Levaquin is used for treating infections caused by certain bacteria. It may also be used to prevent or slow anthrax after exposure. Levaquin is a quinolone antibiotic. It works by killing sensitive bacteria.
Use Levaquin as directed by your doctor.
- Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
- Take Levaquin with a full glass of water (8 ounces). Drink several extra glasses of fluid each day while you are taking Levaquin.
- You may take Levaquin tablets with or without food.
- Take this medication for as many days as it has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Levaquin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
- This medicine can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Levaquin.
- Levaquin works best if it is used at the same time each day.
- Do not miss any dose of Levaquin. If you miss a dose of Levaquin, use it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Levaquin.
Store Levaquin at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Levaquin out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Active Ingredient: Levofloxacin.
Do NOT use Levaquin if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Levaquin or to any other quinolone antibiotic (eg, ciprofloxacin)
- you have a certain type of irregular heartbeat (QT prolongation, long QT syndrome) or low blood potassium levels
- you are taking cisapride or certain antiarrhythmics (eg, amiodarone, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol).
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Some medical conditions may interact with Levaquin. Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of severe or persistent diarrhea, skin sensitivity to the sun, diabetes, low blood potassium levels, chest pain, angina, heart problems (eg, enlarged heart, heart failure), heart attack, irregular heartbeat (eg, QT prolongation), or if you have a family member with a history of fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat (eg, QT prolongation)
- if you have a stomach infection, liver problems, brain or nervous system problems, muscle problems (eg, myasthenia gravis), increased pressure in the brain, Alzheimer disease, brain blood vessel problems, or a history of seizures
- if you have a history of bone, joint, or tendon problems; rheumatoid arthritis; liver problems; kidney problems or decreased kidney function; or heart, kidney, or lung transplant
- if you take corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) or participate in strenuous physical work or exercise.
Some medicines may interact with Levaquin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Antiarrhythmics (eg, amiodarone, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol), arsenic, astemizole, cisapride, dofetilide, droperidol, haloperidol, imidazoles (eg, ketoconazole), macrolides (eg, erythromycin), methadone, paliperidone, phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine), pimozide, ranolazine, serotonin receptor antagonists (eg, dolasetron), telithromycin, terfenadine, or ziprasidone because the risk of serious heart problems, including irregular heartbeat, may be increased
- Insulin or oral diabetes medicines (eg, glyburide) because the risk of high or low blood sugar may be increased
- Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) because the risk of tendon problems may be increased
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of bleeding may be increased
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen) or theophylline because the risk of serious side effects, including seizures, may be increased
- Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) (eg, duloxetine) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Levaquin.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Levaquin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
Important safety information:
- Levaquin may cause dizziness or lightheadedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Levaquin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possible unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea (pseudomembranous colitis) may rarely occur. This may develop while you use the antibiotic or within several months after you stop using it. Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
- Levaquin only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
- Be sure to use Levaquin for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
- Long-term or repeated use of Levaquin may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
- Tell your doctor right away if you experience pain or swelling of a tendon or weakness or loss of use of a joint area. Rest the area and avoid exercise until further instruction from your doctor.
- Levaquin may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Levaquin. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
- If you are scheduled to receive a typhoid vaccine while you are using Levaquin, talk with your doctor. Levaquin may decrease the effectiveness of the vaccine.
- Diabetes patients – Levaquin may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Levaquin may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using Levaquin.
- Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Levaquin. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use Levaquin with caution in the elderly; they may be more sensitive to its effects (eg, tendon problems), especially if they take corticosteroids (eg, prednisone). They may also be more sensitive to other effects (eg, irregular heartbeat, liver problems).
- Levaquin should be used with extreme caution in children younger 18 years; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially joint and tendon problems
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Levaquin while you are pregnant. Levaquin is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Levaquin.
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; gas; headache; lightheadedness; nausea; stomach pain.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); bloody or tarry stools; chest pain; decreased or painful urination; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, sore throat, or unusual cough; hallucinations; inability to move or bear weight on a joint or tendon area; moderate or severe sunburn; mood or mental changes (eg, new or worsening anxiety, nervousness, agitation, confusion, depression, restlessness, sleeplessness); muscle pain or weakness; new or worsening nightmares; pain, soreness, redness, swelling, weakness, or bruising of a tendon or joint area; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent diarrhea; severe or persistent dizziness, lightheadedness, tiredness, or weakness; severe or persistent stomach pain/cramps; shortness of breath; suicidal thoughts or actions; symptoms of high or low blood sugar (eg, dizziness; fainting; fast breathing; flushing; increased thirst, hunger, or urination; increased sweating; vision changes); symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, pale stools, yellowing of the skin or eyes); symptoms of nerve problems (eg, changes in perception of heat or cold; decreased sensation of touch; unusual burning, numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness of the arms, hands, legs, or feet); tremors; unusual bruising or bleeding; vaginal discharge, irritation, or odor; vision changes; wheezing.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.