- Bacterial Infections 101 Pictures Slideshow
- Take the Tummy Trouble Quiz
- Hepatitis C Slideshow Pictures
- Cipro (ciprofloxacin) vs. Levaquin (levofloaxacin) quick comparison
- What is Cipro? What is Levaquin? How do they work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses for Cipro vs. Levaquin?
- What infections should not be treated with Cipro and Levaquin?
- What are the serious side effects of Cipro vs. Levaquin?
- What are the side effects of Cipro vs. Levaquin?
- What is the dosage of Cipro vs. Levaquin?
- What are the drug interactions of Cipro vs. Levaquin?
- Are Cipro and Levaquin safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
Cipro (ciprofloxacin) vs. Levaquin (levofloaxacin) quick comparison
- Cipro (ciprofloxacin) and Levaquin (levofloxacin) are antibiotics that belong to a class of drugs called fluoroquinolones. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are used to treat a variety of bacterial infections.
- Cipro and Levaquin are used to treat infections of the lungs, airways, skin, bones, and joints caused by susceptible bacteria. Both drugs are also used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by certain bacteria, for example:
- Other bacterial infections that are treated with Cipro include typhoid fever, cervical and urethral gonorrhea due to Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and acute uncomplicated cystitis.
- Levaquin used also to treat bacterial infections of the sinuses and ears (sinusitis, ear infections), and obstetric infections, including mastitis (infection of the breast).
- Similar, common side effects of both Cipro and Levaquin include:
- Side effects unique to Cipro include difficulty sleeping, dizziness, gas, and itching.
- Side effects unique to Levaquin include constipation and restlessness.
- Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as Cipro and Levaquin are associated with more serious side effects including 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.
What is Cipro? What is Levaquin? How do they work (mechanism of action)?
Both Cipro (ciprofloxacin) and Levaquin (levofloxacin) are antibiotics used for treating bacterial infections. Both drugs work by stopping multiplication of bacteria by preventing the reproduction and repair of their genetic material (DNA). Both Levaquin and Cipro are in a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones, a class that includes norfloxacin, (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), trovafloxacin (Trovan), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), and moxifloxacin (Avelox).
What are the uses for Cipro vs. Levaquin?
Doctors and other medical healthcare professionals prescribe Cipro and Cipro XR to treat bacterial infections, for example:
- Skin infections
- Lung or airway Infections, for example, TB (tuberculosis), pneumonic and septicemic plague due to Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis), lower respiratory tract infections, and chronic bronchitis)
- Bone infections
- Joint infections
- Urinary tract infections (UTI) caused by certain bacteria such as E. coli.
- Infectious diarrheas caused by E. coli, Campylobacter jejuni, and Shigella bacteria.
- Anthrax patients with fever and low white blood cell counts, and intra-abdominal infections.
- Typhoid fever
- Cervical and urethral gonorrhea due to Neisseria gonorrhoeae
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis
- Acute uncomplicated cystitis
- Levaquin is used to treat infections of the sinuses, skin, lungs, ears, airways, bones, and joints caused by susceptible bacteria.
- Levaquin also is frequently used to treat urinary infections, including those resistant to other antibiotics, as well as prostatitis (infection of the prostate).
- Levaquin is effective in treating infectious diarrhea caused by E. coli, Campylobacter jejuni, and Shigella bacteria.
- Levaquin also can be used to treat various obstetric infections, including mastitis (infection of the breast).
- Inhalational anthrax exposure also is treated with Levaquin.
What infections should not be treated with Cipro and Levaquin?
Because of serious side effects associate with fluoroquinolones they should not be used for treating certain infections unless there are no other alternatives, and include:
What are the serious side effects of Cipro vs. Levaquin?
Cipro serious side effects
Cipro and Cipro XR as well as other antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics has been associated with tendonitis and even tendon rupture, particularly the Achilles tendon. Some doctors and other medical professionals recommend that their patients discontinue vigorous exercise while they are taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
Fluoroquinolones have neuromuscular blocking activity and can worsen muscle weakness in individuals with myasthenia gravis.
