Drugs

Levofloxacin

Levofloxacin

Other Names: Levaquin Drug Class: Opportunistic Infections and Coinfections
What is levofloxacin?

What is levofloxacin?

Levofloxacin is an antibacterial prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of certain infections, including pneumonia, acute worsening of chronic bronchitis, anthrax, urinary tract infections, acute sinus infections, and others.

One of the infections mentioned above—pneumonia—is a type of bacterial respiratory disease and is an opportunistic infection (OI) of HIV. An OI is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems—such as people with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about OIs, read the AIDSinfo What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet.

How is levofloxacin used in people with HIV?

How is levofloxacin used in people with HIV?

The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents include recommendations on the uses of levofloxacin in people with HIV.

Using a medicine as indicated on the medicine label is called on-label use; using the medicine in a different way is called off-label use. Off-label use, for example, can include using a drug for a different disease or medical condition. Good medical practice and the best interests of a patient sometimes require that a medicine be used off-label.

The guidelines include recommendations on the following uses of levofloxacin:

On-label uses:
  • Treat certain bacterial respiratory diseases, including pneumonia
Off-label uses:

The above list may not include all of the HIV-related uses of levofloxacin recommended in the guidelines. Some recommended uses, such as uses in certain rare circumstances, may have been omitted.

What should I tell my health care provider before taking levofloxacin?

What should I tell my health care provider before taking levofloxacin?

Before taking levofloxacin, tell your health care provider:

  • If you are allergic to levofloxacin or any other medicines.
  • About any medical conditions you have or have had, for example, diabetes or liver problems.
  • About anything that could affect your ability to take medicines, such as difficulty swallowing or remembering to take tablets.
  • About any health conditions that may prevent you from receiving medicine by injection or infusion.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Whether levofloxacin can harm an unborn baby is unknown. Levofloxacin should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Talk to your health care provider about possible risks with taking levofloxacin when pregnant.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you have HIV.
  • About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Levofloxacin may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how levofloxacin works. Ask your health care provider if there are interactions between levofloxacin and the other medicines you take.

Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from levofloxacin. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.

How should I take levofloxacin?

How should I take levofloxacin?

Take levofloxacin according to your health care provider’s instructions. Your health care provider will tell you how much levofloxacin to take and when to take it. Before you start levofloxacin and each time you get a refill, read any printed information that comes with your medicine.

How should levofloxacin be stored?

How should levofloxacin be stored?

  • Store levofloxacin tablets and injection solution at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Store levofloxacin oral solution at 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
  • Keep levofloxacin in the container that it came in and keep the container tightly closed.
  • Do not use levofloxacin if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.
  • Throw away levofloxacin that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
  • Keep levofloxacin and all medicines out of reach of children.

Where can I find more information about levofloxacin?

Where can I find more information about levofloxacin?

More information about levofloxacin is available:

The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Injection (solution); Oral solution; Tablet, film coated.

Last Reviewed: February 11, 2019