Why is it prescribed?
Levaquin® tablets contains levofloxacin.
Levofloxacin is used to treat infections caused by various bacteria. This material will be limited to the treatment of respiratory tract infections (e.g. pneumonia, bronchitis).
Levaquin® tablets contains levofloxacin.
Along with its needed effects, levofloxacin may cause some unwanted or undesirable effects.
Generally, levofloxacin is well tolerated and many people will not experience unwanted effects. The frequency and severity of these effects is dependant on many factors including dose, duration of therapy and individual susceptibility. Possible unwanted effects include:
- troubles sleeping
- stomach discomfort
- shortness of breath
- pseudomembranous colitis (inflammation of the colon caused by the overgrowth and toxin production of bacteria that are not killed by the antibiotic)
Precautions and Warnings for Levaquin® tablets
Levaquin® tablets contains levofloxacin
Use as directed. Many antacids and multivitamins may interfere with the absorption of levofloxacin. You should take levofloxacin either two hours before or two hours after taking these products. Allergic reactions have occurred rarely with levofloxacin use. The reaction can be immediate and severe. Allergic symptoms include wheezing, hives, itching, swelling, joint and muscle pain, difficulty breathing, fever and skin rashes. Nausea and vomiting are not symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Diabetics should monitor their blood sugar regularly while taking levofloxacin. Discontinue the medication and notify your doctor if a hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) reaction occurs.
Taking the antibiotic repeatedly or for prolonged periods may result in bacterial or fungal overgrowth which can lead to a second infection. When this occurs, the levofloxacin may need to be stopped and another antibiotic prescribed to treat the new infection.
Diarrhea may develop while taking levofloxacin. This is sometimes caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut that are not killed by the antibiotic. In severe cases, this may be life threatening and would require treatment with other antibiotics. In mild cases, symptoms disappear shortly after the drug is discontinued.
Levofloxacin may make you more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreens and protective clothing and avoid exposure to the sun for long periods of time.
If you experience joint or muscle pain while taking levofloxacin, notify your doctor, rest and do not exercise. There are some reports of tendon tears (mostly in the ankle) occurring during treatment with drugs similar to levofloxacin
Drug Interactions: It is important to tell your doctor and pharmacist of any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking. In some cases, the dose of one or both drugs may need to be altered or another drug may be prescribed. The following drugs or drug classes have been known to interact with levofloxacin:
- antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium
- iron or mineral supplements
- zinc-containing products
- warfarin (e.g. Coumadin®)
- hypoglycemic drugs (e.g. glyburide, insulin)
- sucralfate (e.g. Sulcrate®)
- theophylline (e.g. Theo-Dur®)
Use is not recommended in the following situations:
Caution is recommended in the following situations:
- allergy to levofloxacin or any quinolone (e.g. ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin)
- kidney disease
- tendon problems (e.g. tendinitis) diabetics on blood sugar lowering agents (e.g. glyburide, insulin)
- nervous system disorders (e.g. epilepsy)
- liver disease
Use in pregnancy: The safety of levofloxacin in pregnancy has not been established. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect you are pregnant or if you are planning to become pregnant.
Use while breastfeeding: the amount of levofloxacin in breast milk has not been evaluated but related drugs have been found in breast-milk, therefore use by breastfeeding mothers is not recommended. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Use exactly as prescribed.
Levaquin® can be taken with or without food.
Drink plenty of clear fluids (e.g. water) during treatment.
Many antacids (e.g. calcium, magnesium, aluminum), sucralfate and multivitamins (e.g. iron, zinc) may interfere with the absorption of Levaquin® and may prevent it from working properly. You should take Levaquin® tablets either two hours before or two hours after taking these products. Levaquin® tablets should be taken once daily (every 24 hours) until finished. Take Levaquin® at approximately the same time each day. Failure to take the complete course can result in incomplete elimination of the bacteria which can lead to a relapse of the infection. The prescribed course generally lasts a few days longer than symptoms of the infection (e.g. fever). Treatment usually lasts 7 to 14 days. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose do not take 2 doses at once (unless you have been instructed to do so). Contact your pharmacist if you are not sure what to do.
Levaquin® may produce an allergic reaction which can range in severity from a mild rash or itching to a life-threatening reaction. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you experience rash, itching, fever, difficulty breathing, chest tightness or anything else that alarms you.
Notify your doctor or pharmacist if you experience lightheadedness, tremors, restlessness or confusion.
If diarrhea occurs (severe or persistent), contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Directions for Use
The usual adult dose for respiratory tract infections is 500 mg every 24 hours for 7 to 14 days.
Levaquin® is not recommended for use in children or adolescents less than 18 years of age.
Lung Diseases Treated with this Drug
- respiratory tract infections
- sinus infections
- upper respiratory tract infections
Need More Information?
For more information contact your physician, pharmacist, other health care professional or for general questions call your local lung association.