Levaquin is an antibiotic drug from the fluoroquinolone family that is prescribed to treat bacterial infections of the skin, bladder, kidneys, prostate, and the bacteria that cause respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Levaquin may also be recommended to treat atypical pneumonia (walking pneumonia) caused by mycoplasma, which is unlike a virus or bacteria.
You can do your part to decrease the likelihood of these bacteria becoming resistant to Levaquin or generic Levofloxacin by taking it as directed and for the period prescribed, even if you are feeling better. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
In order for bacteria to thrive, they require DNA strands within their cells to split apart and reattach. When taken as directed, Levaquin is digested and absorbed into your bloodstream so it can find its way to the bacteria. The process of the DNA strands splitting is targeted by Levaquin so the strands cannot reattach. This is an essential step for the bacteria to multiply and without it; the cells die as do the bacteria. Levaquin is a bactericidal drug, which means that it will kill the bacteria and not just stop its ability to grow or multiply.
Urinary tract infections (UTI) seem to be a common reason for prescribing Levaquin, a third generation quinolone medication. Urinary tract infections are more prevalent in women due to the shorter urethra and the close proximity of the anus. Women that are sexually active also tend to have more UTIs than women who are less active.
Staphylococcus bacteria are found on our own skin and, for the most part, cause no harm. However, if there is an injury or surgical procedure that has left an opening or wound, a Staph infection can occur as the germs find their way inside and can cause osteomyelitis, a bone infection. Others that are at risk for osteomyelitis are people with prosthetic limbs and implanted orthopedic joints that can become infected as these are replaced.
Should the infection be severe enough to require hospitalization, you could receive Levaquin intravenously until you are discharged and instructed to continue with the oral medication at home for a specific period of time.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or are breast feeding before taking Levaquin as it could be unsafe for your unborn or nursing baby. Discuss other medical conditions you have and list all Rx medication you are taking, including OTC drugs and herbal, mineral, or vitamin supplements. This will assist your doctor in determining if Levaquin is the right drug for your situation.
Tendon problems have been associated with taking Levaquin, the Achilles in particular. If you have existing issues with tendons or muscles, you should not take Levaquin or other fluoroquinolone drugs. Until you know how your body will react to Levaquin, avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing any task that is considered unsafe if you are not alert and in control.