Levofloxacin , sold under the trade names Levaquin among others, is an antibiotic. Common side effects include nausea , diarrhea , and trouble sleeping. Levofloxacin was patented in and approved for medical use in the United States in Levofloxacin is used to treat infections including: respiratory tract infections , cellulitis , urinary tract infections , prostatitis , anthrax , endocarditis , meningitis , pelvic inflammatory disease , traveler's diarrhea , tuberculosis , and plague   and is available by mouth, intravenously ,  and in eye drop form.
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Levofloxacin is a prescription drug that comes as an oral tablet, oral solution, and ophthalmic solution eye drop. Levofloxacin oral tablet is available as a generic drug only. Generic drugs usually cost less than brand-name drugs. Levofloxacin oral tablet is used to treat bacterial infections in adults. These infections include:. Levofloxacin may be used as part of a combination therapy.
This means you may need to take it with other medications. Levofloxacin belongs to a class of drugs called fluoroquinolone antibiotics. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
Levofloxacin works by killing the bacteria that are causing an infection. You should only use this drug to treat bacterial infections. Levofloxacin can cause mild or serious side effects. The following list contains some of the key side effects that may occur while taking levofloxacin.
This list does not include all possible side effects. For more information on the possible side effects of levofloxacin, or tips on how to deal with a troubling side effect, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. These effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:. Levofloxacin oral tablet can interact with several other medications. Different interactions can cause different effects.
For instance, some can interfere with how well a drug works, while others can cause increased side effects. Below is a list of medications that can interact with levofloxacin.
This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with levofloxacin. Before taking levofloxacin, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take.
Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions. If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Taking levofloxacin with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from those drugs. Examples of these drugs include:. When used with levofloxacin, these drugs can make levofloxacin less effective. The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to suit your needs. The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to.
This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different medication schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body. Your dose will depend on bacteria causing the infection.
If you have kidney problems, your doctor will adjust your dosage and how often you take this drug. Your dosage will be based on how much your kidneys are damaged. This drug may cause liver damage. Call your doctor right away if you have any signs of liver problems. Symptoms can include nausea or vomiting, stomach pain, fever, weakness and, abdominal pain or tenderness.
They can also include itching, unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, light-colored bowel movements, dark-colored urine, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
Tell your doctor right away if you have a fast or irregular heartbeat or if you faint. This drug may cause a rare heart problem called QT interval prolongation. This serious condition can cause an abnormal heartbeat. This drug can cause suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Your risk is greater if you have a history of depression. Call your doctor right away if you have thoughts of harming yourself while taking this drug.
Levofloxacin can cause a severe allergic reaction, even after only one dose. Symptoms can include:. If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away.
If your symptoms are severe, call or go to the nearest emergency room. Taking it again could be fatal cause death. For people with diabetes: People who take levofloxacin with diabetes drugs or insulin can develop low blood sugar hypoglycemia or high blood sugar hyperglycemia.
Severe problems, such as coma and death, have been reported as a result of hypoglycemia. Test your blood sugar as often as your doctor recommends. If you have low blood sugar levels while taking this drug, stop taking it and call your doctor right away. Your doctor may need to change your antibiotic. For people with kidney damage: Your doctor will adjust your dosage and how often you take levofloxacin, based on how much your kidneys are damaged.
For people with myasthenia gravis: This drug may make your muscle weakness worse. You should not take this drug if you have a history of this condition. For pregnant women: Levofloxacin is a category C pregnancy drug.
That means two things:. This drug should be used only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk. For women who are breastfeeding: Levofloxacin passes into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You will need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication. For seniors: The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This raises your risk of side effects. Levofloxacin oral tablet is used for short-term treatment.
For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times. If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose can include:. But if your symptoms are severe, call or go to the nearest emergency room right away. What to do if you miss a dose: Take your dose as soon as you remember.
But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects. How to tell if the drug is working: Your symptoms should get better and your infection should go away. A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.
This drug can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. This increases your risk of sunburn. Stay out of the sun if you can. If you have to be in the sun, wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.
There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you. Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date.
However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication.
Levofloxacin, Oral Tablet