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All about: Levofloxacin

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Generic Name: Levofloxacin Injection (LEE-voe-FLOX-a-sin)
Brand Name: Levaquin

Levofloxacin is used for:

Treating infections caused by certain bacteria. It may also be used to prevent or slow anthrax after exposure.

Levofloxacin is a quinolone antibiotic. It works by killing sensitive bacteria.

Do NOT use Levofloxacin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Levofloxacin or any other quinolone antibiotic (eg, ciprofloxacin)
  • you have a certain type of irregular heartbeat (QT prolongation; long QT syndrome) or low blood potassium levels
  • you are taking cisapride or certain antiarrhythmics (eg, amiodarone, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Levofloxacin :

Some medical conditions may interact with Levofloxacin . Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you or a family member have a history of fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; chest pain; angina; or heart attack
  • if you have other heart problems (eg, heart failure, enlarged heart), diabetes, kidney problems, tendon problems (eg, inflammation), or Alzheimer disease
  • if you have narrowed or hardened blood vessels in the brain, increased pressure in the brain, nervous system problems, or a history of seizures (eg, epilepsy)
  • if you sunburn easily or you will be in the sun for a prolonged period of time

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Levofloxacin . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Antiarrhythmics (eg, amiodarone, sotalol, procainamide, quinidine), arsenic, astemizole, cisapride, dofetilide, droperidol, haloperidol, imidazoles (eg, ketoconazole), macrolides (eg, erythromycin), methadone, paliperidone, phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine), pimozide, ranolazine, serotonin receptor antagonists (eg, dolasetron), telithromycin, terfenadine, or ziprasidone because the risk of serious heart problems, including irregular heartbeat, may be increased
  • Insulin or oral diabetes medicines (eg, glyburide) because the risk of high or low blood sugar may be increased
  • Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) because the risk of tendon problems may be increased
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of bleeding may be increased
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen) or theophylline because the risk of serious side effects, including seizures, may be increased
  • Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) (eg, duloxetine) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Levofloxacin

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Levofloxacin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Levofloxacin :

Use Levofloxacin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Levofloxacin . Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Drinking extra fluids while you are taking Levofloxacin is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
  • Levofloxacin is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using Levofloxacin at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Levofloxacin . Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use Levofloxacin if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • Levofloxacin works best if it is used at the same time each day.
  • To clear up your infection completely, use Levofloxacin for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • Do not miss any doses of Levofloxacin . If you miss a dose of Levofloxacin , use it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Levofloxacin .

Important safety information:

  • Levofloxacin may cause dizziness or lightheadedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Levofloxacin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Levofloxacin only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Be sure to use Levofloxacin for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of Levofloxacin may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Tendon problems have been reported with Levofloxacin . Some of these problems have been severe. Contact your doctor right away if you develop pain or swelling of a joint or tendon.
  • Levofloxacin may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Levofloxacin . Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • If you are scheduled to receive a typhoid vaccine while you are taking Levofloxacin , talk with your doctor. Levofloxacin may decrease the effectiveness of the vaccine.
  • Diabetes patients - Levofloxacin may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Levofloxacin may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking Levofloxacin .
  • Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, and complete blood counts, may be performed while you use Levofloxacin . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Levofloxacin with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially tendon problems and irregular heartbeat.
  • Levofloxacin should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed. Children may also be more sensitive to joint and tendon problems.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Levofloxacin while you are pregnant. Levofloxacin is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Levofloxacin .

Possible side effects of Levofloxacin :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dizziness; gas; lightheadedness; nausea; stomach pain.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody stools; chest pain; confusion; dark urine; decreased or painful urination; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; hallucinations; hoarseness; joint or muscle pain or weakness; mental or mood changes (eg, depression, anxiety, paranoia); new or worsening nightmares, restlessness, or trouble sleeping; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe diarrhea; severe or persistent dizziness, lightheadedness, tiredness, or weakness; severe sunburn; shortness of breath; stomach pain/cramps; suicidal thoughts or actions; symptoms of high or low blood sugar (eg, increased thirst, hunger, or urination; fast breathing; flushing; dizziness; fainting; increased sweating; vision changes); symptoms of nerve problems (eg, unusual pain, burning, tingling, or numbness; changes in perception or heat or cold; decreased sensation of touch); tremors; unusual bruising or bleeding; vaginal discharge, irritation, or odor; wheezing; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Levofloxacin :

Levofloxacin is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Levofloxacin at home, store Levofloxacin as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep Levofloxacin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Levofloxacin , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Levofloxacin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Levofloxacin . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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