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Disabling And Potentially Irreversible Serious Adverse Reactions Including Tendinitis And Tendon Rupture, Peripheral Neuropathy, And Central Nervous System Effects
Fluoroquinolones, including LEVAQUIN, have been associated with disabling and potentially irreversible serious adverse reactions from different body systems that can occur together in the same patient. Commonly seen adverse reactions include tendinitis, tendon rupture, arthralgia, myalgia, peripheral neuropathy, and central nervous system effects (hallucinations, anxiety, depression, insomnia, severe headaches, and confusion). These reactions can occur within hours to weeks after starting LEVAQUIN. Patients of any age or without pre-existing risk factors have experienced these adverse reactions [see below].
Discontinue LEVAQUIN immediately at the first signs or symptoms of any serious adverse reaction. In addition, avoid the use of fluoroquinolones, including LEVAQUIN, in patients who have experienced any of these serious adverse reactions associated with fluoroquinolones.
Tendinitis And Tendon Rupture
Fluoroquinolones, including LEVAQUIN® , have been associated with an increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture in all ages [see above and ADVERSE REACTIONS]. This adverse reaction most frequently involves the Achilles tendon And has also been reported with the rotator cuff (the shoulder), the hand, the biceps, the thumb, and other tendon sites. Tendinitis or tendon rupture can occur within hours or days of starting LEVAQUIN or as long as several months after completion of fluoroquinolone therapy. Tendinitis and tendon rupture can occur bilaterally.
The risk of developing fluoroquinolone-associated tendinitis and tendon rupture is increased in patients over 60 years of age, in those taking corticosteroid drugs, and in patients with kidney, heart or lung transplants. Other factors that may independently increase the risk of tendon rupture include strenuous physical activity, renal failure, and previous tendon disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. Tendinitis and tendon rupture have been reported in patients taking fluoroquinolones who do not have the above risk factors. Discontinue LEVAQUIN® immediately if the patient experiences pain, swelling, inflammation or rupture of a tendon. Patients should be advised to rest at the first sign of tendinitis or tendon rupture, and to contact their healthcare provider regarding changing to a non-quinolone antimicrobial drug. Avoid LEVAQUIN in patients who have a history of tendon disorders or tendon rupture [see ADVERSE REACTIONS; PATIENT INFORMATION].
Fluoroquinolones, including LEVAQUIN, have been associated with an increased risk of peripheral neuropathy. Cases of sensory or sensorimotor axonal polyneuropathy affecting small and/or large axons resulting in paresthesias, hypoesthesias, dysesthesias and weakness have been reported in patients receiving fluoroquinolones, including LEVAQUIN®. Symptoms may occur soon after initiation of LEVAQUIN® and may be irreversible in some patients [see Disabling and Potentially Irreversible Serious Adverse Reactions Including Tendinitis and Tendon Rupture, Peripheral Neuropathy, and Central Nervous System Effects and ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Discontinue LEVAQUIN® immediately if the patient experiences symptoms of neuropathy including pain, burning, tingling, numbness, and/or weakness or other alterations of sensation including light touch, pain, temperature, position sense, and vibratory sensation. Avoid fluoroquinolones, including LEVAQUIN, in patients who have previously experienced peripheral neuropathy [see ADVERSE REACTIONS, PATIENT INFORMATION].
Central Nervous System Effects
Fluoroquinolones, including LEVAQUIN, have been associated with an increased risk of central nervous system (CNS) effects, including convulsions, toxic psychoses, increased intracranial pressure (including pseudotumor cerebri) . Fluoroquinolones may also cause central nervous system stimulation which may lead to tremors, restlessness, anxiety, lightheadedness, confusion, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, nightmares, insomnia, and, rarely, suicidal thoughts or acts. These reactions may occur following the first dose. If these reactions occur in patients receiving LEVAQUIN® , discontinue LEVAQUIN and institute appropriate measures. As with other fluoroquinolones, LEVAQUIN® should be used with caution in patients with a known or suspected central nervous system (CNS) disorder that may predispose them to seizures or lower the seizure threshold (e.g., severe cerebral arteriosclerosis, epilepsy) or in the presence of other risk factors that may predispose them to seizures or lower the seizure threshold (e.g., certain drug therapy, renal dysfunction). [see ADVERSE REACTIONS; DRUG INTERACTIONS; PATIENT INFORMATION].
