The levofloxacin is a drug used in medicine as a broad spectrum antibiotic . It is part of the quinolone family , chemotherapeutic substances that interrupt or inhibit enzymes in the DNA chains of some microorganisms. Its properties are useful in attacking a wide range of bacteria , both Gram positive and Gram negative.Quinolones such as levofloxacin are called chemotherapeutic due to their selective toxicity . Also, they are not like the rest of the antibiotics. Quinolones are chemical compounds developed by a synthetic process as is, and do not come from microorganisms , as happens with penicillins , for example.Levofloxacin, like most fluoroquinolones, does not affect mammalian cells , because although they carry a topoisomerase similar to DNA gyrase in bacteria, it is not affected by the drug. There is no risk of genetic attack in macroscopic organisms such as mammals.

What is levofloxacin for?

Levofloxacin is a powerful antibiotic that attacks the root problem, preventing the growth of the microorganism population.

It serves to:

  • Stop bacterial reproduction
  • Fight diseases
  • Attack disease-causing bacteria

Stop bacterial reproduction

The levofloxacin reaction mechanism operates by inhibiting or disrupting two enzymes in bacterial DNA: DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV . When they are stopped, alterations are produced in the helical folds of the DNA chains, in the girA and girB subunits of DNA gyrase. This prevents the chain from unwinding and the bacterial genetic material cannot continue to replicate, preventing the reproduction of pathogens.

It is because of these actions on bacterial DNA, both Gram negative and Gram positive, that levofloxacin is used as a treatment against multiple diseases in which conventional antibiotics such as penicillins are not as effective.

Fight diseases

Levofloxacin is a potent antibiotic drug

Levofloxacin is responsible for effectively fighting diseases caused by bacterial infection, such as the following, for example:

Pneumonia: Its most common use is as an effective antibiotic in treating pneumonia, both in animals and humans. Especially in nosocomial bacterial pneumonia, where most commercial antibiotics do not offer a sufficient response.

Urinary infections: Due to its medium to high effectiveness against Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis , levofloxacin is used to control recurrent or chronic urinary and genital infections, in which bacteria have created resistance to conventional antibiotics.

Eye infections: Levofloxacin is used to treat eye infections caused by bacteria, such as bacterial conjunctivitis; for this it is used in an isotonic solution with a low percentage of the drug.

Skin infections: Levofloxacin is used in skin and soft tissue infections, such as wounds, tumors, abscesses, boils and infectious cellulitis. For this purpose, it is generally taken orally, or in special cases that require immediate activity, intravenously , since the topical effects are delayed.

In general, levofloxacin treats the diseases:

  • Pneumonia
  • Nosocomial pneumonia
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Peritonitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Pyelonephritis
  • Prostate infections
  • Anthrax
  • Urinary infections
  • Kidney infections
  • Soft tissue infections
  • Bacterial vaginitis
  • Impetigo
  • Infectious cellulitis
  • Abscesses
  • Wound infections

Attack disease-causing bacteria

The bacteria affected by this drug encompass three main natures:

  • Causes of pneumonia
  • Causes of urinary, kidney and intestinal infections
  • Causes of skin and soft tissue infections

Causes of Pneumonia:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Chlamydia pneumoniae
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Haemophilus parainfluenzae
  • Moraxella catarrhalis
  • Legionella pneumophila
  • Chlamydia pneumoniae
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae

Causes of urinary, kidney and intestinal infections:

  • Enterobacter cloacae
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • Escherichia coli
  • Proteus mirabilis

Causes of skin and soft tissue infections:

  • Streptococcus pyogenes
  • Staphylococcus aureus

Contraindications to levofloxacin

Levofloxacin attacks the reproduction of pathogens, such as pneumococci.

Levofloxacin works against many pathogens that are resistant to conventional antibiotics , but its powerful side effects, especially at the level of joints and the nervous system, its use is very limited only to adult patients .

Due to its pharmacological power, it may be related to the resistance acquired by bacteria to commercial antibiotics. For this reason, many countries seek to restrict its use for farms.

Being a very powerful antibiotic and chemotherapeutic, the toxic and adverse effects of levofloxacin occur to the same degree, in people such as:

  • Patients allergic to levofloxacin.
  • Patients sensitive to the composition of the formula.
  • Patients with chronic diseases involving kidney damage, intestinal and nervous system problems.
  • Patients with joint problems
  • Patients with neuronal problems
  • Lactating women. Like other quinolones, it is excreted in breast milk, affecting the baby’s joints.
  • Pregnant women. Studies in laboratory rats show the increased risk of malformations, low birth weight and especially perinatal death.
  • Adolescents and children under 18 years of age .

Some medications interfere with the absorption of levofloxacin, especially those that contain minerals such as aluminum, magnesium, calcium or zinc, since all these salts reduce the absorption of the medication .

Therefore, it is not advisable to use multivitamins, antacids or those drugs that contain these elements as excipients, at least during the first two hours after taking levofloxacin.

Side effects of levofloxacin

Among the best known side effects of levofloxacin are:

  • Arthropathy or osteochondrosis in adolescents and children, and in young laboratory animals.
  • Rupture of tendons and joints in people with joint problems.
  • Temporary mental disorders in people with neuronal problems.
  • Increased intracranial pressure.
  • Possibility of seizures in patients highly sensitive to quinolones.
  • Possibility of seizures in patients with a history of epilepsy.
  • Allergies
  • Anaphylactic shock

Due to its powerful activity, levofloxacin should be administered only in very specific cases, always under full medical supervision, since, like other antibiotics, it can trigger allergies and the obviously dangerous side effects mentioned above. Therefore, in many countries it is only sold with a prescription.

This article is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional judgment. Consult your doctor.

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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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