|Type of medicine||Quinolone antibiotic|
|Used for||A variety of infections including urinary tract, skin and respiratory system infections such as sinus or chest infection|
|Also called||Tavanic®, Evoxil®|
|Available as||Tablets and injection|
Levofloxacin is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections in adults. It works by killing the bacteria that cause the infection.
Before taking levofloxacin
Before taking levofloxacin make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have kidney problems.
- If you have epilepsy or any other condition that causes convulsions (fits).
- If you have myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakening disease).
- If you have heart or heart rhythm problems.
- If you have ever had mental health problems.
- If you have glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.
How to take levofloxacin
- Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack.
- Take levofloxacin exactly as your doctor has told you.
- Keep taking this antibiotic until the course is finished, unless you are told to stop. This is important, even if you feel your infection has cleared up, in order to prevent the infection from coming back.
- You can take levofloxacin tablets before, during or after meals.
- If you have been given a brand of levofloxacin called Tavanic®, you should swallow these tablets whole without breaking them. If you have been given a brand called Evoxil®, you may break these tablets in half along the score line if needed.
- If you have been told to take more than one dose each day, spread your doses out evenly throughout the day.
- Do not take indigestion remedies, or medicines containing iron or zinc, in the 2 hours before or after you take levofloxacin.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember and then continue as before. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- If you buy any medicines, particularly anti-inflammatory painkillers, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with this antibiotic.
- Levofloxacin may cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight. Protect your skin particularly if you are exposed to strong sunlight for long periods during the day. Do not use sunbeds.
- Levofloxacin may impair your ability to concentrate. Make sure your reactions are normal before driving, operating machinery or doing other jobs which could be dangerous if you were not sufficiently alert.
- If you have diabetes, you may need to check your blood glucose levels more regularly as levofloxacin can affect the levels of sugar in your blood.
- If you still feel unwell after completing your course of this antibiotic, make another appointment to see your doctor.
- Some people develop thrush (redness and itching in the mouth or vagina) after taking a course of antibiotics. If you think you have thrush speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
- If you are using oral combined hormonal contraception (the 'pill'), additional contraceptive precautions such as condoms are not required during a course of this antibiotic unless you are sick or have diarrhoea. If you need further advice, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
- This antibiotic may stop the oral typhoid vaccine from working. If you are having any vaccinations, make sure the person treating you knows that you are taking this medicine.
Can levofloxacin cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling or being sick, indigestion, abdominal pain, and wind||Eat little and often. Stick to simple or bland foods|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids. If the diarrhoea is severe or continues to be a problem, speak with your pharmacist or doctor|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headache continues, speak with your doctor|
|Dizziness||If affected, do not drive or operate machinery|
Important: If you develop any of the following rare symptoms, contact your doctor for advice straight away:
- Swelling of your tongue, mouth, or face, or any problems with your breathing.
- A severe rash.
- Pain or inflammation in your joints (particularly in your hips, knees or ankles).
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
How to store levofloxacin
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Tavanic® 250mg, 500mg Tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, Tavanic® 250mg, 500mg Tablets, sanofi-aventis, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated September 2009.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Prof Cathy Jackson|
|Last Checked: 18/05/2012||Document ID: 3218 Version: 24||© EMIS|
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