Antibiotics Home > Levaquin

Levaquin is an antibiotic used for treating various types of bacterial infections. It can also be used to prevent infection after being exposed to inhaled anthrax and to prevent or treat plague. By interfering with two important bacterial enzymes, the medication can stop bacteria from multiplying. Levaquin is available by prescription only and comes in tablet, liquid, and injection form. Potential side effects of the drug include insomnia, nausea, and diarrhea.

What Is Levaquin?

Levaquin® (levofloxacin) is a prescription antibiotic approved to treat a variety of different infections. It is also approved to prevent infection after exposure to inhaled anthrax and to prevent or treat plague.
(Click What Is Levaquin Used For? for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Levaquin is manufactured by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc.

How Does It Work?

Levaquin belongs to a group of medications known as fluoroquinolones, sometimes known just as "quinolones" for short. It works by interfering with two important bacterial enzymes (topoisomerase IV and DNA gyrase). These enzymes are necessary for bacteria to be able to copy and repair DNA (important steps required in order for bacteria to multiply).

When and How to Take Levaquin

Some general considerations include the following:
  • Levaquin comes as tablets, an oral solution (liquid), and an injection form. It is usually taken once a day.
  • You can take the tablets with food or on an empty stomach. However, the oral solution must be taken at least one hour before or two hours after a meal.
  • Levaquin can be taken at any time of the day; however, be sure to take it at the same time each day (to make sure there is approximately 24 hours between doses).
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Levaquin will not work if you stop taking it too soon.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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