GENERIC NAME: LEVOFLOXACIN - ORAL (lev-oh-FLOX-uh-sin)
BRAND NAME(S): Levaquin
WARNING: This medication may rarely cause tendon damage (such as tendinitis, tendon rupture) during or after treatment. Your risk for tendon problems is greater if you are over 60 years of age, if you are taking corticosteroids (such as prednisone), or if you have had a kidney, heart or lung transplant. Stop exercising, rest, and get medical help right away if you develop joint/muscle/tendon pain or swelling.
USES: This medication is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. Levofloxacin belongs to a class of drugs called quinolone antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.This medication will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking levofloxacin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily with or without food. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.The dosage and length of treatment is based on your kidney function, medical condition, and response to treatment. When used in children for limited types of infection, the dosage is also based on weight.Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at the same time each day.Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.Take this medication at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking other products that may bind to it, decreasing its effectiveness. Ask your pharmacist about the other products you take. Some examples include: quinapril, vitamins/minerals (including iron and zinc supplements), and products containing magnesium, aluminum, or calcium (such as antacids, didanosine solution, calcium supplements).Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.Nausea, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, or trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.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.Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.Tell your doctor right away if any of these serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, signs of a new infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), change in the amount of urine.Get medical help right away if any of these serious side effects occur: chest pain, severe/persistent headache, vision changes, shaking (tremors), seizures, severe dizziness, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (such as nervousness, confusion, hallucinations, depression, rare thoughts of suicide), signs of liver problems (such as persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, unusual tiredness, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).Rarely, this medication may cause serious, possibly permanent, nerve problems (peripheral neuropathy). Stop taking levofloxacin and tell your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: pain/numbness/burning/tingling/weakness in your arms, hands, legs, or feet, changes in how you sense touch/pain/temperature/vibration/body position.This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have any of the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.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.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking levofloxacin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other quinolone antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: diabetes, heart problems (such as chest pain, recent heart attack), joint/tendon problems (such as tendonitis, bursitis), kidney disease, myasthenia gravis, nerve problems (such as peripheral neuropathy), seizure disorder, conditions that increase your risk of seizures (such as brain/head injury, brain tumors, stroke, TIA-transient ischemic attack).This drug may make you dizzy or lightheaded. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.Levofloxacin may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can infrequently result in serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using levofloxacin, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using levofloxacin safely.Levofloxacin may rarely cause serious changes in blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes. Watch for symptoms of high blood sugar including increased thirst and urination. Also watch for symptoms of low blood sugar such as nervousness, shakiness, fast heartbeat, sweating, or hunger. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed by your doctor and report any changes. If you experience symptoms of low blood sugar, you may raise your blood sugar by using glucose tablets/gel or eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or drink fruit juice or non-diet soda. Tell your doctor immediately about the reaction and the use of this product. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals. Your doctor may need to switch you to another antibiotic or adjust your diabetes medications if any reaction occurs.This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, such as tendon problems (especially if they are also taking corticosteroids such as prednisone or hydrocortisone), liver problems, and QT prolongation (see above). Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.Children may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug such as joint/tendon problems. Discuss the risks and benefits with the doctor.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: See also How to Use section.Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.Some products that may interact with this drug include: live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid, BCG), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen).Although most antibiotics probably do not affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch or ring, some antibiotics may decrease their effectiveness. This could cause pregnancy. Examples include rifamycins such as rifampin or rifabutin. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this antibiotic.This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (such as urine screening for opiates), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe dizziness.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in that case.Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as kidney function, blood count, cultures) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised August 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
Latest MedicineNet News
Daily Health News
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.
Top levofloxacin Related Articles
Bronchitis SlideshowIs bronchitis contagious? Learn about bronchitis, an inflammation of the lining of the lungs. Bronchitis can be aggravated from colds, cigarette smoking, COPD, and other lung conditions. Explore bronchitis symptoms and treatments.
Bronchitis QuizWhat happens within the body when a person develops bronchitis? Take this quick quiz to learn the causes, symptoms, treatments, and complications of this common respiratory illness.
Clostridium Difficile Colitis (C. diff, C. difficle Colitis)Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a bacterium, and is one of the most common causes of infection of the colon. C. difficile spores are found frequently in hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, and nurseries for newborn infants.
DiarrheaDiarrhea is a change is the frequency and looseness of bowel movements. Symptoms associated with diarrhea are cramping, abdominal pain, and the sensation of rectal urgency. Causes of diarrhea include viral, bacterial, or parasite infection, gastroenteritis, food poisoning, and drugs. Absorbents and anti-motility medications are used to treat diarrhea.
Folliculitis PictureAn infection of the hair follicles of the skin. See a picture of Folliculitis and learn more about the health topic.
H. pylori (Helicobacter Pylori) InfectionHelicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria that causes chronic inflammation (gastritis) of the inner lining of the stomach, and also is the most common cause of ulcers worldwide. About 50% of people in the world carries or is infected with H. pylori. Common symptoms of H. pylori infection are occasional abdominal discomfort, bloating, belching or burping, and nausea and vomiting. H. pylori infection is difficult to eradicate, and treatment is with two or more antibiotics.
Natural Sinus RemediesSinus pressure and pain are common in people who suffer from allergies, the common cold, and chemical exposure. Humidified air, hydration, avoiding allergens, and nasal irrigation can help relieve sinus pressure symptoms.
Peptic Ulcer (Stomach Ulcer)Peptic or stomach ulcers are ulcers are an ulcer in the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. Ulcer formation is related to H. pylori bacteria in the stomach, use of anti-inflammatory medications, and cigarette smoking. Symptoms of peptic or stomach ulcers include abdominal burning or hunger pain, indigestion, and abdominal discomfort after meals. Treatment for stomach ulcers depends upon the cause.
Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis): Types, Treatment, and SymptomsPinkeye, also called conjunctivitis, is redness or irritation of the conjunctivae, the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids and the membranes covering the whites of the eyes. These membranes react to a wide range of bacteria, viruses, allergy-provoking agents, irritants, and toxic agents.
Pink Eye SlideshowHow do you get pink eye? And how contagious is pinkeye? If you woke up with crusty eyelids and red, swollen eyes, you may have conjunctivitis. Learn about eye drops and home remedies for pink eye.
PneumoniaPneumonia is inflammation of the lungs caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. Symptoms and signs include cough, fever, shortness of breath, and chills. Antibiotics treat pneumonia, and the choice of the antibiotic depends upon the cause of the infection.
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.
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.
Sinusitis SlideshowSinus infection (sinusitis) symptoms can include headaches, a sore throat, and toothaches. Antibiotics and home remedies can relieve sinus infection symptoms.
Travel MedicineTravelers should prepare for their trip by visiting their physician to get the proper vaccinations and obtain the necessary medication if they have a medical condition or chronic disease. Diseases that travelers may pick up from contaminated water or food, insect or animal bites, or from other people include:
- meningococcal meningitis,
- yellow fever,
- hepatitis A,
- typhoid fever,
- polio, and
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.