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Levofloxacin (Levaquin)  

Levofloxacin (Levaquin) is an antibacterial agent which comes in a light yellowish-white to yellow-white crystal or crystalline powder with a molecular weight of 370.38. Levaquin is one of the medications from a group of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones that fights with bacteria in the body.  


Indications: Levofloxacin is indicated in the treatment of certain bacterial infections such as kidney infection (pyelonephritis), bladder infection (cystitis) or prostate infection (prostatitis). It is also used to treat people who have been exposed to anthrax. This drug also treats pneumonia and bronchitis resulted from bacterial infection. It is also effective in treating infectious diarrhea and obstetric infections such as mastitis, an infection of the breast. 


Dosage: the dosage of Levofloxacin differs depending on the type of infection. Usually, the basic dosage is 250-750 mg that is to be taken once for 5-60 days on daily basis. In order to prevent the absorption of the drug in to the body, oral formulations of antacid or minerals are to be taken at least 2 hours before the consumption of the drug. The tablets of Levofloxacin are usually available in mass of 250, 500 and 750 mg. Its injections are in volume of 5mg/ml or 25 mg/ml. The drug should be stored within the temperature of 15 to 30 degree Celsius.  


Before the medication is recommended, patients should undergo many tests before the treatment to isolate and identify the organisms causing the infection and the susceptibility to this drug.  


Contraindications: Levofloxacin maybe contraindicated in certain conditions. Levaquin may not be prescribed to patients:  

  • Suffering from kidney or liver disease 
  • Has a history of head injury or brain tumour 
  • Suffering from muscle weakness or trouble in breathing 
  • Suffering from low levels of potassium in blood 
  • Having any joint problems and diabetes 
  • Patients allergic to levofloxacin or other fluoroquinolones such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), moxifloxacin (Avelox), ofloxacin (Floxin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), and others 

Mechanism of Action (MOA): Levofloxacin is an antibiotic drug that actively works against gram-positive as well as gram-negative bacteria. It inhibits DNA gyrase (a necessitated enzyme for DNA replication), thus stalling cell division. Some of the chemical components of this drug are toxic against mammalian cell culture. 


Drug Interactions: Drugs containing minerals, iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium prevent the absorption of the Levaquin from the intestine in the blood. Hence, drugs containing these components are to be taken 2 hours before or after the consumption of Levofloxacin. Sucralfate (Carafate) and Didanosine (Videx, Videx EC) are the other drugs that can interact with Levofloxacin.  


Risk of CNS stimulation may also occur while taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with levofloxacin. Blood sugar levels may change (increase or decrease) in patients who are treated with fluoroquinolones. It may also increase theophylline (Theodur) in the blood. 


Side Effects: While some of the common side effects of Levofloxacin are headache, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness and constipation, following are some of the severe adverse reactions of the medication which require immediate medical care:  


Liver damage – Some of the symptomatic warnings of liver damage are nausea, stomach pain, weakness, fever, or abdominal pain.  

Problems in central nervous system – Consult doctor on experiencing seizures, severe depression symptoms, confusions, hallucinations, insomnia (sleeplessness) or anxiety. 


Severe allergic reactions – Stop intake of Levofloxacin on development of skin rash, hives, swelling of face, tightness in throat tightness or rapid heartbeat.