What Is Levofloxacin Used For?

Levofloxacin is an antibiotic medication that is used to treat pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, and infections of the kidneys, prostate, sinuses, urinary tract and skin, states MedlinePlus. It may also be used to prevent anthrax in people who have been exposed and to treat certain sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis.

Doctors may also prescribe levofloxacin to treat traveler's diarrhea, plague and a heart infection called endocarditis, according to MedlinePlus. Levofloxacin may interact with a variety of prescription and nonprescription medications, so it is important for patients to notify their physicians of all their current medications. Because levofloxacin can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion and tiredness, patients are advised to abstain from driving or operating heavy machinery until they are aware of how the medication affects them. Avoiding excessive sun exposure is also recommended while taking levofloxacin, as it may make skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Potential side effects of levofloxacin include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn and headache, states MedlinePlus. Women may also experience vaginal itching or discharge. Reporting these side effects to a doctor is advised if they are severe or unrelieved. Serious side effects, such as tendinitis, tendon rupture, dizziness, confusion, restlessness, anxiety, hallucinations and suicidal thoughts, require an immediate call to a doctor.

Available by prescription as a tablet or as a liquid, it is normally taken once a day. To avoid unpleasant side effects, Mayo Clinic advises drinking 8 ounces of water with each dosage of levofloxacin and drinking several glasses of water throughout the day.