Levofloxacin, sold as Levaquin and Tavanic as brand names and Oftaquix, Quixin and Iquix as ophthalmic solutions, is an antibiotic to treat severe bacterial infections. It is used to treat such bacterial infections that are life-threatening and usually can’t be cured with any other drug. It is from fluoroguinolone drug class and a synthetic chemotherapeutic drug. Levofloxacin works against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria. It inhibits cell division and replication of DNA by inhibiting an enzyme DNA gyrase which is necessary for the process.

Infections of respiratory tract, urinary tract and pelvic inflammatory disease, traveler’s diarrhea are treated by levofloxacin. It cures anthrax, endocarditis, prostatitis, and cellulitis. It is used to treat serious bacterial infections like acute bacterial sinusitis, acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, skin and skin structure infections, acute pyelonephritis, inhalational anthrax when it comes to adults but the oral and I.V. levofloxacin is limited to inhalational anthrax in case of children. In fact it is not licensed for use of children, except in case of a life-threatening condition where only this drug can help. It has 3.8% chances of musculoskeletal adverse event. Many clinical studies support the ban on oral and I.V. levofloxacin and other fluoroquinolones for the child population.

Due to the bacterial resistance of Levofloxacin some experts even believe it to be a treatment of various sexually transmitted diseases.

Some patients, due to their hypersensitivity to levofloxacin or other quinolone drugs, or those suffering from epilepsy or other seizure disorders, liver disease should avoid the drug. Also, patients that are from Southeast Asia are avoiding the drug because of prevalence of antibiotic resistance to the fluoroquinolones in Southeast Asia.

The drug is metabolized and partly eliminated through the liver and the intestine but mainly excreted by renal excretion. Therefore, the condition of the patient’s renal function and hepatic function must be kept in mind to prevent a fatal drug overdose, which is the consequence of the accumulation of the drug. Severity of infection determines the duration of the treatment (which is from3 days to 60 days) but serum levels of the patients should also be observed during therapy to prevent a drug overdose.

Patients with impaired renal function have more chances of toxic reactions to this drug; hence the alteration of the quantity is suggested using the table found within the package insert.

Fluoroquinolones are dispersed into the fetal tissues to a great extent as it quickly traverses the blood-placenta and blood-milk barrier. Therefore its concentration in plasma is equal to be found in human breast. The danger is for infants getting breastfed by mothers and pregnant women, who take levofloxacin. In the former case infants might get exposed to severe harmful reactions and in the latter case pregnant women are at the risk of abortions or giving birth to children with birth defects. It is the reason why levofloxacin is not recommended for pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis don’t remove levofloxacin completely, so maintain hydration. In case of an acute overdose, empty stomach and see a specialist.

 

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