives and anaphylaxis (shock). 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]).

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 4/5/2013



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