What is Levaquin® (levofloxacin) used for?
Levaquin® is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body.
Levaquin® is used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, sinuses, kidneys, bladder, or prostate. Levaquin® is also used to treat bacterial infections that cause bronchitis or pneumonia, and to treat people who have been exposed to anthrax.
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics can cause serious or disabling side effects that may not be reversible. Levaquin® should be used only for infections that cannot be treated with a safer antibiotic.
How should I take Levaquin® (levofloxacin)?
Take Levaquin® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take Levaquin® with water, at the same time each day. Drink extra fluids to keep your kidneys working properly while taking this medicine
You may take the tablets with or without food.
Take Levaquin® oral solution (liquid) on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Use this medicine 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 flu or a common cold.
Do not share this medication with another person (especially a child), even if they have the same symptoms you have.
This medication 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®.
How do I store Levaquin® (levofloxacin)?
Levaquin® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Levaquin® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Levaquin® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Levaquin® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Levaquin® (levofloxacin)?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Levaquin® or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
You should not use Levaquin® if you are allergic to other fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, gemifloxacin, moxifloxacin, ofloxacin, norfloxacin, and others).
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. This can happen during treatment or up to several months after you stop taking Levaquin®. Tendon problems 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.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. Tendon and joint problems may be more likely in a child taking Levaquin®.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Levofloxacin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Levaquin® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Levaquin®. Levaquin® is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from Levaquin® (levofloxacin)?
Common side effects may include:
Stop taking Levaquin® and call your doctor at once if you have:
- Severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody
- Headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats
- Sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, swollen glands, mouth sores, easy bruising or bleeding
- Seizure (convulsions)
- Muscle weakness or trouble breathing
- Liver problems – upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Signs of tendon rupture – sudden pain, swelling, bruising, tenderness, stiffness, movement problems, or a snapping or popping sound in any of your joints (rest the joint until you receive medical care or instructions)
- Nerve symptoms – numbness, tingling, burning pain, or being more sensitive to temperature, light touch, or the sense of your body position
- Changes in mood or behavior – depression, confusion, hallucinations, paranoia, tremors, feeling restless or anxious, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, nightmares
- Increased pressure inside the skull – severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, pain behind your eyes
- Severe skin reaction – skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling
Levofloxacin may cause swelling or tearing of (rupture) a tendon. Levofloxacin can also have serious effects on your nerves, and may cause permanent nerve damage.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Levaquin®: hives, or the first sign of a skin rash; rapid heart rate, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Levaquin® (levofloxacin)?
Levaquin® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Products that may interact with this drug are:
- A diuretic or “water pill”
- Heart rhythm medication – amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, dronedarone, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, and others
- Medicine to treat depression or mental illness – amitriptylline, clomipramine, desipramine, iloperidone, imipramine, nortriptyline, and others
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) – aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others
Does food or alcohol interact with Levaquin® (levofloxacin)?
Levaquin® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Levaquin® (levofloxacin)?
Levaquin® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:
- Tendon problems, bone problems, arthritis or other joint problems (especially in children)
- Slow heartbeats or other heart rhythm disorder (especially if you take medication to treat it)
- A personal or family history of long QT syndrome
- Liver or kidney disease
- A history of epilepsy or other seizure disorder
- A nerve disorder
- Diabetes (especially if you use insulin or take oral diabetes medication)
- Low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia)
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Levaquin® (levofloxacin).
What is the dose of Levaquin® (levofloxacin) for an adult?
The usual dose of Levaquin® Tablets or Oral Solution is 250 mg, 500 mg, or 750 mg administered orally every 24 hours.
The usual dose of Levaquin® Injection is 250 mg or 500 mg administered by slow infusion over 60 minutes every 24 hours or 750 mg administered by slow infusion over 90 minutes every 24 hours.
What is the dose of Levaquin® (levofloxacin) for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Levaquin® (levofloxacin) available?
Levaquin® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Tablets, oral solution, injection: levofloxacin 250mg
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Levaquin®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: July 19, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019