Levaquin
Last Edited: April 20th, 2012

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Levaquin is a prescription antibiotic that is frequently prescribed by physicians. The generic version of this drug is called levofloxacin. It is also known by Leva-Pak. Levaquin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections in the body. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics work by preventing the bacteria from growing. Levaquin suppresses the enzymes topoisomerase IV and DNA gyrase. This inhibition keeps the bacteria from reproducing.

What Conditions Does Levaquin Treat?

Levaquin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that will treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. It is effective for skin conditions, respiratory ailments, and prostate infections. It is also a drug of choice to treat anthrax infection.

What Are The Possible Side Effects of Levaquin?

  • Diarrhea
  • Joint pain or Tendon damage
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Psychiatric problems such as hallucinations, depression, and confusion.
  • Vaginitis
  • Headache
  • Allergic reactions such as rash, itching, hives, angioedema, or anaphylaxis
  • Sensitivity to sunlight, including sunburn.

This is not all possible side effects that can occur with Levaquin. Please contact your physician or pharmacist if you believe you may be having an adverse reaction to this drug.

Who Should Not Use Levaquin?

  • Anyone suffering from a non-bacterial illness. An antibiotic will not work for viral illnesses such as influenza.
  • Anyone who has a known allergy to Levaquin or other antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone medication class.
  • People taking certain drugs that cause dangerous interactions with Levaquin.
  • If you have kidney, liver, or heart disease, you may need to be watched closely by a physician in order to take Levaquin safely.

Levaquin Drug Interactions

Some medications that may be prescribed can interact in mild to dangerous ways. Please make sure your doctor is aware of everything you are taking. Even certain nutritional supplements can cause dangerous drug interactions. Always consult your pharmacist or physician if you are unsure if Levaquin is safe to take with your current medications or supplements. Please discuss this with your pharmacist if you are currently taking any of these medications. You may need to take a lower dose or not be able to take Levaquin at all. Some of the following medications may have adverse reactions with Levaquin.

  • Anticoagulants such as Warfarin and Coumadin
  • Narcotics
  • Diabetic Medications and Insulin injections
  • Theophylline
  • Other Antibiotics
  • Certain antidepressants such as amitryptiline
  • Antimalarial drugs
  • Other psychiatric drugs such as Haldol, Geodon, Orap, and Clozaril.
  • Anti-nausea medications
  • Migraine drugs such as Imitrex.
  • NSAID's such as ibuprofen, naproxen, Celebrex, and many others.
  • Steroids such as prednisone.
  • Antacids (must be taken 2 hours or more before in order to get an effective dose of antibiotic)
  • Multivitamins with minerals (some vitamins can cause the drug to not work as well. Take vitamin supplements at least two hours prior to the antibiotic.)

Many other drugs could potentially have adverse reactions. This is not a list of all interactions.

Breastfeeding and Pregnancy

Levaquin does enter into breast milk. Nursing mothers should not breastfeed while taking this medication. This drug is in pregnancy category C. There are possible concerns of fetotoxicity and problems with the growth of bones and cartilage in the fetus. The risks and benefits of this drug should be discussed with your physician prior to taking it.