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Prescription Drugs

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Brand Name


Common Name


In this drug factsheet:

DIN (Drug Identification Number)


How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Levofloxacin belongs to the class of medications called quinolones. It is an antibiotic used for the treatment of certain bacterial infections. It is most commonly used to treat infections of the bladder, kidney, prostate, sinus, skin, and lung.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use this medication?

The usual recommended adult dose of levofloxacin ranges from 250 mg to 750 mg daily. The exact dose depends on the condition being treated and other medical conditions present.

This medication may be taken with or without food. Levofloxacin should be taken at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after antacids containing calcium, magnesium, or aluminum; sucralfate; or vitamin and mineral tablets containing calcium, iron, or zinc. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids each day while taking levofloxacin.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones given here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

250 mg
Each terra cotta pink, modified rectangular, film-coated tablet, engraved with "N" on one side and "250" on the other side, contains 250 mg of levofloxacin. Nonmedicinal ingredients: crospovidone, FD&C Blue No. 2, FD&C Yellow No. 6, FD&C Red No. 40, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, and titanium dioxide.

500 mg
Each peach, modified rectangular, film-coated tablet, engraved with "N" on one side and "500" on the other side, contains 500 mg of levofloxacin. Nonmedicinal ingredients: crospovidone, glycerol triacetate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polydextrose, red iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, and titanium dioxide.

750 mg
Each white, modified rectangular, film-coated tablet, engraved with "N" on one side and "750" on the other side, contains 750 mg of levofloxacin. Nonmedicinal ingredients: crospovidone, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, and titanium dioxide.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to levofloxacin or any ingredients of the medication
  • are allergic to other quinolone antibiotics
  • are pregnant or nursing
  • have a history of tendinitis or tendon rupture that happened while taking any of the quinolone antibiotics

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • abdominal or stomach pain or discomfort (mild)
  • difficulty sleeping
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • heartburn
  • increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  • lightheadedness
  • mild diarrhea
  • nausea or vomiting
  • nervousness
  • vaginal pain and discharge

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • abnormal vision
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • joint pain
  • muscle pain
  • swelling of the hands, feet, or ankles (if you are not having difficulty breathing)

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • abdominal or stomach cramps or pain (severe)
  • blisters on mucous membranes, with fever
  • chest pain
  • confusion or changes in thought patterns
  • diarrhea (watery and severe; may also be bloody)
  • irregular or fast heart rate
  • pain, inflammation, or swelling in the shoulders, hands, or calves
  • pain, swelling, or rupture of a tendon
  • sensation of skin burning
  • seizures
  • signs of an allergic reaction, e.g.:
    • difficulty breathing
    • hives
    • swelling of the face, tongue, or throat
  • skin rash, especially if skin is blistering, loosening, or peeling

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are any nutrients depleted by this medication?

Some medications can affect vitamin and nutrient levels in the body. Below is a list of nutrient depletions associated with this medication. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether taking a supplement is recommended or if you have any questions or concerns.

Teva-Levofloxacin may deplete vitamin K

How can this nutrient deficiency impact me?
Vitamin K plays a vital role in blood clotting and bone formation. Deficiency can result in bleeding and bone disorders such as osteoporosis, rickets, and osteomalacia. Vitamin K is available in supplements such as Webber Naturals Vitamin K+D. Before starting any nutrient supplement, always talk with your Rexall™ Pharmacist.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.


March 14, 2012

Health Canada has issued new information concerning the use of levofloxacin. To read the full report, visit Health Canada's website at

A previous advisory on levofloxacin was issued on November 7, 2011.

To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada's web site at

Allergic reactions: In rare cases, some people may develop an allergic reaction to this medication. Signs of an allergic reaction include a severe rash, swollen face, or difficulty breathing. If these occur, contact your doctor immediately.

Blood sugar levels: People who have diabetes who take medications for their blood sugar can have a low blood sugar reaction if taking levofloxacin. Blood sugar levels should be checked more often in people taking medications like glyburide or insulin.

Kidney function: Anyone with reduced kidney function should use levofloxacin with caution.

Nervous system disorders: Rare cases of disorders that affect the nervous system have been reported by people taking this medication. If you are experiencing seizures, tremors, confusion, hallucinations, depression, agitation, anxiety, paranoia, or disturbing thoughts, contact your doctor immediately.

Neuromuscular disorders: People with myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune disorder that causes muscle weakness) should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Seizures: Levofloxacin should be used with caution by anyone who has had a seizure or has a condition that makes seizures more likely.

Stomach problems (especially colitis): In rare cases, levofloxacin may cause a condition called pseudomembranous colitis (serious antibiotic-induced diarrhea). Therefore, if diarrhea occurs after starting the medication, contact your doctor.

Sun sensitivity: People who take levofloxacin are more likely to experience sunburn. While taking levofloxacin, use caution if you spend time in the sun. Stop taking the medication if sun sensitivity occurs.

Tendinitis: Levofloxacin may increase the chance of tendon injury. Injuries occur more commonly for seniors who also take corticosteroid medications. If you feel any new pain in the tendons, stop taking levofloxacin, avoid physical exercise, and consult your doctor.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, stop taking it immediately and call your doctor.

Breast-feeding: Levofloxacin may pass into breast milk. If taking levofloxacin is considered essential, stop breast-feeding.

Children and adolescents: The safety and effectiveness of levofloxacin for children and adolescents younger than 18 years of age have not been established. Levofloxacin should not be used by those who have not reached puberty, since it may affect the normal growth of bones.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between levofloxacin and any of the following:

  • aminophylline
  • amiodarone
  • antacids containing aluminum hydroxide, calcium, and magnesium hydroxide (do not take within 2 hours of levofloxacin)
  • antidiabetes medications
  • anti-inflammatories (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs])
  • buffered antiretroviral medications (e.g., didanosine)
  • caffeine
  • calcium supplements and multivitamins containing calcium (do not take within 2 hours of levofloxacin)
  • certain medications taken to control heart rhythm (e.g. disopyramide, quinidine, sotalol)
  • cisapride
  • erythromycin
  • iron supplements and multivitamins containing iron (do not take within 2 hours of levofloxacin)
  • sucralfate (do not take within 2 hours of levofloxacin)
  • theophylline
  • tricyclic antidepressants
  • warfarin
  • zinc supplements and multivitamins containing zinc (do not take within 2 hours of levofloxacin)

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

All material © 1996-2014 MediResource Inc. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.