Levofloxacin is an antibiotic and prescription drug. This substance is available in both generic and branded forms, and it also comes in a range of different dosages, including oral tablets, solutions, and an eye drop. More information

A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.

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Patient Leaflet(s)

Levofloxacin is a type of antibiotic that is sold both in its generic form and under a number of different brand names, including Levaquin. Levofloxacin is a kind of fluroquinolone antibiotic, which means that it works by preventing the spread and growth of bacteria in the body.  

What is Levofloxacin? 

Levofloxacin is an antibiotic and prescription drug. This substance is available in both generic and branded forms, and it also comes in a range of different dosages, including oral tablets, solutions, and an eye drop. 

Levofloxacin is responsible for killing bacteria by preventing the substances from growing in your body. Like other similar fluroquinolone antibiotics, Levofloxacin kills the bacteria that is causing an infection. The medication may be used in combination with painkillers and other medications that control the side effects of your infection.  

When is Levofloxacin used? 

Levofloxacin is a medication that can be used to treat a broad spectrum of bacterial infections. Some doctors and consultants will prescribe this substance for things like tonsillitis or sinusitis; however, it can also work on urinary tract infections, chlamydia, and many other common conditions too. You may be given Levofloxacin for skin infections, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infections, kidney infections and more.  

 Levofloxacin works by preventing the growth of bacteria in your body so that it begins to deteriorate and die out. Crucially, like other bacterial antibiotics, Levofloxacin will only work for infections caused by bacteria. You will not see any results when taking this substance for viral infections like the common cold.  

You should never use Levofloxacin unless it is recommended for you by your doctor. Taking any antibiotic when it is not needed may reduce the effectiveness of the tablet or substance when you really need it.  

How do you use Levofloxacin? 

The strategy that you will need to use to take Levofloxacin will depend on the kind of medication that you are given. Intravenous forms of this medication are only administered by doctors and nurses and cannot be taken on your own. You will need to follow a different set of instructions to the ones below if you are taking the eye drop or liquid version of Levofloxacin.  

When you are given Levofloxacin for the treatment of a bacterial infection, it will come with a patient leaflet. Make sure that you read the information in that guide carefully before you begin taking the drug. This will help you to ensure that you are taking the medication correctly.  

Levofloxacin in pill form is designed to be taken by mouth, according to the dosage given by your consultant. Take this medication at least two hours before or after taking other products that may work less well with Levofloxacin. This includes vitamins and minerals that contain zinc or iron, and products that contain calcium, aluminum, magnesium, sucralfate, and antacids.  

For the best effects from Levofloxacin, you will need to take your antibiotic at evenly spaced times throughout the day. You may find it easier to use this drug regularly if you take it at the same time each day. You can also set alarms to remind you.  

Levofloxacin can be taken with or without food. Some people find that they are less likely to have gastrointestinal side effects with antibiotics when they take them with food. Remember to drink plenty of fluids when you are using this medication to keep yourself hydrated.  

What dosages are there? 

The dosage prescribed for Levofloxacin will be based on a number of factors, including your medical background, the severity of your condition, and your response to other medications. Other factors that may affect your dosage include your age and weight. It is important to complete the full prescribed course that is given to you.  

You may begin to feel better after just a couple of days of taking Levofloxacin. However, stopping your medication ahead of time increases the risk that your infection will come back. If you do not notice any improvement after a few days of taking Levofloxacin, speaking to your doctor.  

What are the side effects of Levofloxacin? 

Medications like Levofloxacin can sometimes cause unintended side effects alongside their intended effects. Though not everyone will experience these side effects, it can be useful to be aware of them, so you know how to handle your response to the medication. Many of the most common side effects associated with Levofloxacin will diminish on their own as your body recovers.  

The most common side effects of Levofloxacin include nausea, headaches, diarrhea, lightheadedness and dizziness. Some of the people who take this medication also say that they struggle with problems sleeping. If these problems persist or get worse, speak to a doctor.  

Seek emergency medical attention if you have any more severe side effects, including: 

  • Sudden bleeding or bruising; 
  • Possible signs of problems with your kidneys, such as a change in the amount you urinate; 
  • Live problem signs, such as vomiting and nausea that doesn’t stop; 
  • Jaundice – yellowing eyes and skin; 
  • Chest pain and severe dizziness; 
  • Blood vessel issues that cause pain in the stomach, back or chest; 
  • Fainting; 
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat; 
  • Shortness of breath. 

