Levofloxacin

Please note: This is for information only.

Refer to local guidelines for treatment recommendations.


  • A quinolone antibiotic similar to ofloxacin and ciprofloxacin.
  • Excellent bioavailability (>90%) following oral administration.
  • Excellent tissue penetration.
  • Usual adult dose 500 mg po once daily (increased to BD for severe infection)
  • Dose reduction necessary in renal impairment
  • Tablets disperse in water after 10 mins if swallowing is difficult.
  • Contraindicated in epileptics.
  • Caution in elderly patients on steroids - risk of achilles tendonitis/rupture
  • High risk of Clostridium difficile antibiotic-associated diarrhoea if prescribed for elderly inpatients.

Main indications

  • Restricted

Active against most strains of:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae (but can't be relied on for pneumococcal septicaemia - add benzylpencillin)
  • Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis
  • Legionella
  • Atypical pneumonia pathogens (Mycoplasma, Chlamydia)
  • Coliforms (E.coli, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Proteus)
  • Staph.aureus (but NOT MRSA)
  • Pseudomonas (slightly less active than ciprofloxacin)

Not active against most strains of:

  • MRSA
  • Enterococci
  • Anaerobes (Clostridium, Bacteroides)