Exacerbation Of Myasthenia Gravis
Fluoroquinolones, including LEVAQUIN® , have neuromuscular blocking activity and may exacerbate muscle weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. Postmarketing serious adverse reactions including deaths and requirement for ventilatory support, have been associated with fluoroquinolone use in patients with myasthenia gravis. Avoid LEVAQUIN® in patients with a known history of myasthenia gravis [see ADVERSE REACTIONS; PATIENT INFORMATION].
Other Serious And Sometimes Fatal Adverse Reactions
Other serious and sometimes fatal adverse reactions, some due to hypersensitivity, and some due to uncertain etiology, have been reported rarely in patients receiving therapy with fluoroquinolones, including LEVAQUIN® . These events may be severe and generally occur following the administration of multiple doses. Clinical manifestations may include one or more of the following:
- fever, rash, or severe dermatologic reactions (e.g., toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome);
- vasculitis; arthralgia; myalgia; serum sickness;
- allergic pneumonitis;
- interstitial nephritis; acute renal insufficiency or failure;
- hepatitis; jaundice; acute hepatic necrosis or failure;
- anemia, including hemolytic and aplastic; thrombocytopenia, including thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura; leukopenia; agranulocytosis; pancytopenia; and/or other hematologic abnormalities.
Serious and occasionally fatal hypersensitivity and/or anaphylactic reactions have been reported in patients receiving therapy with fluoroquinolones, including LEVAQUIN®. These reactions often occur following the first dose. Some reactions have been accompanied by cardiovascular collapse, hypotension/shock, seizure, loss of consciousness, tingling, angioedema (including tongue, laryngeal, throat, or facial edema/swelling), airway obstruction (including bronchospasm, shortness of breath, and acute respiratory distress), dyspnea, urticaria, itching, and other serious skin reactions. LEVAQUIN® should be discontinued immediately at the first appearance of a skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity. Serious acute hypersensitivity reactions may require treatment with epinephrine and other resuscitative measures, including oxygen, intravenous fluids, antihistamines, corticosteroids, pressor amines, and airway management, as clinically indicated [see ADVERSE REACTIONS; PATIENT INFORMATION].
Post-marketing reports of severe hepatotoxicity (including acute hepatitis and fatal events) have been received for patients treated with LEVAQUIN®. No evidence of serious drug-associated hepatotoxicity was detected in clinical trials of over 7,000 patients. Severe hepatotoxicity generally occurred within 14 days of initiation of therapy and most cases occurred within 6 days. Most cases of severe hepatotoxicity were not associated with hypersensitivity [see Other Serious and Sometimes Fatal Adverse Reactions]. The majority of fatal hepatotoxicity reports occurred in patients 65 years of age or older and most were not associated with hypersensitivity. LEVAQUIN® should be discontinued immediately if the patient develops signs and symptoms of hepatitis [see ADVERSE REACTIONS; PATIENT INFORMATION].
Clostridium difficile-Associated Diarrhea
Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including LEVAQUIN®, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.
C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.
If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated [see ADVERSE REACTIONS, PATIENT INFORMATION].
Prolongation Of The QT Interval
Some fluoroquinolones, including LEVAQUIN®, have been associated with prolongation of the QT interval on the electrocardiogram and infrequent cases of arrhythmia. Rare cases of torsade de pointes have been spontaneously reported during postmarketing surveillance in patients receiving fluoroquinolones, including LEVAQUIN® . LEVAQUIN® should be avoided in patients with known prolongation of the QT interval, patients with uncorrected hypokalemia, and patients receiving Class IA (quinidine, procainamide), or Class III (amiodarone, sotalol) antiarrhythmic agents. Elderly patients may be more susceptible to drug-associated effects on the QT interval [see ADVERSE REACTIONS, Use In Specific Populations, and PATIENT INFORMATION].
