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Levofloxacin : a review of its use as a high-dose, short-course treatment for bacterial infection.


PMID 18318569

Abstract

Levofloxacin (Levaquin) is a fluoroquinolone antibacterial that is the L-isomer of ofloxacin. A high-dose (750 mg) short-course (5 days) of once-daily levofloxacin is approved for use in the US in the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), acute bacterial sinusitis (ABS), complicated urinary tract infections (UTI) and acute pyelonephritis (AP). The broad spectrum antibacterial profile of levofloxacin means that monotherapy is often a possibility in patients with CAP at times when other agents may require combination therapy, although levofloxacin can be used in combination therapy when necessary. The high-dose, short-course levofloxacin regimen maximizes its concentration-dependent bactericidal activity and may reduce the potential for resistance to emerge. In addition, this regimen lends itself to better compliance because of the shorter duration of treatment and the convenient once-daily administration schedule. Oral levofloxacin is rapidly absorbed and is bioequivalent to the intravenous formulation; importantly, patients can transition between the formulations, which results in more options in regards to the treatment regimen and the potential for patients with varying degrees of illness to be treated. Levofloxacin has good tissue penetration and an adequate concentration can be maintained in the urinary tract to treat uropathogens. Levofloxacin is generally well tolerated and has good efficacy in the treatment of patients with CAP, ABS, complicated UTI and AP. The efficacy and tolerability of levofloxacin 500 mg once daily for 10 days in patients with CAP, ABS and UTIs is well established, and the high-dose, short-course levofloxacin regimen has been shown to be noninferior to the 10-day regimen in CAP and ABS, and to have a similar tolerability profile. Similarly, the high-dose, short-course levofloxacin regimen is noninferior to ciprofloxacin in patients with complicated UTI or AP. Thus, levofloxacin is a valuable antimicrobial agent that has activity against a wide range of bacterial pathogens; however, its use should be considered carefully so that the potential for resistance selection can be minimized and its usefulness in severe infections and against a range of penicillin- and macrolide-resistant pathogens can be maintained.