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- What is levofloxacin? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses for levofloxacin?
- What are the side effects of levofloxacin?
- What are the serious side effects (adverse effects) of levofloxacin
- What is the dosage for levofloxacin? How is it taken?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with levofloxacin?
- Is levofloxacin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about levofloxacin?
What is levofloxacin? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
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)
- lomefloxacin (Maxaquin)
The FDA approved levofloxacin in December 1996.
What are the uses for levofloxacin?
- Levofloxacin is used to treat infections of the sinuses, skin, lungs, ears, airways, bones, and joints caused by susceptible bacteria.
- Levofloxacin 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 can be used to treat various obstetric infections, including mastitis (infection of the breast).
- Inhalational anthrax exposure also is treated with levofloxacin.
- Levofloxacin is used for preventing and treating plague caused by Yersinia pestis.
What are the side effects of levofloxacin?
Serious side effects and warnings include:
- Levofloxacin as well as other antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics have 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:
Rare allergic reactions have been described are:
What are the serious side effects (adverse effects) of levofloxacin
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Central nervous system effects
- Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea
- Abnormal heart beats
- Liver dysfunction
- Sun sensitivity
Other serious side effects and adverse events of levofloxacin include:
- 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 Levaquin.
- Levofloxacin 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 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 Levaquin (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their doctor immediately.
- Patients taking Levofloxacin 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 is the dosage for levofloxacin? How is it taken?
- 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.
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Which drugs or supplements interact with levofloxacin?
- 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 central nervous 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).
Is levofloxacin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about levofloxacin?
- Levofloxacin is available in generic form. you need a prescription from a doctor or pharmacist to obtain this antibiotic. The brand name for levofloxacin, Leviquin, has been discontinued.
- Preparations for levofloxacin are:
- 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 mll
- Levofloxacin should be stored at 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F)
Levofloxacin (Levaquin -- brand discontinued) is an antibiotic used for treating bacterial infections of the sinuses, skin, lungs, ears, bones, airways, and joints. Common side effects are rash, intestinal gas, vaginal itching or discharge, headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Review side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information prior to taking this medication. Talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional if you have any questions about this drug.
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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.
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.
H. pylori (Helicobacter Pylori) Infection
Helicobacter 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.
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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.
Impetigo: Treatment, Symptoms, and Complications
Impetigo is a contagious skin infection caused by staph and strep bacteria. There are two types of impetigo: nonbullous and bullous. Symptoms of nonbullous impetigo include small blisters on the nose, face, arms, or legs and possibly swollen glands. Bullous impetigo signs include blisters in various areas, particularly in the buttocks area. Treatment involves gentle cleansing, removing the crusts of popped blisters, and the application of prescription-strength mupirocin antibiotic ointment.
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Sinus Headache Pain, Symptoms, Treatments, Remedies, and Cures
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SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)
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Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis): Types, Treatment, and Symptoms
Pinkeye, 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.
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Plague (Black Death)
Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. Transmission to humans occurs via fleas that have bitten infected rodents. There are three forms of plague that infect humans: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic. Antibiotics are the standard treatment for plague.
Is H. pylori Contagious?
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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.
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Neck Pain and Dizziness
Neck pain is any degree of discomfort in the front or back of the neck between the head and the shoulders. Dizziness is characterized as either vertigo with disequilibrium or lightheadedness associated with feeling faint or the potential to lose consciousness. Causes of neck pain and dizziness vary, and treatment depends on the cause. With any unexplained or persisting neck pain or dizziness, consult with a health care professional, who can determine whether the symptoms are harmless and temporary or serious and threatening.
Travelers' diarrhea is generally contracted by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Food is the primary source of travelers' diarrhea. Enterotoxigenic E. coli is the cause of up to 70% of all cases of travelers' diarrhea. There are five unique classes of E. coli that causes gastroenteritis. Other bacteria responsible for travelers' diarrhea include Campylobacter, jejuni, shigella, and salmonella. Viruses such as rotavirus and Norwalk virus (norovirus) and giardia lamblia a parasite may cause travelers' diarrhea. Prevention is careful eating and drinking of water.
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Travelers 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: malaria, meningococcal meningitis, yellow fever, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, polio, and cholera.
Legionellosis is an infection caused by the Legionella pneumophila bacterium. There are two forms of legionellosis: Pontiac fever and Legionnaires' disease, which is the more severe of the two infections. Symptoms of Pontiac fever include fever, headache, muscle aches, and chills. Symptoms of Legionnaires' disease include cough, chills, fever and sometimes muscle aches, headaches, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and severe pneumonia. While Pontiac fever resolves on its own, Legionnaires' disease must be treated with antibiotics.
Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, and Colds
If you have a COPD such as emphysema, avoiding chronic bronchitis and colds is important to avoid a more severe respiratory infection such as pneumonia. Avoiding cigarette smoking, practice good hygeine, stay away from crowds, and alerting your healthcare provider if you have a sinus infection or cold or cough that becomes worse. Treatment options depend upon the severity of the emphysema, bronchitis, or cold combination.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Urinary Urgency
- Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Traveler's Diarrhea
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
- Acute Sinusitis
- Legionnaires' Disease
- Bronchitis FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
- Cipro vs. Flagyl
- Cipro, Cipro XR (ciprofloxacin) Antibiotic Side Effects
- Amoxicillin vs. Levaquin
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Cipro vs. Levaquin: Differences Between Side Effects, Uses, and Strength
- norfloxacin (Noroxin)
- Levaquin (levofloxacin) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- Drug Interactions
- ofloxacin (Floxin Discontinued Brand)
- ciprofloxacin ophthalmic solution (Ciloxan)
- Doxycycline vs. Levaquin
- Ofloxacin (Ocuflox) vs. Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
- Levaquin (levofloxacin) vs. Keflex (cephalexin)
- Side Effects of Vancomycin Injection
- What Is Intravenous-to-Oral Switch Therapy?
- Levaquin vs. Zosyn
- trovafloxacin mesylate, Trovan
- ciprofloxacin ointment - ophthalmic, Ciloxan
- ciprofloxacin/dexamethasone suspension - otic, Ciprodex
- ciprofloxacin/hydrocortisone suspension - otic, Cipro HC
Prevention & Wellness
- FDA Slaps Stronger Warnings on Potent Class of Antibiotics
- Antibiotic Overuse Behind 'Superbug' Outbreak in U.K. Hospitals
- Experts Weigh In On Newly Released Health Information From Clinton, Trump
- FDA Bolsters Warnings About Class of Antibiotics
- Some Antibiotics Linked to Serious Nerve Damage
- Certain Antibiotics Tied to Blood Sugar Swings in Diabetics
- 'Alarming' Rise Seen in Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
- Two Antibiotics Linked to Liver Injury in Elderly
- Levaquin Approved to Treat or Prevent Plague
- U.S. Poultry Still Fed Banned Antibiotics: Report
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