Levaquin is the trade name of the drug levofloxacin, created and distributed by drug giant Johnson & Johnson's, which belongs to a collection of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones (flor-o-KWIN-o-lones). Like other drugs of its class, the Levaquin antibiotic is a drug that helps fight bacteria in the body.
A miracle drug?
Doctor's are known to prescribe Levaquin to their patients to treat a number of conditions, including:
- infections in the kidney, skin, prostate, bladder and sinuses
- anthrax exposure
As can be expected, these are extremely serious medical conditions which, if not treated effectively with Levaquin antibiotic can quickly lead to other, more serious and potentially life threatening, complications. Medical practitioners therefore welcome the addition of drugs , including Levaquin in generic or branded form, as true miracle workers in their fight against serious bacterially infectious diseases.
What patients say
Whether they were prescribed Levaquin 500 mg or Levaquin 750 mg, patients have generally provided positive feedback about their experience with the drug. For instance, some patients reported less after effects from using the J&J branded version of the drug compared to the generic Levaquin Ciprofloxacin (Cetraxal, Cipro, Ciloxan). They did, however, admit to feeling "achy" and reported some instances of "muscles feeling tense".
J&J's Levaquin is also reportedly a faster-acting drug than some of the generic versions available. According to some patients taking the branded (J&J) version, the irritation and the pain they felt, as a result of the kidney infection they suffered from, subsided within one day. Others, who suffered from more severe conditions, reported full recovery from a once-a-day course for 7 days.
Some patients felt that the Levaquin price they had to pay was extremely high, which makes a strong case for generic Levaquin. However, since most drug coverage and insurance plans do cover these drugs (either fully or to a significant extent), price might not be a significant issue when deciding on life-saving medication - at least not for some patients.
What the regulators say
Regulators, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have approved applications from a number of generic Levaquin alternates, including from companies such as:
- Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co. Inc.
- Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Sandoz Inc.
- Lupin Ltd.
- Glenmark Generics Ltd.
- Teva Pharmaceuticals USA
- Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
- Wockhardt Ltd.
This act in and of itself would indicate a strong endorsement of the safety and effectiveness of Levaquin and other levofloxacin's in the treatment of some of the most powerful bacterial infections known to mankind. However, whether it is levofloxacin 500 mg or levofloxacin 750 mg that's being prescribed, or whether patients are using levofloxacin in tablet, injectable or soluble form, regulators have mandated that all packages contain warnings that alert both doctors and patients about the increased risk of tendon rupture and tendinitis associated with these drugs.
According to FDA requirements, the warnings should also caution about the possibility that these drugs could worsen muscle weakness in people with myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease, as well as be detrimental for patients taking corticosteroid drugs.