What is Levofloxacin?
Levofloxacin is an antibiotic drug that belongs to a group of drugs known as fluoroquinolones. Levofloxacin is used to treat various bacterial infections of the skin, sinuses, bladder, and prostate. It is also prescribed for the treatment of bacterial infections that cause bronchitis or pneumonia, and also for people who have been exposed to anthrax plague.
Levofloxacin is marketed and sold as various trade names, a couple of which are Levaquin and Alevo (made by Alkem).
Levofloxacin may also be given for conditions not mentioned above.
Important Information about Levofloxacin
You must avoid taking Levofloxacin (Levaquin, Alevo) if you allergic to it or other similar antibiotics like moxifloxacin, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, or gemifloxacin and others. Prior to taking Levofloxacin, let your doctor know if you have a heart rhythm problem, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, joint problems, myasthenia gravis, muscle weakness, breathing trouble, a condition called pseudotumor cerebri, seizures, head injury or tumor in the past, low levels of blood potassium, a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome.
Do not take Levofloxacin medication with dairy items like milk or yogurt, or with juice that contains calcium. Don’t consume antacids, vitamin or mineral supplements, didanosine(Videx), or sucralfate(Carafate) powder or chewable tablets before 6 hours of taking Levofloxacin or within 2 hours after taking this medication. Levofloxacin may lead to swelling or tearing of a tendon (fiber that binds the muscles to the bones), especially the Achilles’ tendon of the heel.
Levofloxacin medication can cause diarrhea which may indicate another infection. If you witness watery or bloody
diarrhea, seek immediate medical attention. Don’t use diarrhea medication without your doctor’s advice.
It is of utmost importance that you complete the full course of the Levofloxacin medication. Your condition may completely vanish even before completing the full dosage. If you stop taking the doses and don’t complete the course, chances of relapse of your infection increase many fold and you may suffer from a more potent infection which can be drug resistant. Levofloxacin will not work with viral infections like cold or flu. Always store Levofloxacin in a cool and dry place, preferably at room temperature. Keep away from heart, moisture, children and pets.
Before taking Levofloxacin
Prior to taking Levofloxacin, take care of the precautions listed above. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, tell your doctor before starting a Levofloxacin course as it may harm your baby though any such case has not been heard off. Levofloxacin may pass into breast milk and harm your baby. Consult your doctor first if you are breast feeding and if is safe to take this medication without affecting your child.
How should I take Levofloxacin?
Take Levofloxacin (Levaquin, Alevo) strictly as prescribed by your doctor. Never alter the dosage by any amount or use it for longer than prescribed period. All medications come with a patient leaflet that contains complete information about the drug. Read it carefully for more details.
Take Levofloxacin with a glass of water (8oz.). It is always better to consume several extra glasses of water or liquids each day while taking this medication. Levofloxacin may be taken with or without food, but make it a habit to take the medication at the same time every day.
If you are taking an extended release tablet of Levofloxacin, swallow it whole. Chewing the tablet may result in releasing too much of the medication at one time. Don’t consume dairy items like milk, yogurt or calcium fortified juices while taking Levofloxacin though you can have them as part of your regular meal, just not along while taking the medication. The reason is that the dairy items can make the medication less effective.
What if I miss a dose of Levofloxacin?
Don’t miss even a single dose of Levofloxacin or any medication, especially antibiotics. However if you miss a dose of Levofloxacin for any reasons, take it as soon as you remember. Don’t take the missed dose if the time to take the next dose is almost up. Don’t take two doses very close to each other to make up for the missed dose.
What to do if I over dose?
If you overdose on Levofloxacin, get emergency medical help or contact the?Doctor Immediately. You may experience symptoms like seizure, weakness, urination problems, or blue lips with anemic skin.
Things to avoid while taking Levofloxacin
You might be taking some other medications that are not compatible with Levofloxacin. Some of those drugs may make Levofloxacin less potent when taken at the same time. Don’t take these medications within 6 hours before or 2 hours after taking Levofloxacin: antacids that have calcium, magnesium, or aluminum(Tums, Mylanta, Rolaids); ulcer medication sucralfate (Carafate); calcium, iron, zinc or other multi-vitamins and multi-minerals; didanosine (Videx) powder or chewable tablets.
Don’t take caffeine containing food items while taking Levofloxacin as the medication can elevate caffeine effects. Avoid unnecessary exposure to sunlight and tanning beds. Levofloxacin intake can make you more prone to sunburn. Remember to wear proper covering clothes and apply appropriate sunscreen with at least 30 SPF on exposed portion when outdoors. Also avoid doing things which require more attention and alertness while taking Levofloxacin as it impairs your thinking or reflexes.
Levofloxacin Side Effects
Taking Levofloxacin may result in some allergic reactions like hives, breathing difficulty, swelling on face, lips, or tongue. Stop taking this medication immediately and contact your doctor.
Levofloxacin may cause some rare but serious side effects like fainting; severe giddiness; irregular heartbeat; unexplained pain; vision problems like pain in eye; snapping or popping sound, swelling, tenderness, stiffness in joints; watery or bloody diarrhea; confusion; hallucinations; depression; unusual behavior; seizures; severe headache; ringing in ears; decreased or dark colored urination; easy bruising or bleeding; severe skin reaction; fever; sore throat; red or purple rash that leads to blistering and peeling; or pale or yellow skin. See a doctor immediately in case of these serious effects.
There are also some less serious but commonly experience side effects of Levofloxacin like nausea, vomiting, giddiness, dullness; blurred vision; nervousness; anxiety; aggressive behavior; changes in sleep patterns including insomnia or nightmare.
The above list of side effects is not a complete one and there may be other side effects.?
Levofloxacin drug interactions
Some medications with which Levofloxacin may interact are tizanidine(Zanaflex),blood thinner like warfaring (Coumadin, Jantoven); clozapine(Clozaril, Fazaclo); cyclosporine; glyburid; methotrexate; metoclopramide; phenytoin; probenecid; ropinirole; theophylline; ibuprofen; dicloefenac;; meloxicam; or steroids.
Don’t take it together with Levofloxacin and let your doctor know if you are using the above mentioned medications. You may use them depending on your doctor’s advice.
The list of drugs above with which Levofloxacin can interact is not complete and there may be other drugs which can interact with it. Always consult your doctor before starting a new medication and before stopping or altering the course of any existing one.