Levofloxacin is a type of antibiotic that is sold both in its generic form and under several different brand names, including Levaquin. Levofloxacin is a kind of fluoroquinolone antibiotic, which means that it works by preventing the spread and growth of bacteria in the body.
What is Levofloxacin antibiotic treatment?
Levofloxacin is an antibiotic and prescription medication. It is available in both generic and branded forms, and it also comes in a range of different types, including oral tablets, solutions, and eye drops.
Levofloxacin is responsible for killing bacteria by preventing them from growing in your body. Like other similar fluoroquinolone antibiotics, Levofloxacin kills the bacteria that are 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 medication for illnesses like tonsillitis or sinusitis, however, it can also treat urinary tract infections, chlamydia, and many other common conditions too. You may be given Levofloxacin for skin infections, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infections, or a kidney infection.
Levofloxacin works by preventing the growth of bacteria in your body so that they begin to deteriorate and die. Crucially, like other bacterial antibiotics, Levofloxacin will only work for infections caused by bacteria. You will not see any results when taking this medication for viral infections like the common cold.
You should never use Levofloxacin unless it is recommended for you by your doctor. Taking an antibiotic when it is not needed may reduce its effectiveness when you really need it.
How to use Levofloxacin antibiotic treatment
The plan 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. 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 medication. This will help you to ensure that you are taking the medication correctly.
Levofloxacin in tablet form is designed to be taken by mouth, according to the dosage given by your doctor. 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, aluminium, magnesium, sucralfate, and antacids.
For the best results, you will need to take your antibiotic at evenly spaced times throughout the day. You may find it easier to use this medication 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 is the correct dosage for Levofloxacin antibiotic treatment?
The dosage prescribed for Levofloxacin will be based on several factors, including your medical background, the severity of your condition, and your reaction to other medications. Other factors that may affect the 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.
Does Levofloxacin have any side effects?
Medications like Levofloxacin can sometimes cause unintended side 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 reaction 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:
Some people who take this medication also say that they have problems sleeping. If any of these problems persist or get worse, speak to a doctor.
Seek emergency medical attention if you have 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;
- Vomiting and nausea that does not stop;
- Jaundice – yellowing eyes and skin;
- Chest pain and severe dizziness;
- Blood vessel issues that cause pain in the stomach, back or chest;
- Fast or irregular heartbeat;
- Shortness of breath.
In rare circumstances, Levofloxacin may cause a severe condition in the intestines called Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea. This happens because of exposure to a highly resistant type of bacteria. This condition can occur months after your treatment has stopped. See a doctor if you have diarrhoea that doesn’t stop, stomach pain or cramping, or mucus/blood in your stools.
Do not use any opioid medications or anti-diarrhoea tablets if you have the symptoms above as they could make them worse. Prolonged use of this medication can also lead to 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, get medical help immediately if you notice a rash, itching, or swelling around the throat, tongue or face.
When should you not use Levofloxacin antibiotic treatment?
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 or similar medications. Remember that this medication can also contain inactive ingredients which cause allergic reactions too. You should not take this medication if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
You should make sure that your consultant is aware if you have any of the following conditions before you begin using Levofloxacin:
- Joint or tendon issues;
- Kidney problems;
- Mood disorders;
- Muscle conditions like myasthenia gravis;
- Nerve problems like peripheral neuropathy;
- Blood vessel issues such as an aneurysm;
- Seizure problems;
- 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 are using water pills or diuretics.
Levofloxacin can sometimes cause significant changes in your blood sugar. This is particularly likely for people with diabetes. People who have diabetes and take Levofloxacin will be asked to check their blood sugar regularly and show the results to their doctor. You can look out for symptoms of high blood sugar too, such as an increased need to urinate or being very thirsty. You can also look out for symptoms of low blood sugar such as blurred vision, hunger, a faster heartbeat than usual, or sudden sweating or shaking. It is a good idea to carry glucose tablets and gel to treat this issue. If you do not have any forms of glucose available, you can eat a quick source of sugar instead.
If you notice any changes 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 change 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. This increases your risk of suffering from serious side effects. You must 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. You should also tell your consultant about herbal remedies.
Strontium is a medication that interacts with this medication. Additionally, although most antibiotics will not 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 contraceptive protection when you are using Levofloxacin.
This medication can sometimes interfere with the results of certain lab tests. Make sure the person testing you is aware that you are taking Levofloxacin
Where can you buy Levofloxacin?
Before taking any antibiotics, it is important to speak to a doctor.
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