What is Levofloxacin?
Levofloxacin belongs to “Quinolone” group of antibiotics which is used to treat different kinds of bacterial infections.
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Uses of Levofloxacin
Levofloxacin is commonly used in treatment or prevention of following diseases or symptoms:
- Infectious diarrhea
- Typhoid (Enteric fever)
- Inhalational anthrax
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis
- Urinary tract infections
- Infections of skin and soft tissue
- Acute sinusitis
- Bone and joint infections
- Intra-abdominal infections
Levofloxacin may also be used for other purposes not mentioned above.
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How does Levofloxacin work?
Levofloxacin belongs to “Quinolone” group of antibiotics which are considered to be bactericidal (bacterial killing ability).
It kills the bacteria by inhibiting the synthesis of DNA (genetic material) and thus preventing its further multiplication.
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How to Take Levofloxacin?
In order to reduce antibiotic resistance and increase the effectiveness of Levofloxacin, it is advisable that all antibacterial therapies including Levofloxacin should be selected based on culture and susceptibility information (a particular antibiotic should only be used to treat or prevent infections that are strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria).
Available in different forms:
- Oral liquid suspension
- Eye drops
Levofloxacin tablets are usually well absorbed orally and should be directly swallowed with water in one go. They can be taken with or without food. For ideal results, it should always be taken at evenly spaced intervals to maintain certain amount of drug in the body all the time. Dosage regimen should be adjusted according to individual patient needs, type of infection or as advised by the doctor.
In case if syrup is used, shake the bottle well before each use to mix the medication evenly. Use a measuring cup to consume the correct dosage of medicine.
When on Levofloxacin therapy, it is always advised that medication should not be left in between without completing the full course or skipping the doses as it:
- Might decrease the efficacy of the drug and
- Increase the likelihood of bacterial resistance to this drug thereby making it inefficient for future use.
Common Dosage for Levofloxacin?
The drug dosage and form is decided by the physician based upon:
- age and body weight of the patient
- health status/medical condition of the patient
- disease severity
- reaction to the first dose
- history of allergy/drug reactions
- Levofloxacin is usually taken either with food or immediately after food. Dosage depends upon the condition of the patient. The most usually recommended dose of Levofloxacin in adults is 500-750 mg 12 hourly.
- The recommended dose in children is 10-20mg/kg/day of the suspension depending upon severity of infection. This may be administered as one single daily dose or may be given in two divided doses every 12 hours.
- In patients suffering from kidney problems or on dialysis, the dosage of Levofloxacin may need to be reduced.
- Never use more than the recommended dose or for longer periods of time without doctor’s consent. In case of non improvement of symptoms or symptoms getting worse, seek medical attention immediately.
- If taken as an over-the-counter product, read all directions on the product package before taking this medication.
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When to Avoid Levofloxacin & precautions to take?
- Levofloxacin is ineffective in treating viral infections like common cold, flu etc. Overuse or unnecessary usage may cause antibiotic resistance or decreased effectiveness of antibiotic
- Levofloxacin should not be used in:
- Patients allergic to Levofloxacin
- Patients allergic to drugs belonging to quinolone family like Ciprofloxacin, Ofloxacin, Gatifloxacin etc
- Patients suffering from kidney disease or on dialysis
- Patients suffering from liver diseases
- Epileptic patients (patients experiencing seizures)
- Patients having history of tendon problem
- Patients having myasthenia gravis (abnormal weakness of muscles)
- Patients with heart problem or long QT interval (heart’s electrical cycle)
- Patients taking tizanidine (type of muscle relaxant)
Side-effects of Levofloxacin?
Side effects are possible but do not always occur in all the patients.
More commonly observed side effects may include:
- Oral fungal infections
- Altered taste sensation
- Skin rash
- Allergic reactions
In such cases, tell your doctor immediately and seek immediate medical attention.
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Reported Allergic Reactions?
Although Levofloxacin is used to treat bacterial infections but an allergic reaction to Levofloxacin might occur.
Possible allergic reactions reported include: itchy skin, rashes, swelling especially on face, lips & throat, difficulty in breathing or swallowing and loss of consciousness.
Effect on organs
- Dose adjustment is needed in patients suffering from kidney and liver diseases. In such patients, Levofloxacin should be administered with caution.
Drug Interactions to Be Careful About
- All the possible drug interactions might not be listed here. You must always inform the physician of all the drugs/products you use.
- You must inform your doctor if you frequently use other drugs that make you drowsy or sleepy, such as sleeping pills, other allergy drugs, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxants, and drugs used for fits, depression, or anti-anxiety drugs.
- You must also inform about the herbal products that you are consuming. You must not modify the drug regimen without your doctor’s approval.
- Some of the common drugs which interact with Levofloxacin include:
- Vitamin or mineral supplement containing zinc, cacium or magnesium
- Antidiabetic agents
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Using all these medicines along with Levofloxacin can increase the chances of side effects and can also influence the therapeutic effect of these medicines.
Shows Effects / Results In:
The time taken for Levofloxacin to show its effect depends upon the form of medicine being consumed and its intended use.
Some patients might show decreased severity of symptoms from day one but even if the symptoms have disappeared, the course of the medicine should always be completed.
Storage Requirements for Levofloxacin
-Syrups: Protect from light.
-Tablets: Protect from moisture, light, and temperatures above 40C.
Pro Tips When Taking Levofloxacin –
Even if you begin to feel better in a few days of treatment with Levofloxacin, it is advisable that you complete the entire course of treatment.
If the medicine is stopped in between, the symptoms might return or may get worsened. Also chances of bacterial resistance to drug may increase.
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Frequently asked questions
Is Levofloxacin Addictive?
No such tendency has been reported.
Can I have Levofloxacin with alcohol?
The effect of alcohol with Levofloxacin is not clear. Consult your doctor before consumption.
Any particular food item to be avoided?
- Calcium rich foods, including dairy products (such as milk, yogurt) or calcium-enriched juice, can affect the absorption of this medication.
- Take this medication at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after eating magnesium/ aluminium antacids.
- Patients receiving Levofloxacin should remain adequately hydrated to prevent the formation of highly concentrated urine.
Can I have Levofloxacin When Pregnant?
Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. The medicine should be used with great caution during pregnancy as it may have adverse effects on the foetus
Can I have Levofloxacin when feeding a baby?
Always inform your doctor if you are breast-feeding your child.
Levofloxacin is excreted in human milk so always consult your paediatrician before consuming Levofloxacin while lactating.
Can I drive after taking Levofloxacin?
Levofloxacin Tablet usually does not affect your ability to drive.
However, few patients might experience dizziness as a side effect, in such cases it should be used with caution while driving and operating heavy machinery.
What happens if I overdose on Levofloxacin?
It should not be administered in more than prescribed dose.
Taking more medication or with increased frequency will not improve your symptoms; rather they may cause serious side-effects. In case of over dosage, consult your doctor immediately.
What happens if I eat expired Levofloxacin?
It is very unlikely for a single dose of expired Levofloxacin to produce an adverse event. However, please consult your physician if you feel unwell or sick after consuming an expired medicine.
An expired drug might not be as potent in treating your condition. It is advisable to refrain from using expired drug.
What happens if I miss a dose of Levofloxacin?
The medicine may not work well if you miss a dose because for effective working of the drug, a certain amount of drug must be present in your body at all times.
Always consume the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But, if its already time to take the second dose after that – do not take double dose.