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What is levofloxacin (Levaquin)?

Levaquin (levofloxacin) is an antibiotic for treating bacterial infections of the sinuses, skin, lungs, ears, bones, airways, and joints. Levaquin is often used to treat:

Common side effects are rash, intestinal gas, vaginal itching or discharge, headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Iron, calcium, zinc, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) interact with Levaquin. It also has been associated with tendonitis and tendon rupture; abnormal heart beats, and liver dysfunction. Levaquin is available as an oral solution of 25 mg/mL, clear greenish-yellow color. Talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional if you have any questions about this drug.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

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What are the side effects and adverse effects of levofloxacin (Levaquin)?

The most frequently reported side effects are:

Less common side effects include:

Rare allergic reactions have been described are:

Possible serious side effects of Levaquin include:

Other serious side effects and adverse events of Levaquin include:

  • Levaquin 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.
  • Fluoroquinolones have neuromuscular blocking activity and can worsen muscle weakness in individuals with myasthenia gravis.
  • Levaquin should be used with caution in patients with central nervous system diseases such as seizures, because rare seizures have been reported in patients receiving Levaquin.
  • Levaquin should be avoided in children and adolescents less than 18 years of age, as safe use in these patients has not been established.
  • Many antibiotics, including Levaquin, 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 Levaquin (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their doctor immediately.
  • Patients taking Levaquin can develop sensitivity of the skin to direct sunlight (photosensitivity) and should avoid exposure to sunlight or use sunblock.
  • Fluoroquinolones worsen low blood glucose levels when combined with sulfonylureas (for example, glyburide [Micronase, Diabeta, Glynase, Prestab]).
  • Because of serious side effects associate with fluoroquinolones, they should not be used for treating uncomplicated urinary tract infections, acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis or acute bacterial sinusitis unless there are no other alternatives.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Other consumer side effects for levofloxacin (Levaquin)*

SIDE EFFECTS: Drowsiness, dizziness, and weakness may occur. These side effects are more common during the first 4 weeks and usually lessen as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor right away if any of these serious side effects occur:

  • loss of coordination (such as difficulty walking and controlling muscles),
  • mental/mood changes (such as irritability,
  • aggression, agitation, anger, anxiety).

A small number of people who take anticonvulsants for any condition (such as seizures, bipolar disorder, pain) may experience depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood problems. Tell your doctor right away if you or your family/caregiver notice any unusual/sudden changes in your mood, thoughts, or behavior including signs of depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, thoughts about harming yourself.

Levetiracetam can cause a rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Therefore, tell your doctor immediately if you develop any rash.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rash,
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat),
  • severe dizziness,
  • trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

REFEERENCES:

FDA. "Highlights of Prescribing Information, LEVAQUIN®."
<https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2008/021721s020_020635s57_020634s52_lbl.pdf>

FDB. "levofloxacin - oral, Levaquin."

Last Editorial Review: 5/16/2017

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Reviewed on 5/16/2017
References
REFEERENCES:

FDA. "Highlights of Prescribing Information, LEVAQUIN®."
<https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2008/021721s020_020635s57_020634s52_lbl.pdf>

FDB. "levofloxacin - oral, Levaquin."

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