Other possible serious side effects of Cipro, Cipro XR include:
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Central nervous system effects (CNS), for example, toxic psychosis, nervousness, agitation, insomnia, anxiety, nightmares, paranoia, dizziness, tremors, depression, and hallucinations.
- Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD)
- Abnormal heart beats
- Liver dysfunction
- Toxic epidermal necrolysis
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome
- Allergic pneumonitis
- Interstitial nephritis
- Acute kidney failure
- Liver failure
Other serious side effects and adverse events of Cipro, Cipro XR include:
- Cipro, Cipro XR should be used with caution in patients with central nervous system diseases such as seizures, because rare seizures have been reported in patients receiving Cipro, Cipro XR.
- Cipro, Cipro XR 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 Cipro, Cipro XR, 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 Cipro, Cipro XR (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their doctor immediately.
- Cardiac arrest
- Respiratory failure
Levaquin side effects
Possible serious side effects of Levaquin include:
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Central nervous system effects
- Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD)
- Abnormal heart beats
- Liver dysfunction
- Sun sensitivity
Other serious side effects and adverse events of Levaquin include:
- 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 physician 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.
What are the side effects of Cipro vs. Levaquin?
Cipro side effects
The most common side effects of Cipro, Cipro XR are:
Symptoms of shock include:
Levaquin side effects
Serious side effects and warnings 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.
The most frequently reported side effects are:
Less common side effects include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal gas
Rare allergic reactions have been described are:
- Anaphylaxis (shock)
What is the dosage of Cipro vs. Levaquin?
Cipro dosage instructions
- For most infections the recommended oral dose for adults is 250-750 mg (immediate release tablets) every 12 hours or 500-1000 mg (extended release tablets) every 24 hours.
- The usual intravenous dose is 200-400 mg every 8-12 hours.
Levaquin dosage instructions
- 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 Levaquin and prevent its absorption into the body.
What are the drug interactions of Cipro vs. Levaquin?
Cipro drug interactions
- Ciprofloxacin administered together with theophylline (Respbid, Slo-Bid, Theo-24, Theolair) can lead to elevated, toxic blood levels of theophylline. Theophylline is used to open airways in the treatment of asthma. Toxic levels of theophylline can lead to seizures, and disturbances in heart rhythm. If concurrent use of ciprofloxacin and theophylline cannot be avoided, frequent blood tests to monitor theophylline blood levels are recommended.
- Ciprofloxacin increases the effect of tizanidine (Zanaflex) that is used to treat muscle spasticity. Therefore, the two drugs should not be combined.
- Iron salts (for example, ferrous sulfate) may reduce the absorption of ciprofloxacin because of formation of a ciprofloxacin-iron complex that is not absorbable. Antacids also may reduce the absorption of ciprofloxacin. If patients are receiving iron salts or antacids and ciprofloxacin, the ciprofloxacin should be given two hours before or six hours after the iron salt or antacid.
- Ciprofloxacin may increase the blood thinning effect of warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven). The reason for this is unknown. Anticoagulant activity should be monitored after starting or stopping ciprofloxacin.
- Sevelamer (Renagel) may reduce the absorption of ciprofloxacin and possibly reduce the effectiveness of ciprofloxacin. Milk and orange juice also may reduce the absorption of ciprofloxacin. Ciprofloxacin, as with iron and antacids, should be given two hours before or six hours after milk or orange juice.
- Administration of ciprofloxacin with diabetic medications (for example glyburide [Micronase, Diabeta, Glynase, Prestab]) may lead to severe low blood glucose.
- Ciprofloxacin may increase blood concentrations of sildenafil (Viagra) that is used for treating erectile dysfunction. This combination should be avoided if possible.
