Home » Antibiotics » Levofloxacin
Brand Name: Lefloxin, Levaquin
Generic Name: Levofloxacin
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM
Many common infections in humans are caused by single cell organisms, called bacteria. Bacteria can grow and multiply, infecting different parts of the body. Medicines 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), and lomefloxacin (Maxaquin). Levofloxacin was approved by the FDA in 1996.
Tablets: 100 mg
Levofloxacin should be stored below 86°F.
Levofloxacin is used to treat infections of the sinuses, skin, lungs, ears, airways, bones, and joints caused by susceptible bacteria. Levofloxacin also is frequently used to treat urinary infections, including those resistant to other antibiotics, as well as prostatitis. Levofloxacin is effective in treating infectious diarrheas caused by E. coli, campylobacter jejuni, and shigella bacteria. Levofloxacin also can be used to treat various obstetric infections, including mastitis.
Levofloxacin usually is given once daily. It is important to take it at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after any antacid, or mineral supplement with iron, calcium, zinc, or magnesium since these minerals bind levofloxacin and prevent its absorption.
Minerals with 2 or 3 positive charges, called divalent or trivalent ions, respectively, can attach to levofloxacin and other fluoroquinolones and prevent their absorption from the intestine into the blood. Therefore, such products (containing iron, calcium, zinc, or magnesium) as well as antacids, should be taken at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after levofloxacin. Other drugs which contain these ions and which can similarly interact with levofloxacin include sucralfate (Carafate) and didanosine, dDI.
Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with levofloxacin may increase the risk of CNS stimulation, resulting in over-excitation. There have been reports of changes in blood sugar in patients treated with other fluoroquinolones and antidiabetic agents. Other fluoroquinolones have been reported to increase blood levels of theophylline (Theodur), warfarin (Coumadin), and cyclosporine (Sandimmune; Neoral). There have not yet been similar reports with levofloxacin.
Levofloxacin is not recommended for use in pregnant women since levofloxacin causes joint and bone deformities in juvenile animals of several species.
Levofloxacin is not recommended for use in lactating women since levofloxacin causes joint and bone deformities in juvenile animals of several species. In fact, levofloxacin is not recommended in persons under the age of 18 years.
The most frequently reported side events are nausea or vomiting (1 out of every 12 persons), diarrhea (1 out 20), headache (1 out 20), and constipation (1 out of 30). Less common side effects include difficulty sleeping, dizziness, abdominal pain, rash, abdominal gas, and itching.
Levofloxacin 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. Some physicians recommend that their patients discontinue vigorous exercise while they are taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
This medication is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. Levofloxacin belongs to a class of drugs called quinolone antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria. This antibiotic only treats bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (e.g., common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or overuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
HOW TO USE
Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily with or without food, or as directed by your doctor. 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 any medications containing magnesium or aluminum. Some examples include quinapril, certain forms of didanosine (chewable/dispersible buffered tablets or pediatric oral solution), vitamins/minerals, and antacids. Sucralfate, bismuth subsalicylate, iron, and zinc are also included. These medications bind with levofloxacin preventing its full absorption. Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. 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 relapse of the infection. Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve. Read the Patient Information Leaflet available from your pharmacist. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Nausea, stomach upset, loss of appetite, diarrhea, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, or trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: joint/muscle/tendon pain or swelling (tendonitis, tendon rupture), sunburn (sun sensitivity). Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, change in the amount of urine, dark urine, easy bruising/bleeding, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (e.g., suicidal thought or severe depression), persistent nausea/vomiting, persistent sore throat or fever, seizures, unusual fatigue, yellowing eyes and skin. Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new vaginal yeast infection (oral or vaginal fungal infection). Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge or other new symptoms. This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (pseudomembranous colitis) due to a resistant bacteria. This condition may occur while receiving therapy or even weeks after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop: abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool, persistent diarrhea. A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, hives, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.