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Levaquin

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/14/2017
Levaquin Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-Pak

Generic Name: levofloxacin (oral) (Pronunciation: )

What is levofloxacin (Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-Pak)?

Levofloxacin is in a group of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones (flor-o-KWIN-o-lones). Levofloxacin fights bacteria in the body.

Levofloxacin is used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, sinuses, kidneys, bladder, or prostate. Levofloxacin is also used to treat bacterial infections that cause bronchitis or pneumonia, and to treat people who have been exposed to anthrax or plague.

Levofloxacin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of levofloxacin (Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-Pak)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using levofloxacin and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • sudden pain, snapping or popping sound, bruising, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, or loss of movement in any of your joints;
  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • confusion, hallucinations, depression, tremors, feeling restless or anxious, unusual thoughts or behavior, insomnia, nightmares, seizure (convulsions);
  • severe headache, ringing in your ears, nausea, vision problems, pain behind your eyes;
  • pale skin, fever, weakness, easy bruising or bleeding;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • numbness, burning pain, or tingly feeling in your hands or feet;
  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild; or
  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild diarrhea, constipation, vomiting;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • mild headache or dizziness; or
  • vaginal itching or discharge.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about levofloxacin (Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-Pak)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to levofloxacin or similar antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), moxifloxacin (Avelox), ofloxacin (Floxin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), and others.

Before taking levofloxacin, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, muscle weakness or trouble breathing, joint problems, seizures, diabetes, myasthenia gravis, a history of head injury of brain tumor, a condition called pseudotumor cerebri, low levels of potassium in your blood, a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic.

Avoid taking antacids, vitamin or mineral supplements, sucralfate (Carafate), or didanosine (Videx) powder or chewable tablets within 2 hours before or after you take levofloxacin.

Levofloxacin 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. These effects 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. Stop taking levofloxacin and call your doctor at once if you have sudden pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, or movement problems in any of your joints. Rest the joint until you receive medical care or instructions.

Levaquin Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking levofloxacin (Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-Pak)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to levofloxacin or other fluoroquinolones such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), moxifloxacin (Avelox), ofloxacin (Floxin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), and others.

To make sure you can safely take levofloxacin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • myasthenia gravis;
  • a heart rhythm disorder, especially if you take amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), dofetilide (Tikosyn), disopyramide (Norpace), ibutilide (Corvert), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl), propafenone (Rythmol), quinidine (Quin-G), or sotalol (Betapace);
  • a history of allergic reaction to an antibiotic;
  • joint problems;
  • kidney or liver disease;
  • seizures or epilepsy;
  • a history of head injury or brain tumor;
  • a condition called pseudotumor cerebri (high pressure inside the skull that may cause headaches, vision loss, or other symptoms);
  • diabetes;
  • muscle weakness or trouble breathing;
  • low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia); or
  • a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome.

FDA pregnancy category C: It is not known whether levofloxacin is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Levofloxacin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Levofloxacin 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. These effects 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. Stop taking levofloxacin and call your doctor at once if you have sudden pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, or movement problems in any of your joints. Rest the joint until you receive medical care or instructions.

Do not share this medication with another person (especially a child), even if they have the same symptoms you have.

How should I take levofloxacin (Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-Pak)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take levofloxacin with a full glass of water (8 ounces). Drink several extra glasses of fluid each day while you are taking levofloxacin. You may take levofloxacin tablets with or without food.

Take levofloxacin oral solution (liquid) on an empty stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Take this medication 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. Levofloxacin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

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 levofloxacin.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow the liquid medicine to freeze.

Levaquin Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose (Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-Pak)?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose (Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-Pak)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms may include loss of balance or coordination, drooping eyelids, weakness, decreased activity, trouble breathing, sweating, tremors, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking levofloxacin (Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-Pak)?

You may be taking certain other medicines that should not be taken at the same time as levofloxacin. Avoid taking the following medicines within 2 hours before or after you take levofloxacin. These other medicines can make levofloxacin much less effective when taken at the same time:

  • antacids that contain magnesium or aluminum (such as Maalox, Mylanta, or Rolaids), or the ulcer medicine sucralfate (Carafate);
  • didanosine (Videx) powder or chewable tablets; or
  • vitamin or mineral supplements that contain iron or zinc.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Levofloxacin can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors. Call your doctor if you have severe burning, redness, itching, rash, or swelling after being in the sun.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop taking levofloxacin and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

What other drugs will affect levofloxacin (Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-Pak)?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • insulin or oral diabetes medication;
  • theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo-24, Theochron, Uniphyl);
  • an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), moxifloxacin (Avelox), or pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam);
  • an antidepressant such as amitriptylline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), clomipramine (Anafranil), or desipramine (Norpramin);
  • anti-malaria medications such as chloroquine (Aralen) or mefloquine (Lariam);
  • medicine to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting such as dolasetron (Anzemet), droperidol (Inapsine), or ondansetron (Zofran);
  • medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as clozapine (FazaClo, Clozaril), haloperidol (Haldol), pimozide (Orap), ziprasidone (Geodon), and others;
  • migraine headache medicine such as sumatriptan (Imitrex, Treximet);
  • narcotic medication such as methadone (Methadose, Diskets, Dolophine);
  • an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others; or
  • a steroid medicine (prednisone and others).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with levofloxacin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about levofloxacin.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2013 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.01. Revision date: 5/14/2012.

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