A number of different bacterial infections can be treated with the antibiotic levofloxacin. Uses of this medication include the treatment of bronchitis, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and skin infections. The drug can also be used to prevent infection after exposure to inhaled anthrax and to prevent and treat plague.
Levofloxacin (Levaquin®) is an antibiotic used to treat a variety of different infections in adults, including:
- Sinus infections
- Skin infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney infections
- Prostate infections
- Plague infections.
Levofloxacin is also approved to prevent infection after exposure to inhaled anthrax in adults and children. In addition, it can be used to prevent and treat plague in adults and children.
Levofloxacin is approved for treating the infections listed above only when they are caused by certain types of bacteria. Not all bacteria will respond to levofloxacin. Also, bacteria have different resistance patterns in different regions of the country. This means that some bacteria may be susceptible to levofloxacin in certain parts of the country but not in others. Levofloxacin is completely ineffective for treating viral illnesses (such as the common cold or the flu).
In some situations, your healthcare provider may perform certain tests to see if your particular infection is susceptible or resistant to levofloxacin. In other situations, your healthcare provider may decide to try levofloxacin without such tests, especially for infections that are not severe.
Levofloxacin is a "broad spectrum" antibiotic, which means it is effective against a wide variety of different types of bacteria. It is often used to treat an infection while tests are being done to see which antibiotics are effective for treating a specific infection. If the results of such tests show that an antibiotic with a narrower spectrum of activity will be effective, your healthcare provider may choose to switch you to such an antibiotic. Doing so may help limit antibacterial resistance, since overuse of broad spectrum antibiotics may increase the risk of developing bacteria that are resistant to medications.