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Information about Levofloxacin

Levofloxacin is a third generation fluoroquinolone that is widely used in the treatment of mild-to-moderate respiratory and urinary tract infections due to sensitive organisms.

Liver safety of Levofloxacin

Levofloxacin has been linked to rare instances of clinically apparent hepatic injury marked by a short latency period and a hepatocellular pattern of enzyme elevations, similar to what has been described with ciprofloxacin.

Mechanism of action of Levofloxacin

Levofloxacin (lee" voe flox' a sin) is the L-enantiomer of ofloxacin and is considered a third generation fluoroquinolone. Like other fluoroquinolones, levofloxacin is active against a wide range of aerobic gram-positive and gram-negative organisms. The fluoroquinolones are believed to act by inhibition of type II DNA toposiomerases (gyrases) that are required for synthesis of bacterial mRNAs (transcription) and DNA replication. They demonstrate little inhibition of human, host enzymes and have had an excellent safety record.

FDA approval information for Levofloxacin

Levofloxacin was approved for use in the United States in 1996 and remains in wide use. Levofloxacin is used for mild-to-moderate infections, the typical indications including sinusitis, bronchitis, community acquired pneumonia, skin infections, urinary tract infections, pyelonephritis, prostatitis, plague and anthrax.

Brand name for Levofloxacin

Levofloxacin is available in generically and under the commercial name Levaquin as tablets of 250, 500 and 750 mg, the usual dose being 250 to 750 mg once daily depending upon the indication and severity of the infection. Intravenous formulations are available for moderate-to-severe infections, the usual IV dosages being 500 mg daily. Oral therapy is typically continued for 7 to 14 days, but both shorter and longer courses have been used.

Side effects of Levofloxacin

Levofloxacin, like other fluoroquinolones, is generally well tolerated, but common side effects can include gastrointestinal disturbances, headaches, skin rash and allergic reactions. Rare, but more severe side effects include QT prolongation, seizures, hallucinations, tendon rupture, hypersensitivity reactions, angioedema and photosensitivity.

List of flouroquinolones

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