Generic Name: levofloxacin (oral) (leev oh FLOX a sin)
Brand Names: Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-Pak
What is Levaquin?
Levaquin (levofloxacin) is in a group of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones (flor-o-KWIN-o-lones). Levaquin fights bacteria in the body.
Levaquin is used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, sinuses, kidneys, bladder, or prostate. It is also used to treat bacterial infections that cause bronchitis or pneumonia, and to treat people who have been exposed to anthrax or plague.
Levaquin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Levaquin
You should not use Levaquin if you are allergic to levofloxacin or similar antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), moxifloxacin (Avelox), ofloxacin (Floxin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), and others.
Before taking Levaquin, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, muscle weakness or trouble breathing, joint problems, seizures, diabetes, myasthenia gravis, a history of head injury of brain tumor, a condition called pseudotumor cerebri, low levels of potassium in your blood, a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic.
Avoid taking antacids, vitamin or mineral supplements, sucralfate (Carafate), or didanosine (Videx) powder or chewable tablets within 2 hours before or after you take Levaquin. Levofloxacin may cause swelling or tearing of a tendon (the fiber that connects bones to muscles in the body), especially in the Achilles' tendon of the heel. These effects may be more likely to occur if you are over 60, if you take steroid medication, or if you have had a kidney, heart, or lung transplant. Stop taking Levaquin and call your doctor at once if you have sudden pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, or movement problems in any of your joints. Rest the joint until you receive medical care or instructions.
Before taking levofloxacin
You should not use Levaquin if you are allergic to levofloxacin or other fluoroquinolones such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), moxifloxacin (Avelox), ofloxacin (Floxin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), and others.
To make sure you can safely take Levaquin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
a heart rhythm disorder, especially if you take amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), dofetilide (Tikosyn), disopyramide (Norpace), ibutilide (Corvert), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl), propafenone (Rythmol), quinidine (Quin-G), or sotalol (Betapace);
a history of allergic reaction to an antibiotic;
kidney or liver disease;
seizures or epilepsy;
a history of head injury or brain tumor;
a condition called pseudotumor cerebri (high pressure inside the skull that may cause headaches, vision loss, or other symptoms);
muscle weakness or trouble breathing;
low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia); or
a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome.
FDA pregnancy category C: It is not known whether Levaquin is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Levaquin. Levofloxacin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Levaquin may cause swelling or tearing of a tendon (the fiber that connects bones to muscles in the body), especially in the Achilles' tendon of the heel. These effects may be more likely to occur if you are over 60, if you take steroid medication, or if you have had a kidney, heart, or lung transplant. Stop taking Levaquin and call your doctor at once if you have sudden pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, or movement problems in any of your joints. Rest the joint until you receive medical care or instructions. Do not share this medication with another person (especially a child), even if they have the same symptoms you have.
See also: Levaquin pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
How should I take Levaquin?
Take Levaquin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take Levaquin with a full glass of water (8 ounces). Drink several extra glasses of fluid each day while you are taking Levaquin. You may take Levaquin tablets with or without food. Take Levaquin oral solution (liquid) on an empty stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one. Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Levaquin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
Levaquin can cause you to have a false positive drug screening test. If you provide a urine sample for drug screening, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking Levaquin.
Store Levaquin at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow the liquid medicine to freeze.
See also: Levaquin dosage (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms may include loss of balance or coordination, drooping eyelids, weakness, decreased activity, trouble breathing, sweating, tremors, or seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid while taking Levaquin?
You may be taking certain other medicines that should not be taken at the same time as Levaquin. Avoid taking the following medicines within 2 hours before or after you take Levaquin. These other medicines can make Levaquin much less effective when taken at the same time:
antacids that contain magnesium or aluminum (such as Maalox, Mylanta, or Rolaids), or the ulcer medicine sucralfate (Carafate);
didanosine (Videx) powder or chewable tablets; or
vitamin or mineral supplements that contain iron or zinc.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Levaquin can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors. Call your doctor if you have severe burning, redness, itching, rash, or swelling after being in the sun.
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop taking Levaquin and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Levaquin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Levaquin: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Levaquin and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;
sudden pain, snapping or popping sound, bruising, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, or loss of movement in any of your joints;
diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
confusion, hallucinations, depression, tremors, feeling restless or anxious, unusual thoughts or behavior, insomnia, nightmares, seizure (convulsions);
severe headache, ringing in your ears, nausea, vision problems, pain behind your eyes;
pale skin, fever, weakness, easy bruising or bleeding;
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
urinating less than usual or not at all;
numbness, burning pain, or tingly feeling in your hands or feet;
the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild; or
severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Less serious Levaquin side effects may include:
mild diarrhea, constipation, vomiting;
sleep problems (insomnia);
mild headache or dizziness; or
vaginal itching or discharge.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Levaquin side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Levaquin?
Before taking Levaquin tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
insulin or oral diabetes medication;
theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo-24, Theochron, Uniphyl);
an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), moxifloxacin (Avelox), or pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam);
an antidepressant such as amitriptylline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), clomipramine (Anafranil), or desipramine (Norpramin);
anti-malaria medications such as chloroquine (Aralen) or mefloquine (Lariam);
medicine to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting such as dolasetron (Anzemet), droperidol (Inapsine), or ondansetron (Zofran);
medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as clozapine (FazaClo, Clozaril), haloperidol (Haldol), pimozide (Orap), ziprasidone (Geodon), and others;
migraine headache medicine such as sumatriptan (Imitrex, Treximet);
narcotic medication such as methadone (Methadose, Diskets, Dolophine);
an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others; or
a steroid medicine (prednisone and others).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Levaquin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More Levaquin resources
Compare Levaquin with other medications
- Anthrax Prophylaxis
- Bacterial Infection
- Bladder Infection
- Chlamydia Infection
- Epididymitis, Sexually Transmitted
- Gonococcal Infection, Disseminated
- Gonococcal Infection, Uncomplicated
- Kidney Infections
- Nongonococcal Urethritis
- Nosocomial Pneumonia
- Otitis Media
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Plague Prophylaxis
- Skin Infection
- Streptococcal Infection
- Tuberculosis, Active
- Urinary Tract Infection
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Levaquin.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Levaquin only for the indication prescribed.
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.01. Revision Date: 2012-04-14, 4:15:58 PM.