- Patients taking Cipro, Cipro XR 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).
Levaquin drug interactions
- Iron, calcium, zinc, or magnesium can attach to Levaquin 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 Levaquin. Other drugs that contain these minerals and can similarly interact with Levaquin include sucralfate (Carafate) and didanosine (Videx, Videx EC).
- Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with Levaquin 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, Jantoven).
Are Cipro and Levaquin safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Doctors suggest that should not use this antibiotic if you are pregnant or breastfeeding because they do not know if it is safe.
- Levaquin is not recommended for use in pregnant women since Levaquin causes joint and bone deformities in juvenile animals of several species.
- Levaquin is excreted in breast milk. Mothers should decide whether to stop breastfeeding or discontinue Levaquin.
Latest Infectious Disease News
- Ground Turkey Linked to Salmonella Outbreak
- Doctors': Antibiotics Can Be for Shorter Periods
- Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Songbirds & Feeders
- Sabra Classic Hummus Recalled Due to Salmonella
- Ebola Survivor May Have Started Latest Outbreak -- 5 Years Later
- Want More News? Sign Up for MedicineNet Newsletters!
Daily Health News
Cipro (ciprofloxacin) and Levaquin (levofloxacin) are antibiotics prescribed to treat bacterial infections of the airways, lungs, bone, joints, and skin. Both Cipro and Levaquin belong to a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. Fluoroquinolones stop the multiplication of bacteria by preventing the reproduction and repair of their genetic material (DNA).
Both Cipro and Levaquin cause side effects, for example, abdominal pain, rash, diarrhea, vomiting, and headache. Side effects of Cipro that do not occur with Levaquin include insomnia, dizziness, intestinal gas, and itching. Levaquin also can cause side effects like restlessness and constipation. Dosage for both antibiotics depends upon the type of infection. Drug interactions occur with both drugs. Cipro and Levaquin are not recommended to take if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Bladder Infections: UTI Causes, Symptoms, Treatments
Urinary tract infections (UTI), including bladder infections, affect women and men, causing UTI symptoms like kidney infection....
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) Symptoms & Treatment
Sinus infection (sinusitis) symptoms can include headaches, a sore throat, and toothaches. Chronic sinusitis may be caused by...
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Symptoms, Diagnosis, Medication
Understand urinary tract infection (UTI) through pictures. Our experts describe urinary tract infection symptoms like pelvic...
Bronchitis Symptoms and Treatments
Is bronchitis contagious? Learn about bronchitis, an inflammation of the lining of the lungs. Bronchitis can be aggravated from...
What happens within the body when a person develops bronchitis? Take this quick quiz to learn the causes, symptoms, treatments,...
Crohn's Disease Quiz
What causes Crohn's disease? What are the symptoms of Crohn's disease? How is Crohn's treated? Take this quiz to get the facts...
Urinary Tract Infection Quiz
How would you know if you had urinary tract infection (UTI)? Take the Urinary Tract Infection in Adult Quiz to learn the causes,...
Picture of Bronchitis
Acute bronchitis usually comes on quickly and gets better after several weeks. See a picture of Acute Bronchitis and learn more...
Picture of Sinuses
The sinuses are an air-filled cavity in a dense portion of a skull bone. See a picture of the Sinuses and learn more about the...
Related Disease Conditions
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
Sinus infection (sinusitis) is caused by allergies, infection, and chemicals or other irritants of sinuses. Signs and symptoms are headache, fever, and facial tenderness, pressure, or pain. Treatments of sinus infections are generally with antibiotics and at times, home remedies.
Jock itch is an itchy red rash that appears in the groin area. The rash may be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. People with diabetes and those who are obese are more susceptible to developing jock itch. Antifungal shampoos, creams, and pills may be needed to treat fungal jock itch. Bacterial jock itch may be treated with antibacterial soaps and topical and oral antibiotics.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra. E. coli, a type of bacteria that lives in the bowel and near the anus, causes most UTIs. UTI symptoms include pain, abdominal pain, mild fever, urinary urgency and frequency. Treatment involves a course of antibiotics.