Musculoskeletal Disorders In Pediatric Patients And Arthropathic Effects In Animals
LEVAQUIN® is indicated in pediatric patients (6 months of age and older) only for the prevention of inhalational anthrax (post-exposure) and for plague [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE]. An increased incidence of musculoskeletal disorders (arthralgia, arthritis, tendinopathy, and gait abnormality) compared to controls has been observed in pediatric patients receiving LEVAQUIN® [see Use in Specific Populations].
In immature rats and dogs, the oral and intravenous administration of levofloxacin resulted in increased osteochondrosis. Histopathological examination of the weight-bearing joints of immature dogs dosed with levofloxacin revealed persistent lesions of the cartilage. Other fluoroquinolones also produce similar erosions in the weight-bearing joints and other signs of arthropathy in immature animals of various species [see Animal Toxicology and/or Pharmacology].
Blood Glucose Disturbances
As with other fluoroquinolones, disturbances of blood glucose, including symptomatic hyper-and hypoglycemia, have been reported with LEVAQUIN®, usually in diabetic patients receiving concomitant treatment with an oral hypoglycemic agent (e.g., glyburide) or with insulin. In these patients, careful monitoring of blood glucose is recommended. If a hypoglycemic reaction occurs in a patient being treated with LEVAQUIN® , LEVAQUIN® should be discontinued and appropriate therapy should be initiated immediately [see ADVERSE REACTIONS; DRUG INTERACTIONS; PATIENT INFORMATION].
Moderate to severe photosensitivity/phototoxicity reactions, the latter of which may manifest as exaggerated sunburn reactions (e.g., burning, erythema, exudation, vesicles, blistering, edema) involving areas exposed to light (typically the face, “V” area of the neck, extensor surfaces of the forearms, dorsa of the hands), can be associated with the use of fluoroquinolones after sun or UV light exposure. Therefore, excessive exposure to these sources of light should be avoided. Drug therapy should be discontinued if photosensitivity/phototoxicity occurs [see ADVERSE REACTIONS; PATIENT INFORMATION].
Development Of Drug Resistant Bacteria
Prescribing LEVAQUIN® in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria [see PATIENT INFORMATION].
Patient Counseling Information
Advise the patient to read the FDA-Approved Medication Guide.
Serious Adverse Reactions
Advise patients to stop taking LEVAQUIN if they experience an adverse reaction and to call their healthcare provider for advice on completing the full course of treatment with another antibacterial drug.
Inform patients of the following serious adverse reactions that have been associated with LEVAQUIN or other fluoroquinolone use:
- Disabling and Potentially Irreversible Serious Adverse Reactions That May Occur Together: Inform patients that disabling and potentially irreversible serious adverse reactions, including tendinitis and tendon rupture, peripheral neuropathies, and central nervous system effects, have been associated with use of LEVAQUIN and may occur together in the same patient. Inform patients to stop taking LEVAQUIN immediately if they experience an adverse reaction and to call their healthcare provider.
- Tendinitis and Tendon Rupture: Instruct patients to contact their healthcare provider if they experience pain, swelling, or inflammation of a tendon, or weakness or inability to use one of their joints; rest and refrain from exercise; and discontinue LEVAQUIN treatment. Symptoms may be irreversible. The risk of severe tendon disorder with fluoroquinolones is higher in older patients usually over 60 years of age, in patients taking corticosteroid drugs, and in patients with kidney, heart or lung transplants.
- Peripheral Neuropathies: Inform patients that peripheral neuropathies have been associated with levofloxacin use, symptoms may occur soon after initiation of therapy and may be irreversible. If symptoms of peripheral neuropathy including pain, burning, tingling, numbness and/or weakness develop, immediately discontinue LEVAQUIN and tell them to contact their physician.
- Central Nervous System Effects (for example, convulsions, dizziness, lightheadedness, increased intracranial pressure): Inform patients that convulsions have been reported in patients receiving fluoroquinolones, including levofloxacin. Instruct patients to notify their physician before taking this drug if they have a history of convulsions. Inform patients that they should know how they react to LEVAQUIN before they operate an automobile or machinery or engage in other activities requiring mental alertness and coordination. Instruct patients to notify their physician if persistent headache with or without blurred vision occurs.
