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Levofloxacin (By mouth)

Levofloxacin (lee-voe-FLOX-a-sin)

This is a quinolone antibiotic that treats infections.

Brand Name(s):

Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-pak

There 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 if you had an allergic reaction to levofloxacin or similar medicines.

How to Use This Medicine:

Liquid, Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Take your medicine at the same time each day.
    • Tablet: Take the tablet with or without food.
    • Liquid: Take the liquid medicine 1 hour before or 2 hours after you eat. Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • 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 and foods can affect how levofloxacin works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Theophylline
    • Steroid medicine (such as hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisone)
    • Blood thinner (such as warfarin)
    • Diabetes medicine
    • NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib)
    • Medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as quinidine, procainamide, amiodarone, sotalol)
  • Some minerals and medicines can keep your body from absorbing this medicine. You may need to take levofloxacin at least 2 hours before or after you take these medicines. These include antacids that contain magnesium or aluminum; magnesium, zinc, or iron supplements; sucralfate; and didanosine. Ask your pharmacist for more information.

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, heart rhythm problems (such as QT prolongation or a slow heartbeat), myasthenia gravis, or a history of seizures, epilepsy, head injury, or stroke. 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)
    • Liver damage
    • Severe diarrhea
    • Nerve damage in the arms or legs
    • Heart rhythm changes
    • Blood sugar level changes
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • 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, or red skin rash
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate
  • 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, confusion
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild headache
  • Mild nausea or diarrhea

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: 10/4/2014


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