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Levofloxacin (By mouth)
Treats infections that are caused by certain kinds of bacteria. This medicine is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-pak
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to levofloxacin or to any other fluoroquinolone antibiotic (such as ciprofloxacin, gatifloxacin, lomefloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, trovafloxacin, Avelox®, Cipro®, Floxin®, Maxaquin®, Noroxin®, Tequin®, or Trovan®). This medicine should not be given to a child under 18 years old, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.
- You may take the tablet with or without food. For best results, take the liquid medicine 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
- Try to take your medicine at the same time each day.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- 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. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
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, or Medrol®). Using a steroid together with this medicine may increase your chance of having tendon problems.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using theophylline (Theo-Dur®). Tell your doctor if you are also using a heart rhythm medicine (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, Betapace®, Cardioquin®, Cordarone®, Norpace®, Procanbid®, or Tikosyn®).
- Tell your doctor if you are using a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®), diabetes medicine (such as glyburide, metformin, Actos®, Diabeta®, Glucotrol®, Glynase®, or Micronase®), or pain or arthritis medicine (such as ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, or Celebrex®).
- Some medicines, including antacids and mineral supplements, can change with the way levofloxacin works in your body. Tell your doctor if you use any antacids that contain magnesium or aluminum (such as Maalox® or Mylanta®), or any kind of vitamin or mineral supplement that contains calcium, zinc, or iron. Also talk with your doctor if you use sucralfate (Carafate®) or didanosine (Videx®) powder or chewable buffered tablets. If you use any of these medicines, take them at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take levofloxacin.
- Avoid caffeine (coffee, soda, or chocolate) while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, heart rhythm problems (such as QT prolongation), or hypokalemia (low blood potassium). Tell your doctor if you have a history of seizures, epilepsy, head injury, or stroke.
- This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have itching, hives, trouble with breathing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.
- Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin; red skin lesions; severe acne or skin rash; sores or ulcers on the skin; or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.
- This medicine may cause serious liver problems, including hepatitis. Stop taking this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you start having nausea or vomiting, dark urine, light-colored stools, stomach pain, or yellow eyes or skin while you are using this medicine.
- 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.
- This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
- Your tendons may be more easily injured while you are using this medicine. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor if you have pain or swelling in your knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, hand, or wrist. You may also need to avoid exercise or certain physical activities. Children and elderly patients (over 60 years of age) are more likely to have tendon problems. This risk of tendon problems may also increase if you have rheumatoid arthritis, if you are taking steroid medicines (corticosteroids), or if you have received an organ (such as heart, kidney, or lung) transplant.
- If you are also using insulin or other medicine for diabetes, you may need to monitor your blood sugar more often while using levofloxacin.
- 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.
- This medicine may make you feel dizzy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
- Use this medicine to treat only the infection your doctor has prescribed it for. Do not use this medicine for any infection that has not been checked by a doctor.
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, or red skin rash.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Chest pain.
- Confusion or unusual thoughts or behavior.
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
- Diarrhea that may contain blood.
- Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat.
- Lightheadedness or fainting.
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your upper stomach.
- Numbness, tingling, pain, burning, weakness, or loss of feeling anywhere in your body.
- Pain or swelling in your knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, hand, or wrist.
- Red or dark brown urine.
- Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there.
- Seizures or tremors.
- Severe headache.
- Unexplained fever.
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Feeling nervous, restless, or anxious.
- Headache, bad dreams, or trouble sleeping.
- Mild nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, or gas.
- Mild skin rash or itching.
- Muscle or joint pain.
- Sores or white patches in your mouth or throat.
- Vaginal itching or discharge.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor