Levofloxacin

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Levofloxacin

Levofloxacin drug image

Brand Levaquin

     Form Oral Tablet

     Drug Type Quinolone Antibiotics

 

Levofloxacin is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as quinolone antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria, and this antibiotic treats only bacterial infections.

 

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Drug Information

Levofloxacin is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as quinolone antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria, and this antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (common cold or flu). Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections.

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, ask 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. Take this medication at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking other products that may make it work less well. Examples include quinapril, sucralfate, vitamins/minerals (including iron and zinc), and products that contain magnesium, aluminum, or calcium (such as antacids, didanosine solution, and calcium-enriched juice), among others. Ask your pharmacist about all the products you take.

The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dosage is also based on weight. For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time every 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 result in a return of the infection. Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.

See also the Warning section. Nausea, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, or trouble sleeping may occur. Tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly if any of these effects last or get worse. Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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 you have any serious side effects, including unusual bruising/bleeding, signs of kidney problems (such as a change in the amount of urine), signs of liver problems (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including chest pain, severe dizziness, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, signs of a tear/break in the main blood vessel called the aorta (such as sudden/severe pain in the stomach/chest/back, shortness of breath). This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition due to a bacteria called C. difficile. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Tell your doctor right away if you develop: diarrhea that doesn't stop, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, or blood/mucus in your stool. If you have these symptoms, do not use anti-diarrhea or opioid products because they may worsen symptoms. 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.

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, or 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.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Quinolone antibiotics (including levofloxacin) may cause serious and possibly permanent tendon damage (such as tendonitis, tendon rupture), nerve problems in the arms and legs (peripheral neuropathy), and nervous system problems. Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: pain/numbness/burning/tingling/weakness in your arms/hands/legs/feet, changes in how you sense touch/pain/temperature/vibration/body position, severe/lasting headache, vision changes, shaking (tremors), seizures, mental/mood changes (such as agitation, anxiety, confusion, hallucinations, depression, rare thoughts of suicide). Tendon damage may occur during or after treatment with this medication. Stop exercising, rest, and get medical help right away if you develop joint/muscle/tendon pain or swelling. Your risk for tendon problems is greater if you are over 60 years old, taking corticosteroids (such as prednisone), or have a kidney, heart, or lung transplant. This medication may make a certain muscle condition (myasthenia gravis) worse. Tell your doctor right away if you have new or worsening muscle weakness (such as drooping eyelids, unsteady walking) or trouble breathing. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before using this medication.

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 your products (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. A product that may interact with this drug is strontium. Levofloxacin is very similar to ofloxacin. Do not use medications containing ofloxacin while using levofloxacin. This medication may interfere with certain lab tests (such as urine screening for opiates), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel, and all your doctors know you use this drug.

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The information provided on this page is updated periodically. Please use our Drug Search Tool for the latest information and updates about this drug. The information on this site is not intended to take the place of your doctor or other healthcare professionals. It is a resource to help you make the best decisions and get the most from the medical services available to you. A licensed physician should be consulted to diagnose and treat all medical conditions.