Treats bacterial infections. Also used to treat possible anthrax infection after exposure, and to treat and prevent plague. This medicine is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to levofloxacin or to any other quinolone antibiotic (such as ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, Avelox®, Cipro®, Levaquin®, or Vigamox®).
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- This medicine must be given slowly, so the needle will remain in place for at least 1 hour.
- Your doctor may give you a few doses of this medicine until your condition improves, and then you may be switched to an oral medicine that works the same way. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about this.
- Drink extra fluids so you will pass more urine while you are using this medicine. This will keep your kidneys working well and help prevent kidney problems.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, Medrol®). Use of steroids together with this medicine may increase your risk for tendon problems.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using theophylline (Theo-Dur®) or a heart rhythm medicine (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, Betapace®, Cordarone®, Norpace®, Procanbid®, Tikosyn®).
- Tell your doctor if you are using a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®), diabetes medicine (such as glyburide, insulin, metformin, Actos®, Diabeta®, Glucotrol®, Glynase®, or Micronase®), or an NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have myasthenia gravis, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, or low blood potassium. Tell your doctor if you have nerve problems, arthritis, muscle or joint problems, or a history of seizures, epilepsy, head injury, or stroke.
- Call your doctor right away if you have pain or swelling in your knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, hand, or wrist. Your tendons may be more easily injured while you are using this medicine. The risk is higher if you are 60 years of age or older, you take steroid medicines, or you have had a heart, kidney, or lung transplant.
- Contact your doctor right away if you have any changes to your heart rhythm. You might feel dizzy or faint, or you might have a fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat. Make sure your doctor knows if you or anyone in your family has ever had a heart rhythm problem such as QT prolongation.
- Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you have blistering or peeling skin, red skin rash, skin sores, or fever while you are using this medicine.
- This medicine may cause serious liver problems, including hepatitis. Tell your doctor right away if you have dark-colored urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, yellow skin or eyes.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
- If you have severe diarrhea, ask your doctor before taking any medicine to stop the diarrhea.It may occur 2 months or longer after you stop using this medicine.
- This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
- Tell your doctor right away if you have numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet. These may be symptoms of a serious nerve condition.
- You may need to monitor your blood sugar more often while you use this medicine, if you use insulin or other diabetes medicine.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or lightheaded. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
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, red skin rash
- Change in how much or how often you urinate
- Chest pain
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, yellow eyes or skin
- Diarrhea that may contain blood
- Fainting, dizziness, lightheadedness
- Fast, pounding, slow, or uneven heartbeat
- Increased hunger or thirst
- Muscle weakness, joint pain
- Nervousness or restless, confusion, seeing or hearing things that are not there, or a severe headache
- Numbness, tingling, pain, burning, or weakness anywhere in your body
- Pain or swelling in your knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, hand, or wrist
- Seizures, tremors
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Redness, pain, or swelling under your skin where the needle is placed
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 Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013