Tonsillitis is a contagious infection with symptoms of bad breath, snoring, congestion, headache, hoarseness, laryngitis, and coughing up blood. Tonsillitis can be caused acute infection of the tonsils, and several types of bacteria or viruses (for example, strep throat or mononucleosis). There are two types of tonsillitis, acute and chronic. Acute tonsillitis lasts from one to two weeks while chronic tonsillitis can last from months to years. Treatment of tonsillitis and adenoids include antibiotics, over-the-counter medications, and home remedies to relieve pain and inflammation, for example, salt water gargle, slippery elm throat lozenges, sipping warm beverages and eating frozen foods (ice cream, popsicles), serrapeptase, papain, and andrographism Some people with chronic tonsillitis may need surgery (tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy).
Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate Gland)
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Signs and symptoms of prostatitis include painful or difficulty urinating; fever; chills; body aches; blood in the urine; pain in the rectum, groin, abdomen, or low back; and painful ejaculation or sexual dysfunction. Causes of prostatitis include STDs, bacteria from urinary tract infections, or E. coli. Treatment for prostatitis depends on if it is a bacterial infection or chronic inflammation of the prostate gland.
Typhoid fever is an illness caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria. The illness is contracted by ingesting the bacteria in contaminated water or food. Symptoms include headaches, fever, diarrhea, lethargy, aches and pains, and poor appetite. Treatment focuses on killing the Salmonella bacteria with antibiotics.
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the small and large intestine, but which can affect other parts of the digestive system as well. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and weight loss are common symptoms.
E. coli (0157:H7) Infection
There are many types of E. coli (Escherichia coli). E. coli can cause urinary tract and bladder infections, or lead to sepsis. E coli O157:H7 (EHEC) causes bloody diarrhea and colitis. Complications of E. coli infection include hemorrhagic diarrhea, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. E coli O157:H7 commonly is due to eating raw or undercooked hamburger or raw milk or dairy products.
Gonorrhea In Women
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection transmitted during sexual contact. In women, symptoms include a yellow vaginal discharge, burning or frequent urination, and redness, swelling, burning and itching of the vaginal area. Gonorrhea can be treated with injectable (penicillin) or oral medications.
Is Tonsillitis Contagious?
Tonsillitis is a common infection, especially in kids. Tonsillitis is caused by viruses and bacteria like the flu and herpes simplex virus, and Streptococcus bacteria. These viruses and bacterium are spread person to person. Symptoms of tonsillitis are a yellow or white coating on the tonsils, throat pain, pain when swallowing, and hoarseness.
Cholera is an infectious disease characterized by intense vomiting and profuse watery diarrhea and that rapidly lease to dehydration and often death. Cholera is caused by infection with the bacteria Vibrio cholerae, which may be transmitted via infected fecal matter, food, or water.
Is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Contagious?
Bacteria such as E. coli or Pseudomonas can cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). The incubation period for a UTI ranges from three to eight days.
Urinary Tract Infections in Children
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common in children. Symptoms and signs include fever and abdominal pain. Associated symptoms and signs include flank pain, vomiting, and blood in the urine. Treatment for a UTI involves antibiotic therapy.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB). Symptoms and signs of TB include bloody sputum, fever, cough, weight loss, and chest pain. Treatment depends upon the type of TB infection.
Anthrax is a deadly infectious disease that may be transmitted to humans by infected animals or by biological warfare. There are three types of anthrax: cutaneous, inhalation, and gastrointestinal. Symptoms of cutaneous anthrax include a swollen glands, muscle ache, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and a red-brown raised spot that enlarges, blisters, and hardens, forming an ulcer crater with black crust. Symptoms of inhalation anthrax are flu-like and may progress to respiratory distress, shock, coma, and death. Symptoms of gastrointestinal anthrax include loss of appetite, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Treatment for cutaneous anthrax involves penicillin, tetracycline, erythromycin, and ciprofloxin. Inhalation anthrax necessitates treatment with IV therapy with antibiotics.
