Levofloxacin (Oral)

Overview

Levofloxacin is a medicine given to patients to help treat bacterial infections in different parts of the body. It can also be given to prevent an anthrax infection after someone has been exposed to anthrax. It can also be given as a way to prevent or treat the plague. This includes septicemic plague and pneumonic plague.

Levofloxacin belongs to a group of medicines that are called quinolone antibiotics. They work by preventing the growth of bacteria or killing it. Be aware that this medicine is not designed to work on flu, colds, or other virus infections.

You can only obtain Levofloxacin with a prescription from your doctor.

Condition(s) treated

  • Bacterial infections

Type of medicine

  • Tablet

Side effects

As well as having its intended effects, Levofloxacin may cause some patients to experience certain side effects. Below is a list of the more serious side effects that may occur. Inform your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following whilst taking this drug.

More common

  • Diarrhea

Rare

  • Swelling, pain, or inflammation in the calves of the legs, hands, or shoulders

Incidence not known

  • Tingling, painful, burning, or numbness sensations

Instead of these more severe side effects, you may experience other less worrying ones that are listed below.These do not necessarily require medical assistance. In fact, you may find that they pass over time as your treatment progresses and your body adjusts to the medicine. However, if you do experience any of the following and find them bothersome of lingering, then you can contact your doctor for advice.

Less common

  • Nausea

Incidence not known

  • Redness or flushing of the skin, especially on the neck and face

You may experience other side effects not listed here. You may discuss these with your doctor.

Dosage

Below you can find the typical doses of Levofloxacin that are prescribed for a variety of uses. This is for the oral solution or tablet form of this medicine. Be aware however that the exact doses given to you by your doctor may differ greatly to what is below. This is because every patient is different and your prescription is based on a number of personal factors. This includes such things as how bad your condition is, what other drugs you are currently taking, and whether you have any other illnesses as well. Do not alter your doses in any way unless told to do so by your doctor.

For patients treating an infection:

  • Adults. Take between 250 and 750 mg one time per day.

For patients preventing the anthrax infection:

  • Adults. Take 500mg one time a day.

For patients preventing the plague:

  • Adults. Take 500mg one time a day.

You should try not to miss and scheduled doses of this medicine, as doing so will affect the quality of your treatment. If you do miss a dose, you should take it as soon as you can. However, if it is then almost time for you to take your next dose that is scheduled, you should simply skip the one that was missed and return to doses as normal. It is important you never double dose.

You should take your Levofloxacin in the exact manner as prescribed to you by your doctor. You should not take it more frequently and should not take it more often. Upon receiving this medicine you will find a Medication Guide. You should read this fully and follow the instructions given. If you have any questions after reading this then you can address them to your doctor.

You should take the Levofloxacin oral liquid either 2 hours after eating or 1 hour before. You should use either an oral syringe, medicine cup, or marked measuring spoon to accurately measure your doses.

You can take the Levofloxacin tablets either on an empty stomach or with meals.

You should take this medicine along with a full glass of water (8 ounces). Unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, you should also drink several other glasses of water throughout the day. Doing so will help to prevent some of this medicines unwanted side effects.

Levofloxacin works best when you have a constant amount of it in your blood. For this reason, you should never miss any doses and take it at evenly spaced time throughout the day and night. For example, if you need just one dose a day, then have that dose at the same time every day.

Be aware that, if this medicine is being used to prevent the plague of anthrax infection, then your doctor will require you to start taking it as soon as possible after you've been exposed to the bacteria causing the plague or to anthrax.

If you are taking any of the following as well, then do not take them at the same time as taking Levofloxacin. Instead, you should take them either at least 2 hours after Levofloxacin or 2 hours before. They can stop Levofloxacin from working properly.

  • Didanosine (Videx┬«)

Even if you start to feel better after a few doses, you should continue to take this medicine for the full period of your treatment. By stopping taking the medicine too soon, you may find your infection is not properly eradicated.

Interactions

It is possible that Levofloxacin will interact with other medicines you are currently taking. As such, you will be required to inform your doctor of all other medicines you are currently taking. This includes all prescription and nonprescription drugs you use. Your doctor may need to alter one or both doses of the interacting medicines or swap one or both medicines altogether. Either way, your doctor is best placed to decide on a suitable course of action. Directly below is a list of drugs with which it is not recommended you take at the same time as Levofloxacin. Your doctor will likely need to alter one or both medicines.

  • Bepridil

It is usually not recommended that you take any of the following medicines at the same time as Levofloxacin. However, it may be required for you to do so in some cases. In such circumstances, your doctor may still prescribe Levofloxacin but will alter one or both of the doses you receive of the interacting medicines.

  • Granisetron

If you take any of the following medicines at the same time as Levofloxacin, then you may be at an increased risk of experiencing certain side effects. Again, however, it may be best for your treatment that you take both. As such, you doctor may need to alter one or both doses you receive.

  • Prednisone

As well as interacting with other drugs, it is possible that Levofloxacin will interact with certain aspects of your typical daily dietary intake. Your doctor may advise you make changes to how much or how frequently you smoke, eat, or drink certain things. For example, it may be necessary to drink less alcohol or smoke less tobacco whilst taking Levofloxacin.

Finally, other medical problems you suffer from may interact with Levofloxacin. You should inform your doctor if your complete medical history and be careful to point out any of the following if they apply.

  • Myocardial ischemia (reduced blood supply in your heart)

Warnings

Before your doctor prescribes you with this medicine, they will first want to ensure that it is indeed the best course of treatment for you. They will, therefore, need to understand the full extent of your medical situation. As a part of this, they will need to be made aware of any allergies you suffer from. This includes allergies to dyes, preservatives, animals, and foods.

It is not recommended that teenagers, children, or infants use this medicine.However, it can be used to treat plague and prevent anthrax infection following exposure in children who are aged 6 months and above.

The suitable studies that have so far taken place have not highlighted any geriatric-specific problems that would make this medicine any less useful in elderly patients. However, older patients are more likely to suffer from age-related tendon disorders as well as heart, liver, or kidney problems. As such, this may require greater caution and certain adjustments to be made in the doses they receive.

As of writing, it is unclear as to whether Levofloxacin has any adverse effects on pregnant women and their unborn children. This is because it is unclear as to whether suitable studies have taken place. Your doctor is best positioned to inform you of any increased risks of taking this whilst pregnant. If you do become pregnant whilst taking Levofloxacin, you should inform your doctor right away.

As of writing, there are no suitable studies that have taken place on breastfeeding women taking this medicine. Yoru doctor will be able to inform you of any increased risks, and you can weigh these together against the benefits the medicine offers.

You will be required to attend regular appointments with your doctor whilst you take this medicine. This is so that your doctor can check your condition and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment. They can see if the medicine is working correctly and if you should continue using it. You may be required to perform urine or blood tests to check for unwanted effects.

If, after a few days of using this medicine, your symptoms do not improve, you should inform your doctor. The same applies to if your symptoms get worse.

Under rare circumstances, Levofloxacin may cause tendinitis (inflammation) or tearing of one of your tendons ( this is the cord that attaches bones to muscles). This can happen either after you stop taking the medicine or whilst you are taking it. If you fulfill any of the following criteria, then you may be at greater risk of this condition:

  • Have received an organ (such as a lung, heart, or kidney) transplant

If you experience any of the following symptoms of a tendon problem, you should inform your doctor right away. Retain form performing any exercise until told otherwise by your doctor.

  • Are unable to move or bear weight on the affected area

It is possible that this medicine will cause you to experience a severe allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis. This requires immediate medical assistance as it is life-threatening. If you display any of the following symptoms while taking Levofloxacin, you should inform your doctor immediately:

  • Itching

You may experience other serious skin reaction whilst taking Levofloxacin. If you show any of the following signs, tell your doctor right away:

  • Chills or fever

You may experience severe liver problems as a result of this medicine, including hepatitis. If you have any of the following symptoms then tell your doctor right away.

  • Yellow skin or eyes

This medicine may cause some patients to have diarrhea. In some cases, this can be rather severe.It may even happen after 2 months fo you stopping taking Levofloxacin. If this occurs, then you should check with your doctor first before you start taking any medicine to treat the diarrhea. Certain diarrhea medicine may make the problem worse or make it last for a longer period. If you diarrhea does get worse, or if you have any questions about this, speak to your doctor.

If you start to have any burning, tingling, or numbness in your feet, legs, hands, or arms, then you should tell your doctor right away. These could be symptoms of you have peripheral neuropathy.

If you suffer from an abnormally slow heartbeat or low blood potassium levels, then this medicine may cause you to experience fainting spells, loss of consciousness, or a slow, irregular, or fast heartbeat. If you do encounter these symptoms, then inform your doctor right away.

If you experience any of the following symptoms whilst taking Levofloxacin, you should inform your doctor:

  • Unusual behaviors or thoughts

If you are diabetic and taking diabetes medicine by mouth or taking insulin, then Levofloxacin may cause hypoglycemia. If you experience symptoms of low blood sugar then you should treat these immediately or be at risk of passing out. Your symptoms may be different to someone else with diabetes. If you do experience any of the following symptoms of low blood sugar whilst taking this medicine, then stop taking it and inform your doctor immediately:

  • Cold sweats

Some patients who take this medicine may experience increased sensitivity to sunlight than what they would usually. Being exposed to sunlight, even for short periods, can lead to severe skin discoloration, redness, itching, or a rash. After you start taking this medicine, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Wear protective clothing, as well as sunglasses and a hat.

This medicine can cause people to be less alert than usual, or to be drowsy, light-headed, or dizzy. You should therefore not drive a car or perform any other dangerous tasks until you are fully aware of how Levofloxacin affects you. Check with your doctor if these symptoms are persistent or bothersome.

You should tell the doctor in charge of any medical tests you have done that you are taking Levofloxacin. This medicine can affect the results of some tests.

You should not take any other medicines at the same time as Levofloxacin unless they have first been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription and nonprescription drug, as well as any vitamin or herbal supplements.

Storage

You should store this medicine in a sealed container and keep it at room temperature away from any direct light, moisture, or heat. Also, never allow it to freeze. You should keep it safely out of reach of children and should dispose of any medicine that goes out of date. You should also dispose of any medicine left at the end of your treatment. Your doctor or pharmacist can advise you on a safe and sensible way to properly dispose of any medicine.

Summary

If you are looking to prevent anthrax infections, treat a bacterial infection, or treat the plague, then Levofloxacin can be a very useful drug for you to receive. Be aware however that it is only given to certain patients as it does have a very particular set of uses. It can interact with a variety of drugs and medical conditions and can cause patients to experience a range of unwanted side effects. Your doctor will be able to first assess your medical condition and decide whether this is the most suitable drug for you to receive.

You should follow any guidance your doctor gives you on taking this medicine. You should also make any necessary lifestyle or dietary adjustments that they give you.This will help you avoid any unwanted side effects and ensure the best treatment possible for you. If you do experience any worrying side effects after taking this medicine, then you should inform your doctor immediately. Similarly, if you have any other questions about your condition or the use of Levofloxacin, then these are best addressed to your doctor.