LEVOFLOXACIN (lee voe FLOX a sin) treats infections caused by bacteria. It belongs to a group of medications called quinolone antibiotics. It will not treat colds, the flu, or infections caused by viruses.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
High blood pressure
History of irregular heartbeat
History of low levels of potassium in the blood
Tingling of the fingers or toes, or other nerve disorder
An unusual or allergic reaction to levofloxacin, other quinolone antibiotics, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medication at regular intervals. Do not take your medication more often than directed. Take all of your medication as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medication early.
Avoid antacids, calcium, iron, and zinc products for 2 hours before and 2 hours after taking a dose of this medication.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be prescribed for children as young as 6 months for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
This medication may also interact with the following:
Birth control pills
Certain medications for diabetes, like glipizide, glyburide, or insulin
Certain medications that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin
Didanosine buffered tablets or powder
NSAIDS, medications for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
Other medications that prolong the QT interval (cause an abnormal heart rhythm) like dofetilide, ziprasidone
Steroid medications like prednisone or cortisone
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Heart rhythm changes—fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, chest pain, trouble breathing
Increased pressure around the brain—severe headache, blurry vision, change in vision, nausea, vomiting
Joint, muscle, or tendon pain, swelling, or stiffness
Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
Mood and behavior changes—anxiety, nervousness, confusion, hallucinations, irritability, hostility, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, worsening mood, feelings of depression
Pain, tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet
Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
Severe diarrhea, fever
Sudden or severe chest, back, or stomach pain
Unusual vaginal discharge, itching, or odor
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
Sensitivity to light
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
Do not treat diarrhea with over the counter products. Contact your care team if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if it is severe and watery.
Check with your care team if you get an attack of severe diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, or if you sweat a lot. The loss of too much body fluid can make it dangerous for you to take this medication.
This medication may increase blood sugar. Ask your care team if changes in diet or medications are needed if you have diabetes.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
This medication can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep in a tightly closed container. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.