Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 8, 2021.
- This medicine may cause severe side effects like irritated or torn tendons; nerve problems in the arms, hands, legs, or feet; and nervous system problems. These can happen alone or at the same time. They can happen within hours to weeks after starting Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets). Some of these effects may not go away, and may lead to disability or death.
- The chance of irritated or torn tendons is greater in people over the age of 60; heart, kidney, or lung transplant patients; or people taking steroid drugs. Tendon problems can happen as long as several months after treatment. Call your doctor right away if you have pain, bruising, or swelling in the back of the ankle, shoulder, hand, or other joints. Call your doctor right away if you are not able to move or bear weight on a joint or if you hear or feel a snap or pop.
- Call your doctor right away if you have signs of nerve problems. These may include not being able to handle heat or cold; change in sense of touch; or burning, numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet.
- Call your doctor right away if you have signs of nervous system problems. These may include anxiety, bad dreams, trouble sleeping, change in eyesight, dizziness, feeling confused, feeling nervous or agitated, feeling restless, hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there), new or worse behavior or mood changes like depression or thoughts of suicide, seizures, or very bad headaches.
- Do not take if you have myasthenia gravis. Very bad and sometimes deadly breathing problems have happened with Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets) in people who have myasthenia gravis.
- For some health problems, Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets) is only for use when other drugs cannot be used or have not worked. Talk with the doctor to be sure that the benefits of Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets) are more than the risks.
Uses of Levaquin:
- It is used to treat bacterial infections.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Levaquin?
- If you have an allergy to levofloxacin or any other part of Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets).
- If you are allergic to Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets); any part of Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have any of these health problems: Long QT on ECG, low magnesium levels, or low potassium levels.
- If you have ever had any of these health problems: Nerve problems or tendon problems.
- If you have had tendons get irritated or torn when taking Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets) or an alike drug in the past.
- If you have an aortic aneurysm (ballooning or bulging of the aorta, the main blood vessel that comes out of the heart) or you are at risk for this health problem. This includes if you have other blood vessel problems, high blood pressure, or certain health problems like Marfan syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
- If you are taking any drugs that can cause a certain type of heartbeat that is not normal (prolonged QT interval). There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets) and for at least 2 days after your last dose.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Levaquin?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets) affects you.
- This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets).
- High and low blood sugar has happened with drugs like this one. Most of the time, low blood sugar happened in people with diabetes who were taking drugs that lower blood sugar like insulin. Very low blood sugar has led to coma and sometimes death. Check blood sugar as you have been told by the doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you have signs of high or low blood sugar like breath that smells like fruit, dizziness, fast breathing, fast heartbeat, feeling confused, feeling sleepy, feeling weak, flushing, headache, more thirsty or hungry, passing urine more often, shaking, or sweating.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
- You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
- Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly allergic side effects have rarely happened. Talk with your doctor.
- Rarely, very bad and sometimes deadly effects have happened with Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets). These include muscle or joint, kidney, liver, blood, and other problems. Talk with the doctor if you have questions.
- Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Call your doctor right away if you have signs of kidney problems like not able to pass urine; change in how much urine is passed; bloody, brown, or foamy urine; shortness of breath or cough; or puffy or swollen face, feet, or hands.
- A type of abnormal heartbeat (prolonged QT interval) can happen with Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets). Call your doctor right away if you have a fast heartbeat, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, or if you pass out.
- If you are over the age of 60, use Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets) with care. You could have more side effects.
- Use care in children younger than 18 years of age. Talk with the doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets) while you are pregnant.
How is this medicine (Levaquin) best taken?
Use Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food.
- Take Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets) at the same time of day.
- Keep using Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- Do not take dairy products, antacids, didanosine, sucralfate, multivitamins, or other products that contain calcium, magnesium, aluminum, iron, or zinc within 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets).
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is less than 8 hours until your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Shortness of breath.
- Trouble walking.
- Vaginal itching or discharge.
- White patches in mouth.
- Ringing in ears.
- Fever, chills, or sore throat; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; or feeling very tired or weak.
- Muscle pain or weakness.
- Not able to focus.
- Memory problems or loss.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
- Diarrhea is common with antibiotics. Rarely, a severe form called C diff–associated diarrhea (CDAD) may happen. Sometimes, this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen during or a few months after taking antibiotics. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain, cramps, or very loose, watery, or bloody stools. Check with your doctor before treating diarrhea.
- A rare but severe problem with the main blood vessel that comes out of the heart (aorta) has happened within 2 months after taking drugs like this one, especially in the elderly. This includes tears or bursting of the aorta. This can lead to severe bleeding and even death. The cause for this effect is not known. Call your doctor right away if you have sudden pain in the stomach, chest, or back that is severe and does not go away.
What are some other side effects of Levaquin?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Upset stomach.
- Diarrhea or constipation.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Levaquin?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets) is refilled. If you have any questions about Levaquin (levofloxacin tablets), please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Frequently asked questions
- What is the best antibiotic to treat a sinus infection?
- What are the best antibiotics for pneumonia?
- Can you take Levaquin for an infected tooth?
- What antibiotics are used to treat UTI?
- Can Levaquin cause tendonitis?
More about Levaquin (levofloxacin)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- 402 Reviews
- Drug class: quinolones
- Drug Information
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- Levaquin (Advanced Reading)
- Levaquin Intravenous (Advanced Reading)
- Levaquin (Levofloxacin Injection)
- Levaquin (Levofloxacin Oral Solution)
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.