Treats infections that are caused by certain kinds of bacteria. This medicine is a fluoroquinolone (floor-oh-KWIN-oh-lone) antibiotic.
Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-pak
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to levofloxacin or to similar medicines such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro®), gatifloxacin (Tequin®), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin®), moxifloxacin (Avelox®), norfloxacin (Noroxin®), or ofloxacin (Floxin®), or trovafloxacin (Trovan®). This medicine should not be given to a child under 18 years old, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.
- You may take the tablet with or without food. For best results, take the liquid medicine 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
- Try to take your medicine at the same time each day.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- Drink extra fluids so you will pass more urine while you are using this medicine. This will keep your kidneys working well and help prevent kidney problems.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using theophylline, (Theo-Dur®). Tell your doctor if you are also using a heart rhythm medicine such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, Betapace®, Cardioquin®, Cordarone®, Norpace®, Procanbid®, or Tikosyn®.
- Tell your doctor if you are using a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin®), or diabetes medicine such as glyburide, metformin, Actos®, Diabeta®, Glucotrol®, Glynase®, or Micronase®. Your doctor needs to know if you are using pain or arthritis medicine such as ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, or Celebrex®. Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a steroid medicine such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, or Medrol®.
- Some medicines, including antacids and mineral supplements, can change with the way levofloxacin works in your body. Tell your doctor if you use any antacids that contain magnesium or aluminum, such as Maalox® or Mylanta®, or any kind of vitamin or mineral supplement that contains calcium, zinc, or iron. Also talk with your doctor if you use sucralfate (Carafate®) or didanosine (Videx®) powder or chewable buffered tablets. If you use any of these medicines, take them at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take levofloxacin.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Tell your doctor if you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, or hypokalemia (low blood potassium). Make sure your doctor knows if you have a history of seizures, epilepsy, head injury, or stroke.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
- This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
- You might have trouble with your tendons while you are using this medicine. Call your doctor if you have pain or swelling in your knee, ankle, heel, shoulder, elbow, hand, or wrist. You might need to stop using this medicine.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
- If you have severe diarrhea, ask your doctor before taking any medicine to stop the diarrhea.
- This medicine may make you feel dizzy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
- Use this medicine to treat only the infection your doctor has prescribed it for. Do not use this medicine for any infection that has not been checked by a doctor.
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.
- Blood in your urine, or change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Chest pain, or a heartbeat that is fast, pounding, or uneven.
- Confusion, or unusual thoughts or behavior.
- Diarrhea that may contain blood.
- Numbness, tingling, pain, burning, weakness, or loss of feeling anywhere in your body.
- Seizures, severe headache.
- Tremors (shaking), or hallucinations (sensing things that are not there).
- Unexplained fever.
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Feeling nervous, restless, or anxious.
- Headache, bad dreams, trouble sleeping.
- Mild skin rash or itching.
- Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, gas.
- Sores or white patches in your mouth or throat.
- Vaginal itching or discharge.