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How to use Levaquin

Brand Name(s): Levaquin

Generic Name Levofloxacin Tablets

What are levofloxacin tablets?

LEVOFLOXACIN (Levaquin™) is an antibiotic. Levofloxacin kills certain bacteria or stops their growth. It is used to treat urinary tract, prostate, skin, sinus and lung infections, as well as other infections. Generic levofloxacin tablets are not yet available.

What should my health care professional know before I take levofloxacin?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • dehydration
  • kidney disease
  • seizures (convulsions)
  • stomach problems (especially colitis)
  • stroke
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to levofloxacin, fluoroquinolone antibiotics, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I take this medicine?

Take levofloxacin tablets by mouth with or without food. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow tablets whole with a full glass of water. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Finish the full course prescribed by your prescriber or health care professional even if you think your condition is better. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber's advice.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

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 drug(s) may interact with levofloxacin?

  • aluminum salts
  • antacids
  • arsenic trioxide
  • astemizole
  • bepridil
  • calcium salts
  • caffeine
  • certain heart medications for irregular rhythm (e.g., amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, ibutilide, quinidine, procainamide, sotalol)
  • certain medicines for depression or mental problems (e.g., amoxapine, haloperidol, maprotiline, phenothiazines, risperidone, sertindole, ziprasidone)
  • cimetidine
  • cisapride
  • clarithromycin
  • cyclobenzaprine
  • cyclosporine
  • dairy products
  • didanosine (ddI)
  • dolasetron
  • droperidol
  • erythromycin
  • levomethadyl
  • iron (ferrous sulfate) preparations
  • magnesium salicylate
  • magnesium salts
  • manganese
  • medicines for diabetes
  • multivitamins containing calcium, iron, manganese, or zinc
  • NSAIDs such as Advil®, Aleve®, ibuprofen, Motrin®, naproxen
  • pentamidine
  • probucol
  • retinoid products such as tretinoin (Retin-A®, Renova®) or isotretinoin (Accutan®)
  • sevelamer
  • sucralfate
  • terfenadine
  • theophylline
  • troleandomycin
  • warfarin
  • zinc salts

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from taking levofloxacin?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

Rare or uncommon:

  • confusion
  • difficulty breathing
  • irregular heartbeat, palpitations or chest pain
  • joint, muscle or tendon pain
  • nightmares
  • changes in your thought process
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • seizures
  • severe or watery diarrhea
  • skin rash, itching
  • swelling of the face or neck
  • tremor or restlessness
  • vision changes
  • vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation or diarrhea
  • difficulty sleeping
  • dizziness or drowsiness
  • headache
  • intestinal gas or bloating
  • nausea or stomach upset

What should I watch for while taking levofloxacin?

Tell your prescriber or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve in 2 to 3 days.

If you are a diabetic monitor your blood glucose carefully. If you get an unusual reaction stop taking levofloxacin and call your prescriber or health care professional for advice.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how levofloxacin affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient.

Drink several glasses of water a day. Cut down on drinks that contain caffeine.

Antacids can stop levofloxacin from working. If you get an upset stomach and want to take an antacid, make sure it has been at least 2 hours since you last took levofloxacin, or at least 2 to 4 hours before your next dose.

Calcium, iron, and zinc preparations can also stop levofloxacin from working properly. Take calcium tablets, iron tablets, zinc tablets, or vitamins that contain calcium, iron, or zinc at least 2 hours before or two hours after levofloxacin.

Keep out of the sun, or wear protective clothing outdoors and use a sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or sun tanning beds or booths.

If you notice symptoms such as pain, burning, tingling, numbness and/or weakness, stop taking levofloxacin and contact your healthcare provider immediately.

If you notice pain or swelling of a tendon or around a joint, stop taking levofloxacin. Call your healthcare provider. Rest the affected area. Do not exercise or take levofloxacin until your healthcare provider tells you to do so.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking levofloxacin.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

Store at room temperature between 25°and 30 °C (59°to 85 °F) and keep in a tightly closed container. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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