- Exacerbation of Myasthenia Gravis: Instruct patients to inform their physician of any history of myasthenia gravis. Instruct patients to notify their physician if they experience any symptoms of muscle weakness, including respiratory difficulties.
- Hypersensitivity Reactions: Inform patients that levofloxacin can cause hypersensitivity reactions, even following a single dose, and to discontinue the drug at the first sign of a skin rash, hives or other skin reactions, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty in swallowing or breathing, any swelling suggesting angioedema (for example, swelling of the lips, tongue, face, tightness of the throat, hoarseness), or other symptoms of an allergic reaction.
- Hepatotoxicity: Inform patients that severe hepatotoxicity (including acute hepatitis and fatal events) has been reported in patients taking LEVAQUIN. Instruct patients to inform their physician if they experience any signs or symptoms of liver injury including: loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever, weakness, tiredness, right upper quadrant tenderness, itching, yellowing of the skin and eyes, light colored bowel movements or dark colored urine.
- Diarrhea: Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibiotic. If this occurs, instruct patients to contact their physician as soon as possible.
- Prolongation of the QT Interval: Instruct patients to inform their physician of any personal or family history of QT prolongation or proarrhythmic conditions such as hypokalemia, bradycardia, or recent myocardial ischemia; if they are taking any Class IA (quinidine, procainamide), or Class III (amiodarone, sotalol) antiarrhythmic agents. Instruct patients to notify their physician if they have any symptoms of prolongation of the QT interval, including prolonged heart palpitations or a loss of consciousness.
- Musculoskeletal Disorders in Pediatric Patients: Instruct parents to inform their child's physician if the child has a history of joint-related problems before taking this drug. Inform parents of pediatric patients to notify their child's physician of any joint-related problems that occur during or following levofloxacin therapy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and Use In Specific Populations].
- Photosensitivity/Phototoxicity: Inform patients that photosensitivity/phototoxicity has been reported in patients receiving fluoroquinolones. Inform patients to minimize or avoid exposure to natural or artificial sunlight (tanning beds or UVA/B treatment) while taking fluoroquinolones. If patients need to be outdoors while using fluoroquinolones, instruct them to wear loose-fitting clothes that protect skin from sun exposure and discuss other sun protection measures with their physician. If a sunburn-like reaction or skin eruption occurs, instruct patients to contact their physician.
Antibacterial drugs including LEVAQUIN® should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When LEVAQUIN® is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by LEVAQUIN® or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
Administration With Food, Fluids, And Concomitant Medications
Patients should be informed that LEVAQUIN® Tablets may be taken with or without food. LEVAQUIN® Oral Solution should be taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating. The tablet and oral solution should be taken at the same time each day.
Patients should drink fluids liberally while taking LEVAQUIN® to avoid formation of a highly concentrated urine and crystal formation in the urine.
Antacids containing magnesium, or aluminum, as well as sucralfate, metal cations such as iron, and multivitamin preparations with zinc or didanosine should be taken at least two hours before or two hours after oral LEVAQUIN® administration.
Drug Interactions With Insulin, Oral Hypoglycemic Agents, And Warfarin
Patients should be informed that if they are diabetic and are being treated with insulin or an oral hypoglycemic agent and a hypoglycemic reaction occurs, they should discontinue LEVAQUIN® and consult a physician.
Patients should be informed that concurrent administration of warfarin and LEVAQUIN® has been associated with increases of the International Normalized Ratio (INR) or prothrombin time and clinical episodes of bleeding. Patients should notify their physician if they are taking warfarin, be monitored for evidence of bleeding, and also have their anticoagulation tests closely monitored while taking warfarin concomitantly.
Plague And Anthrax Studies
Patients given LEVAQUIN® for these conditions should be informed that efficacy studies could not be conducted in humans for ethical and feasibility reasons. Therefore, approval for these conditions was based on efficacy studies conducted in animals.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
In a lifetime bioassay in rats, levofloxacin exhibited no carcinogenic potential following daily dietary administration for 2 years; the highest dose (100 mg/kg/day) was 1.4 times the highest recommended human dose (750 mg) based upon relative body surface area. Levofloxacin did not shorten the time to tumor development of UV-induced skin tumors in hairless albino (Skh-1) mice at any levofloxacin dose level and was therefore not photo-carcinogenic under conditions of this study. Dermal levofloxacin concentrations in the hairless mice ranged from 25 to 42 mcg/g at the highest levofloxacin dose level (300 mg/kg/day) used in the photo-carcinogenicity study. By comparison, dermal levofloxacin concentrations in human subjects receiving 750 mg of LEVAQUIN® averaged approximately 11.8 mcg/g at Cmax.
