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How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Levofloxacin inhalation belongs to the class of medications called antibiotics, and more specifically quinolones. It is used for people with cystic fibrosis to treat chronic lung infections caused by certain bacteria. It works by killing the bacteria causing the infection.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each single-use, ready-to-use ampule of clear, pale yellow, sterile solution contains 240 mg of levofloxacin. Nonmedicinal ingredients: magnesium chloride hexahydrate and water for injection.
Each 28-day pack of levofloxacin inhalation contains 56 ampules (14 foil laminate sachets each containing 4 ampules) packaged in a box with a Consumer Information Leaflet plus one ZIRELA™ Nebulizer Handset packaged in its own box with the Manufacturer’s Instruction for Use.
How should I use this medication?
The usual dose is the contents of one ampule (240 mg) inhaled twice a day for 28 days. The doses should be used as close to 12 hours apart as possible, and no less than 8 hours apart. This medication should be used in cycles of 28 days on treatment followed by 28 days off treatment.
Each dose should be given with the hand-held reusable nebulizer provided to you. Do not dilute or mix this medication with other medications in the nebulizer. If you are using other medications that require a nebulizer, use them first, then use this medication. The administration of a dose takes approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
If you miss a dose, and it is less than 4 hours since the missed dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, in its original packaging to protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children. The ampules are supplied in a foil sachet. Once the foil sachet is opened, the ampules should be used within 4 days. Once an ampule is opened, it should be used immediately.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to levofloxacin or any ingredients of the medication
- have a history of tendinitis or tendon rupture caused by using quinolone antibiotics
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- abnormal sense of taste
- vaginal itching or discharge
Although most of the side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- coughing up blood
- fast, pounding heartbeat
- inflammation or rupture of the tendons
- joint pain or swelling
- pain, burning, tingling, or numbness of the extremities
- severe sunburn
- severe watery or bloody diarrhea
- signs of liver problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools)
- symptoms of high blood sugar (e.g., frequent urination, increased thirst, excessive eating, unexplained weight loss, poor wound healing, infections, fruity breath odour)
- symptoms of low blood sugar (e.g., cold sweat, cool pale skin, headache, fast heartbeat, weakness, shakiness)
- thrush (fungal infection of the mouth)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- chest tightness, difficulty breathing
- nervous system problems (e.g., confusion, hallucinations, seizures, severe headaches, tremors, shaking, mood changes, depression, suicidal thoughts)
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
- worsening muscle weakness or breathing problems
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY
JANUARY 23, 2017
Health Canada has issued new restrictions concerning the use of levofloxacin. To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada’s web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Abnormal heart rhythms: This medication can cause abnormal heart rhythms. Certain medications (e.g., sotalol, quinidine, thioridazine, chlorpromazinepimozide, moxifloxacin, mefloquine, pentamidine, arsenic trioxide, tacrolimus) can increase the risk of a type of abnormal heart rhythm called QT prolongation, and should not be used in combination with levofloxacin. You are more at risk for this type of abnormal heart rhythm and its complications if you:
- are female
- are older than 65 years of age
- have a family history of sudden cardiac death
- have a history of heart disease or abnormal heart rhythms
- have a slow heart rate
- have congenital prolongation of the QT interval
- have diabetes
- have had a stroke
- have low potassium, magnesium, or calcium levels
- have nutritional deficiencies
If you have heart disease and abnormal heart rhythms, or are taking certain medications (e.g., verapamil, atazanavir), discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Allergy: People who have had an allergic reaction to other quinolones may also be allergic to levofloxacin. Before you use this medication, inform your doctor about any previous adverse reactions you have had to medications. Contact your doctor at once if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as skin rash, itching, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face and throat.
Antibiotic-related diarrhea: As with other antibacterials, levofloxacin inhalation can cause a severe form of diarrhea associated with a condition known as pseudomembranous colitis. If you develop severe diarrhea while taking (or within a few weeks of taking) this medication, contact your doctor.
Behaviour and movement changes: Rarely, this medication can cause movement disorders or behaviour changes such as agitation, anxiety, confusion, depression, tremors, hallucinations, and other mood changes. If you experience any of these, or notice them in a family member who is taking this medication, stop taking this medication and contact your doctor immediately.
Breathing problems: Occasionally, inhaled medications may cause the airways to spasm and close up, making breathing even more difficult (bronchospasm). This can be life-threatening. If you experience increased difficulty breathing after using a dose of inhaled levofloxacin, seek immediate medical attention.
Diabetes: Levofloxacin may cause a loss of blood glucose control, and glucose tolerance may change. People with diabetes may find it necessary to monitor their blood sugar more frequently while using this medication.
If you have diabetes or are at risk for developing diabetes, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Drowsiness/dizziness: Levofloxacin inhalation may cause drowsiness or dizziness, affecting your ability to drive or operate machinery. Avoid these and other hazardous tasks until you have determined how this medication affects you.
Kidney function: Kidney disease or reduced kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: Very rarely, levofloxacin may reduce liver function and can cause liver failure. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.
Myasthenia gravis: Myasthenia gravis is a condition that causes specific muscle weakness. Levofloxacin can cause increased muscle weakness for people with myasthenia gravis. If you have myasthenia gravis, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Peripheral neuropathy: Although rare, levofloxacin may affect the nerves of the skin and limbs. If you start to feel pain, burning, tingling, numbness, or weakness, stop taking this medication and contact your doctor immediately.
Resistance: There is a chance that bacteria can become resistant to this medication. If you are not getting better despite using this medication, contact your doctor.
Seizures: There have been occasional reports of seizures occurring with levofloxacin. If you have a history of epilepsy or medical conditions that increase the risk of seizures, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Sensitivity to sun: An exaggerated sunburn reaction may occur for some people taking quinolone antibiotics, including levofloxacin. Avoid exposure to excessive sunlight, including sunlamps and tanning beds, and use sunblock with minimum SPF 15.
Tendinitis: Tendons are cords of fibrous tissue that attach muscle to bone. Quinolone antibiotics can cause inflammation and rarely, rupture of a tendon. If you experience unexpected or unusual pain in the shoulder, hand or heel, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if levofloxacin inhalation passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between levofloxacin inhalation and any of the following:
- antihistamines (e.g., cetirizine, doxylamine, diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, loratadine)
- antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone)
- "azole" antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
- BCG vaccine
- chloral hydrate
- corticosteroids (e.g., dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, prednisone)
- diabetes medications (e.g., chlorpropamide, glipizide, glyburide, insulin, metformin, rosiglitazone)
- macrolide antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin)
- multivitamin supplements
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs; e.g., diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)
- protein kinase inhibitors (e.g., bosutinib, dasatinib, nilotinib, sunatinib)
- quinolone antibiotics (e.g., ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin)
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIS; e.g., citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline)
- serotonin antagonists (anti-emetic medications; e.g., granisetron, ondansetron)
- sodium picosulfate
- tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, trimipramine)
- typhoid vaccine
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Quinsair