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Drugs reference index «Levaquin»



Generic name: LevofloxacinBrand names: Levaquin

Why is Levaquin prescribed?

Levaquin cures a variety of bacterial infections, including several types of sinus infection and pneumonia. It is also prescribed for flare-ups of chronic bronchitis, acute kidney infections, certain urinary or chronic prostate infections, and skin infections. Levaquin is a member of the quinolone family of antibiotics.

Most important fact about Levaquin

Levaquin has been known to cause dangerous allergic reactions as soon as you take the first dose. Stop taking the drug and call your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following warning signs:

Skin rash, hives, or any other skin reactionRapid heartbeatDifficulty swallowing or breathingSwelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat

How should you take Levaquin?

Take your complete prescription exactly as directed, even if you begin to feel better. If you stop taking Levaquin too soon, the infection may come back.

Levaquin oral solution should be taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating. The tablets can be taken with food or on an empty stomach. However, combining either form of Levaquin with certain medications could interfere with absorption. Avoid taking the tablets or solution within 2 hours of the following:

Aluminum or magnesium antacidsIron supplementsAny multivitamin preparation containing zincDidanosine chewable tablets or pediatric powderThe ulcer medication Carafate

Be sure to drink plenty of fluid while taking Levaquin.

  • If you miss a dose...Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
  • Storage instructions...Store at room temperature. Keep container tightly closed.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Levaquin.

  • Side effects may include:Headache, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, dry mouth, ear problems

Why should Levaquin not be prescribed?

If any other quinolone antibiotic—such as ciprofloxacin, enoxacin, lomefloxacin, norfloxacin, or ofloxacin —has ever given you an allergic reaction, avoid Levaquin.

Special warnings about Levaquin

In rare cases, Levaquin has caused convulsions and other nervous system disorders. If you develop any warning signs of a nervous reaction—ranging from restlessness and tremors to depression and hallucinations—stop taking Levaquin and call your doctor. Other symptoms to watch for include nerve pain, burning or tingling sensations, numbness and/or weakness, or other changes in sense perception.

Levaquin may cause dizziness or light-headedness. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how Levaquin affects you.

Hypersensitivity to quinolone antibiotics can, in rare instances, lead to severe illnesses ranging from blood disorders to liver or kidney failure. Because the first sign of a developing problem is often a rash, you should stop taking Levaquin and check with your doctor when any type of skin disorder appears. Remember, too, that an immediate allergic reaction is also a possibility (see "Most important fact about Levaquin").

A case of diarrhea during Levaquin therapy could signal development of the potentially dangerous condition known as pseudomembranous colitis, an inflammation of the bowel. Call your doctor for treatment at the first sign of a problem.

Stop taking Levaquin, avoid exercise, and call your doctor if you develop pain, inflammation, or a rupture in a tendon. Quinolone antibiotics have been known to cause tendon rupture during and after therapy. The danger of this is greater when quinolones are combined with steroid medications, especially among older adults.

In rare cases, Levaquin has been known to cause heartbeat irregularities. Avoid Levaquin if you are taking other medications that can change the heartbeat, or if you have a condition that predisposes you to this problem, such as a weak heart, a slow heartbeat, or low potassium.

If you have a kidney condition, make sure the doctor is aware of it. Your dosage may need to be lowered.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Levaquin

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Motrin, and Naprosyn can increase the risk of a nervous reaction to Levaquin. Also, check with your doctor before combining Levaquin with an oral diabetes drug such as glipizide, glyburide, or tolbutamide; changes in blood sugar levels could result.

If you are taking the asthma drug, theophylline, or the blood-thinning drug, warfarin, make sure the doctor is aware of it. Other quinolone antibiotics have been known to interact with these medications.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The possibility that Levaquin might harm a developing baby has not been ruled out. It should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit outweighs the possible risk. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Levaquin is likely to appear in breast milk and could harm a nursing infant. If the drug is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop nursing until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage for Levaquin


Respiratory and uncomplicated skin infections, and chronic prostate infections

The usual dose is 500 milligrams once a day. For certain types of pneumonia, the dose is 750 milligrams once a day. Treatment of respiratory infections typically lasts 5 to 14 days; for uncomplicated skin infections, expect 7 to 10 days of treatment; for chronic prostate infections, treatment lasts for 28 days.

Complicated skin infections

The usual dose is 750 milligrams once a day. Treatment typically lasts for 7 to 14 days.

Kidney and urinary infections

The usual dose is 250 milligrams once a day. Treatment lasts 3 to 10 days.


Not for children under 18. Levaquin might damage developing bones and joints.


Levaquin is not especially poisonous. However, an overdose could still be dangerous. If you suspect one, seek emergency treatment immediately.

  • Symptoms of Levaquin overdose may include:Breathlessness, lack of movement, poor coordination, tremors, convulsions, collapse
  • Levaquin Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Levaquin Consumer Overview
  • Levaquin Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Levaquin MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Levofloxacin Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Levofloxacin Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)

See Also...

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