Levofloxacin was not mutagenic in the following assays: Ames bacterial mutation assay (S. typhimurium and E. coli), CHO/HGPRT forward mutation assay, mouse micronucleus test, mouse dominant lethal test, rat unscheduled DNA synthesis assay, and the mouse sister chromatid exchange assay. It was positive in the in vitro chromosomal aberration (CHL cell line) and sister chromatid exchange (CHL/IU cell line) assays.
Levofloxacin caused no impairment of fertility or reproductive performance in rats at oral doses as high as 360 mg/kg/day, corresponding to 4.2 times the highest recommended human dose based upon relative body surface area and intravenous doses as high as 100 mg/kg/day, corresponding to 1.2 times the highest recommended human dose based upon relative body surface area.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C
Levofloxacin was not teratogenic in rats at oral doses as high as 810 mg/kg/day which corresponds to 9.4 times the highest recommended human dose based upon relative body surface area, or at intravenous doses as high as 160 mg/kg/day corresponding to 1.9 times the highest recommended human dose based upon relative body surface area. The oral dose of 810 mg/kg/day to rats caused decreased fetal body weight and increased fetal mortality. No teratogenicity was observed when rabbits were dosed orally as high as 50 mg/kg/day which corresponds to 1.1 times the highest recommended human dose based upon relative body surface area, or when dosed intravenously as high as 25 mg/kg/day, corresponding to 0.5 times the highest recommended human dose based upon relative body surface area.
There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. LEVAQUIN® should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Based on data on other fluoroquinolones and very limited data on LEVAQUIN®, it can be presumed that levofloxacin will be excreted in human milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions from LEVAQUIN® in nursing infants, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Quinolones, including levofloxacin, cause arthropathy and osteochondrosis in juvenile animals of several species. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and Animal Toxicology and/or Pharmacology].
Pharmacokinetics Following Intravenous Administration
The pharmacokinetics of levofloxacin following a single intravenous dose were investigated in pediatric patients ranging in age from six months to 16 years. Pediatric patients cleared levofloxacin faster than adult patients resulting in lower plasma exposures than adults for a given mg/kg dose [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and Clinical Studies].
Inhalational Anthrax (Post-Exposure)
Levofloxacin is indicated in pediatric patients 6 months of age and older, for inhalational anthrax (post-exposure). The risk-benefit assessment indicates that administration of levofloxacin to pediatric patients is appropriate. The safety of levofloxacin in pediatric patients treated for more than 14 days has not been studied [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE, DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and Clinical Studies].
Levofloxacin is indicated in pediatric patients, 6 months of age and older, for treatment of plague, including pneumonic and septicemic plague due to Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis) and prophylaxis for plague. Efficacy studies of LEVAQUIN® could not be conducted in humans with pneumonic plague for ethical and feasibility reasons. Therefore, approval of this indication was based on an efficacy study conducted in animals. The risk-benefit assessment indicates that administration of levofloxacin to pediatric patients is appropriate [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE, DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and Clinical Studies].
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of six months have not been established.
In clinical trials, 1534 children (6 months to 16 years of age) were treated with oral and intravenous LEVAQUIN®. Children 6 months to 5 years of age received LEVAQUIN® 10 mg/kg twice a day and children greater than 5 years of age received 10 mg/kg once a day (maximum 500 mg per day) for approximately 10 days.
A subset of children in the clinical trials (1340 LEVAQUIN®-treated and 893 non-fluoroquinolone-treated) enrolled in a prospective, long-term surveillance study to assess the incidence of protocol-defined musculoskeletal disorders (arthralgia, arthritis, tendinopathy, gait abnormality) during 60 days and 1 year following the first dose of the study drug. Children treated with LEVAQUIN® had a significantly higher incidence of musculoskeletal disorders when compared to the non-fluoroquinolone-treated children as illustrated in Table 7.
