Levaquin (Levofloxacin) Dosage and Side Effects
LEVAQUIN is a prescription antibiotic drug used to treat a variety of bacterial infections, such as:
- Acute bacterial sinusitis
- Chronic bronchitis worsened by bacterial infections
- Skin infections
- Chronic prostate gland infection (prostatitis)
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Acute kidney infection
- Inhalational anthrax, or anthrax contracted by breathing in anthrax spores
- Pneumonic and septicemicplague (LEVAQUIN is also used to prevent contracting plague)
Proper Use of this medication
LEVAQUIN comes in the various forms:
- Film coated oral tablets of 250 milligrams (mg), 500 mg, and 750 mg
- Oral solutions of 25 mg per milliliter (mL), which should be taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating
- Premixed, single-use injection in flexible containers, containing a solution equivalent to 250 mg, 500 mg, or 750 mg of levofloxacin
- Single-use injection vials containing concentrated levofloxacin solution equivalent to 500 mg or 750 mg, which need to be further diluted with the appropriate solution
Only take LEVAQUIN as advised by your doctor.
Dosage and length of treatment differs depending on the type of infection that needs to be treated; adults with kidney problems, as well as children, must follow an adjusted treatment schedule.
According to animal studies, LEVAQUIN is toxic in high doses, causing a number of muscular and nervous system symptoms, such as tremors, convulsions, and loss of control of bodily movements.
Call your local poison control center or visit the nearest emergency hospital room if you've overdosed on LEVAQUIN to have your stomach emptied.
Call 9-1-1 if you think someone has overdosed and has collapsed or isn't breathing.
Missed Dose of LEVAQUIN
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it, unless it's almost time for next dose.
Never double your dose to make up for a missed dose of LEVAQUIN.
The most common side effects of LEVAQUIN are:
Other common side effects include yeast infections, vaginitis, severe itching, chest pain, and swelling from water buildup (edema).
Severe Side Effects of LEVAQUIN
Though rare, LEVAQUIN can result in numerous serious side effects that may require medical attention, including:
- Central nervous system effects, including seizers, hallucinations, nightmares, depression, confusion, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, and tremors
- Gastrointestinal infections and disorders
- Potentially irreversible peripheral neuropathy (damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord)
- Serious heart rhythm changes
- Joint problems
- Changes in blood sugar
- Sensitivity to sunlight
- Severe diarrhea from the difficult-to-treat bacteria Clostridium difficile
Additionally, children taking LEVAQUIN may develop musculoskeletal disorders, such as arthritis and gait abnormalities.
Warnings and Precautions
The risk of tendonitis and tendon ruptures is greater for people over 60 years old, people taking corticosteroid drugs, and people with kidney, heart, or lung transplants.
Physical activity or exercise, kidney failure, and having previous tendon problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also increase your risk of tendon issues while taking LEVAQUIN.
You should not take LEVAQUIN if you have a known sensitivity or allergy to levofloxacin and other quinolones (the family of antibiotics that encompasses fluoroquinolones).
You should also avoid the drug if you have the neuromuscular disease myasthenia gravis, as the drug could worsen your muscle weakness.
Some people experience other serious and sometimes life-threatening reactions from taking LEVAQUIN, such as:
- Dangerous skin disorders, including toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens- Johnson Syndrome
- Blood vessel inflammation, joint pain, and muscle pain
- Allergic pneumonitis, an inflammation of the walls of the lung's air sacs
- Interstitial nephritis (a kidney disorder) and kidney failure
- Hepatitis (liver inflammation), jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), liver cell death, and liver failure
- Blood-related issues, including deficiencies in red blood cells or white blood cells
Pregnancy and LEVAQUIN
It's unknown if LEVAQUIN can harm a developing fetus because no adequate and well-controlled studies have been carried out in pregnant women.
However, the drug's antimicrobial benefits to the mother may outweigh the potential risks to her unborn child.
Levofloxacin is presumed to be present in breast milk, and the drug has the potential to cause serious side effects in infants.
Breastfeeding mothers taking LEVAQUIN should either discontinue the drug or stop breastfeeding.
Interactions with this medication
LEVAQUIN may interact with:
- Antacids, multivitamins, and supplements containing magnesium, aluminum, iron, or zinc
- Sucralfate (Carafate)
- Didanosine (Videx)
- Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
- Antidiabetic medicine
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin and ibuprofen
- Theophylline (Theo-24, Theolair)
Make sure to tell your doctor about any medications, drugs, and supplements you take, especially steroid medications, anti-psychotic drugs, tricyclic antidepressants, diuretics, and heart-rate medications.
LEVAQUIN and Other Interactions
LEVAQUIN may produce a false-positive urine test for opiates.
You should tell your doctor or other healthcare professional that you’re taking LEVAQUIN when submitting a urine sample.
Other related products
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.