In rare circumstances, Levofloxacin may cause a severe condition in the intestines called Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea. This happens because of exposure to a highly resistant type of bacteria. This condition can occur months after your treatment has already stopped. Seek doctor help if you have diarrhea that doesn’t stop, stomach pain or cramping, or mucus/blood in your stool.  

Do not use any opioid medications or anti-diarrhea tablets if you have the symptoms above as they could make them worse. Prolonged use of this medication can also lead to new yeast infections and oral thrush. Speak to a doctor if you see white patches in your mouth or a change in your vaginal discharge.  

Very serious allergic reactions to this medication are rare. However, contact help immediately if you notice a rash, itching, or swelling around the throat, tongue or face.  

When shouldn't you use Levofloxacin? 

Levofloxacin will not be the best treatment for everyone. Before you start using this medication, you will need to answer all the questions asked by your consultant truthfully. Make sure that your consultant knows about your medical history, and any allergies you have to this medication or similar drugs. Remember that this substance can also contain inactive ingredients which cause allergic reactions too. You should not take this medication if you are pregnant or breast feeding. 

You should make sure that your consultant is aware if you have any of the following conditions before you begin using Levofloxacin: 

  • Diabetes; 
  • Joint or tendon issues; 
  • Kidney problems; 
  • Mood disorders; 
  • Muscle conditions like myasthenia gravis; 
  • Nerve problems like peripheral neuropathy; 
  • Blood vessel issues like an aneurysm; 
  • Seizure disorders; 
  • High blood pressure; 
  • Genetic conditions like Marfan syndrome. 

In rare cases, Levofloxacin can cause a condition that affects the rhythm of the heart. This condition is called QT prolongation, and it can cause serious fast or irregular heart rhythms. Your risk of this condition can be heightened if you are taking other medications that also increase your chances of QT prolongation. Make sure your consultant is aware of any family history of heart problems that you may have. Low levels of magnesium or potassium in your blood can also heighten your risk of QT prolongation. Your risk levels may increase if you’re using water pills or diuretics.  

Levofloxacin can sometimes cause significant changes in your blood sugar. This is particularly likely for people with diabetes. Those who have diabetes and take Levofloxacin will be asked to check their blood sugar regularly and share the results with their doctor. You can watch for symptoms of high blood sugar too, such as an increased need to urinate or high levels of thirst. You can also watch for symptoms of low blood sugar such as blurred vision, hunger, faster heartbeats than usual, or sudden sweating or shaking. It’s a good idea to carry glucose tablets and get gel to treat this issue. If you don’t have any forms of glucose available, you can eat a quick source of sugar instead.  

If you notice any reactions in your blood sugar when taking Levofloxacin it is important to make sure that your doctor is aware of the problem straight away. You may need to be switched to another medication or antibiotic if your doctor thinks that Levofloxacin is not safe for you.  

Does Levofloxacin interact with any other medications? 

Sometimes, two medications that you are taking at the same time can interact poorly. This increases your risk of suffering from serious side effects. It’s important that you tell your consultant about all of the medications that you are already taking before you begin using Levofloxacin. This includes any over the counter medications that you have purchased, or prescription tablets. It is also worth telling your consultant about herbal remedies.  

Strontium is a drug that interacts negatively with this drug. Additionally, although most antibiotics will not negatively affect the performance of the hormonal birth control pill, some can decrease the effectiveness of these pills. Speak to your doctor about whether you need to use extra forms of protection when you are using Levofloxacin.  

This medication can sometimes interfere with the results of certain lab tests. Make sure lab personnel are aware that you are taking Levofloxacin  

Where can you buy Levofloxacin? 

Before taking any antibiotics it is important to see your doctor face to face, you can then complete an online questionairre and dicuss your condition with 

Can you get Levofloxacin without a prescription?  

Levofloxacin is not available without a prescription. You will need to complete a full consultation to ensure this medication is safe for you.  


Drugs.com online, 2019, “Levofloxacin”, [Accessed 3rd of December 2019], Available on: https://www.drugs.com/mtm/levofloxacin.html 

Medline plus, 2019, online, “Levoflaxacin” [Accessed 3rd of December 2019], Available on: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a697040.html 

RXList, online, 2019, “Levaquin” [Accessed 3rd of December 2019], Available on: https://www.rxlist.com/levaquin-drug.htm  

Assessed by:

Dr Imran Malik, General practitioner
Registration number: GMC: 4741365

Dr Imran Malik studied undergraduate medicine at King's College University in Central London and clinical studies at the prestigious King's College Hospital. He graduated with a MBBS degree in 2000 and went on to gain postgraduate memberships with the Royal Society of Medicine and also General Practice in 2006.