Table 7: Incidence of Musculoskeletal Disorders in
Pediatric Clinical Trial
N = 1340
N = 893
|60 days||28 (2.1%)||8 (0.9%)||p = 0.038|
|1 year‡||46 (3.4%)||16 (1.8%)||p = 0.025|
|* Non-Fluoroquinolone: ceftriaxone,
† 2-sided Fisherâ€™s Exact Test
‡ There were 1199 LEVAQUIN®-treated and 804 non-fluoroquinolone-treated children who had a one-year evaluation visit. However, the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders was calculated using all reported events during the specified period for all children enrolled regardless of whether they completed the 1-year evaluation visit.
Arthralgia was the most frequently occurring musculoskeletal disorder in both treatment groups. Most of the musculoskeletal disorders in both groups involved multiple weight-bearing joints. Disorders were moderate in 8/46 (17%) children and mild in 35/46 (76%) LEVAQUIN®-treated children and most were treated with analgesics. The median time to resolution was 7 days for LEVAQUIN®-treated children and 9 for non-fluoroquinolone-treated children (approximately 80% resolved within 2 months in both groups). No child had a severe or serious disorder and all musculoskeletal disorders resolved without sequelae.
Vomiting and diarrhea were the most frequently reported adverse events, occurring in similar frequency in the LEVAQUIN®-treated and non-fluoroquinolone-treated children.
In addition to the events reported in pediatric patients in clinical trials, events reported in adults during clinical trials or post-marketing experience [see ADVERSE REACTIONS] may also be expected to occur in pediatric patients.
Geriatric patients are at increased risk for developing severe tendon disorders including tendon rupture when being treated with a fluoroquinolone such as LEVAQUIN®. This risk is further increased in patients receiving concomitant corticosteroid therapy. Tendinitis or tendon rupture can involve the Achilles, hand, shoulder, or other tendon sites and can occur during or after completion of therapy; cases occurring up to several months after fluoroquinolone treatment have been reported. Caution should be used when prescribing LEVAQUIN® to elderly patients especially those on corticosteroids. Patients should be informed of this potential side effect and advised to discontinue LEVAQUIN® and contact their healthcare provider if any symptoms of tendinitis or tendon rupture occur [see BOXED WARNING; WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS; and ADVERSE REACTIONS].
In Phase 3 clinical trials, 1,945 LEVAQUIN®-treated patients (26%) were ≥ 65 years of age. Of these, 1,081 patients (14%) were between the ages of 65 and 74 and 864 patients (12%) were 75 years or older. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Severe, and sometimes fatal, cases of hepatotoxicity have been reported post-marketing in association with LEVAQUIN®. The majority of fatal hepatotoxicity reports occurred in patients 65 years of age or older and most were not associated with hypersensitivity. LEVAQUIN® should be discontinued immediately if the patient develops signs and symptoms of hepatitis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Elderly patients may be more susceptible to drug-associated effects on the QT interval. Therefore, precaution should be taken when using LEVAQUIN® with concomitant drugs that can result in prolongation of the QT interval (e.g., Class IA or Class III antiarrhythmics) or in patients with risk factors for torsade de pointes (e.g., known QT prolongation, uncorrected hypokalemia) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
The pharmacokinetic properties of levofloxacin in younger adults and elderly adults do not differ significantly when creatinine clearance is taken into consideration. However, since the drug is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Clearance of levofloxacin is substantially reduced and plasma elimination half-life is substantially prolonged in patients with impaired renal function (creatinine clearance < 50 mL/min), requiring dosage adjustment in such patients to avoid accumulation. Neither hemodialysis nor continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) is effective in removal of levofloxacin from the body, indicating that supplemental doses of LEVAQUIN® are not required following hemodialysis or CAPD [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Pharmacokinetic studies in hepatically impaired patients have not been conducted. Due to the limited extent of levofloxacin metabolism, the pharmacokinetics of levofloxacin are not expected to be affected by hepatic impairment.This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 8/4/2016
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