This medication may rarely cause tendon damage (such as tendinitis, tendon rupture) during or after treatment. Your risk for tendon problems is greater if you are over 60 years of age, if you are taking corticosteroids (such as prednisone), or if you have had a kidney, heart or lung transplant. Stop exercising, rest, and get medical help right away if you develop joint/muscle/tendon pain or swelling.
Levofloxacin should not be used in patients with myasthenia gravis. It may cause the condition to become worse. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop muscle weakness or trouble breathing.Who should not take Levaquin?
This medication is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. Levofloxacin belongs to a class of drugs called quinolone antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
This medication will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking levofloxacin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Take this medication on an empty stomach (1 hour before or 2 hours after eating). Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
The dosage and length of treatment is based on your kidney function, medical condition, and response to treatment. When used in children for limited types of infection, the dosage is also based on weight.
Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at the same time each day.
Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.
Take this medication at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking other products that may bind to it, decreasing its effectiveness. Ask your pharmacist about the other products you take. Some examples include: quinapril, vitamins/minerals (including iron and zinc supplements), and products containing magnesium, aluminum, or calcium (such as antacids, didanosine solution, calcium supplements).
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve.
See also Warning section.
Nausea, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, or trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, signs of a new infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), change in the amount of urine.
Get medical help right away if any of these serious side effects occur: chest pain, severe/persistent headache, vision changes, shaking (tremors), seizures, severe dizziness, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (such as nervousness, confusion, hallucinations, depression, rare thoughts of suicide), signs of liver problems (such as persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, unusual tiredness, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).
Rarely, this medication may cause serious, possibly permanent, nerve problems (peripheral neuropathy). Stop taking levofloxacin and tell your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: pain/numbness/burning/tingling/weakness in your arms, hands, legs, or feet, changes in how you sense touch/pain/temperature/vibration/body position.
This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have any of the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking levofloxacin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other quinolone antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, ofloxacin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: diabetes, heart problems (such as chest pain, recent heart attack), joint/tendon problems (such as tendonitis, bursitis), kidney disease, myasthenia gravis, nerve problems (such as peripheral neuropathy), seizure disorder, conditions that increase your risk of seizures (such as brain/head injury, brain tumors, stroke, TIA-transient ischemic attack).
This drug may make you dizzy or lightheaded. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Levofloxacin may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can infrequently result in serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using levofloxacin, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using levofloxacin safely.
Levofloxacin may rarely cause serious changes in blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes. Watch for symptoms of high blood sugar including increased thirst and urination. Also watch for symptoms of low blood sugar such as nervousness, shakiness, fast heartbeat, sweating, or hunger. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed by your doctor and report any changes. If you experience symptoms of low blood sugar, you may raise your blood sugar by using glucose tablets/gel or eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or drink fruit juice or non-diet soda. Tell your doctor immediately about the reaction and the use of this product. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals. Your doctor may need to switch you to another antibiotic or adjust your diabetes medications if any reaction occurs.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, such as tendon problems (especially if they are also taking corticosteroids such as prednisone or hydrocortisone), liver problems, and QT prolongation (see above).
Children may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug such as joint/tendon problems. Discuss the risks and benefits with the doctor.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also How to Use section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid, BCG), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen).
Although most antibiotics probably do not affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch or ring, some antibiotics may decrease their effectiveness. This could cause pregnancy. Examples include rifamycins such as rifampin or rifabutin. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this antibiotic.
Levofloxacin is very similar to ofloxacin. Do not use medications containing ofloxacin while using levofloxacin.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (such as urine screening for opiates), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe dizziness.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in that case.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as kidney function, blood count, cultures) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised April 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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