Is Tuberculosis (TB) Contagious?
Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes tuberculosis (TB). TB may be transmitted when an infected person sings, sneezes, coughs, or talks. TB symptoms and signs include coughing bloody sputum, night sweats, severe cough, fever, chills, fatigue, and weight loss.
Peritonitis is a bacterial infection inside of the abdomen. Some doctors choose to group the causes of peritonitis into five categories; 1) primary peritonitis, 2) secondary peritonitis, 3) tertiary peritonitis, 4) chemical (sterile) peritonitis, and 5) peritoneal abscess. Others do not categorize peritonitis, they use a term to describe the disease in front or behind the word peritonitis. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Treatment is generally with antibiotics.
Chronic Bronchitis (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Remedies)
Chronic bronchitis is a cough that occurs daily with production of sputum that lasts for at least three months, two years in a row. Causes of chronic bronchitis include cigarette smoking, inhaled irritants, and underlying disease processes (such as asthma, or congestive heart failure). Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Treatments include bronchodilators and steroids. Complications of chronic bronchitis include COPD and emphysema.
Is E. coli Contagious? (Symptoms and Cure)
E. coli is an infection found worldwide. There are several subtypes of the E. coli species. E. coli spreads from person to person via contaminated food or water. Symptoms and signs of E. coli infection include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and sometimes fever. Antibiotics treat E. coli infection.
Interstitial Cystitis (IC) and Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS)
Interstitial cystitis (IC)/painful bladder syndrome (PBS) is an inflammatory disease of the bladder that can cause ulceration and bleeding of the bladder's lining and can lead to scarring and stiffening of the bladder. Symptoms of interstitial cystitis may vary among individuals and may even vary with time in the same individual.
Is a Sinus Infection Contagious?
Sinus infection (sinusitis) is infection (viral, bacterial, or fungal) or inflammation of the sinuses. Symptoms of sinus infection are cough, bad breath, coughing up greenish-yellow sputum, sinus headache, and other symptoms of the common cold. Treatments of sinus infection are home remedies to soothe symptoms and antibiotics if the infection is bacterial or fungal.
Is Jock Itch (Tinea Cruris) Contagious?
Jock itch is a fungal infection in the groin area that causes a raised, itchy, red rash. Jock itch can typically be treated with antifungal medications. People may need to seek medical care for jock itch if the groin area becomes swollen, tender, if red streaks appear, or if the lymph nodes become swollen.
Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Lung Disease (NTM, Symptoms, Treatment, Side Effects)
Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), most commonly, M. avium complex or MAC, is a mycobacteria that causes lung infections and disease. Nontuberculous mycobacteria are commonly found in soil, air, and water. Examples of how NTM lung infection are transmitted include swimming, using a hot tub (NTM bacteria are aerosolized), or playing with or handling soil. The most common symptoms of NTM lung infection are chronic, dry cough, and shortness of breath. Sometimes the cough may have mucous or blood. Other symptoms of NTM lung disease include fatigue, chest pain, malaise, and weakness. As NTM lung disease progresses, fevers, night sweats, and appetite loss may occur. Treatment guidelines for NTM lung disease depend upon the type and extent of the infection, and the person's health.
Is Crohn's Disease Contagious?
Crohn's disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and is characterized by symptoms and signs that include diarrhea, fever, weight loss, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Though Crohn's disease is not contagious it can spread throughout a person's gastrointestinal tract. An increase in the above symptoms and signs warrants a visit to a doctor's office.
Is Cholera Contagious?
Cholera is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae. It's typically transmitted via infected fecal matter. Cholera causes frequent bouts of vomiting and watery diarrhea.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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.