Levofloxacin is an antibiotic that is used for treating bacterial infections. Many common infections in humans are caused by bacteria. Bacteria can grow and multiply, infecting different parts of the body. Drugs that control and eradicate these bacteria are called antibiotics. Levofloxacin is an antibiotic that stops multiplication of bacteria by preventing the reproduction and repair of their genetic material, DNA. It is in a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones, a class that includes ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), trovafloxacin (Trovan), and lomefloxacin (Maxaquin). The FDA approved levofloxacin in December 1996.
The usual dose is 250-750 mg given once daily for 3-14 days depending on the type of infection. Anthrax is treated with 500 mg daily for 60 days. It is important to take oral formulations at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after any antacid or mineral supplement containing iron, calcium, zinc, or magnesium since these bind levofloxacin and prevent its absorption into the body.
Levofloxacin is not recommended for use in pregnant women since levofloxacin causes joint and bone deformities in juvenile animals of several species.