Levofloxacin (By mouth)
Treats infections and plague (including pneumonic and septicemic plague). It is also given to people who have been exposed to anthrax. This medicine is a quinolone antibiotic.
LevaquinThere may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to levofloxacin or to similar medicines.
How to Use This Medicine:
- Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed. Take your medicine at the same time each day.
- Oral liquid: Take it 1 hour before or 2 hours after you eat. Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- Tablet: Take it with or without food.
- Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
- Drink extra fluids so you will urinate more often and help prevent kidney problems.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
- Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Some medicines can affect how levofloxacin works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
- Blood thinner (including warfarin)
- Insulin or oral diabetes medicine (including glyburide, insulin)
- Medicine for heart rhythm problems (including amiodarone, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol)
- Medicine to treat depression or mental illness
- NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (including aspirin, celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)
- Steroid medicine (including hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisone)
- Take levofloxacin at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after didanosine buffered tablets for oral suspension or the pediatric powder for oral suspension, sucralfate, or antacids, multivitamins, or other products containing aluminum, magnesium, iron, or zinc.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, myasthenia gravis, brain problems, aortic aneurysm (bulge in the wall of the largest artery), or a history of heart rhythm problems (including QT prolongation), seizures, or mental illness. Tell your doctor if you have ever had tendon or joint problems, including rheumatoid arthritis, or if you have received a transplant.
- This medicine may cause the following problems:
- Tendinitis and tendon rupture (may happen after treatment ends)
- Nerve damage in the arms or legs, which may be permanent
- Changes in mood or behavior, seizures, or increased pressure in the head
- Serious skin reactions
- Kidney problems
- Liver problems
- Increased risk of aortic aneurysm
- Heart rhythm changes
- Changes in blood sugar levels
- This medicine may make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
- This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
- This medicine can cause diarrhea. Call your doctor if the diarrhea becomes severe, does not stop, or is bloody. Do not take any medicine to stop diarrhea until you have talked to your doctor. Diarrhea can occur 2 months or more after you stop taking this medicine.
- Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
- This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
- Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
- Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
- Change in how much or how often you urinate, cloudy or bloody urine
- Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
- Diarrhea that may contain blood
- Fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness
- Fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat, chest pain
- Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
- Pain, stiffness, swelling, or bruises around your ankle, leg, shoulder, or other joint
- Seizures, severe headache, unusual thoughts or behaviors, trouble sleeping, feeling anxious, confused, or depressed, seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
- Sensitivity of the skin to sunlight, redness or other discoloration of the skin, severe sunburn
- Sudden chest, stomach, or back pain, trouble breathing, cough
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild headache or nausea
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Last Updated: 3/29/2022