Levofloxacin Toxicity: Worse Than the Other Fluoroquinolone Drugs

Levofloxacin Toxicity: Is Levofloxacin (also called Levaquin)  more toxic than the other fluoroquinolone antibiotics (which, as we already know, are more toxic than the majority of other antibiotics anyway). Levofloxacin, a modified form of ofloxacin, which we’ve written about previously on our Ofloxacin  page and is the subject of the book Bitter Pills by Steven Fried) , is one of the most potent quinolones (about twice as potent as ofloxacin). Therefore, is Levofloxacin toxicity worse than the other fluoroquinolone and quinolone drugs,  and does it have a higher rate of adverse reactions when compared to other fluoroquinolones?

If you are just looking into the fluoroquinolone class of drugs and are not aware of how dangerous these drugs are, please be sure to read our Introduction to Fluoroquinolones to get a good background on the toxicity potential of these drugs and why, unlike other toxic drugs, You Can’t Detox From the Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics. Also be aware of the many Fluoroquinolone Drug Interactions that can exponentially make these drugs even more dangerous than they already are, like their Dangerous Interaction with Iron, and the potentially deadly Levaquin and Prednisone drug interaction.

Rates of Levofloxacin Toxicity in the Literature

According to various research sources, it does, indeed, appear that Levofloxacin Toxicity is higher than other fluoroquinolone drugs, and thus you have a higher risk of Levofloxacin Side Effects, including potential permanent disability, when using Levaquin over the other Fluoroquinolone drugs, and over other antibiotics in general. There is a startling difference in number of adverse reaction reports between Levaquin and Cipro, the top 2 most prescribed quinolones, in medications.com itself. Looking at http://www.medications.com/drugs/ Levaquin has over 2000 reports of side effects, while Cipro only has 73.

Moreover, according to a research study by L Mandell, MD FRCPC and G Tillotson, MSc FRSM 1, Levofloxacin may have a higher rate of side effects compared to other fluoroquinolones of the third generation. See the table below (note that the information is directly from the drug companies and the true rates of side effects are much higher):

Comparison of adverse drug reactions associated with some approved fluoroquinolones (%)
All drugs end in ‘floxacin’, so the drugs are: Levofloxacin, Gatifloxacin, and Moxifloxacin.

Reaction Levo Gati Moxi
Reference PI 50* 51 31 30 51 52
No patients NR 2252 1655 15,625 6170 6500 18,409
Nausea 7.1 9 2.8 4 8 0.3 5.7
Diarrhea 5.6 4 1.7 1.4 6 0.9 2.4
Headache 6.4 4 0.5 0.9 2 0.1 <2
Vomiting 2.2 2 0.6 0.7 2 0.2 <1
Vaginitis 1.6 5 <1 <1 <1 NI <1
Dizziness 2.9 3 1.3 NR 3 0.3 2.3
Taste perversion 1.0 2 0.8 0.5 <1 NR <1
Discontinuations 3.4 3.2 NR 3.1 NR NR NR

 

This hypothesis also correlates with the speculation of Jay S Cohen, MD, that there may be a “previously unrecognized tendency toward greater neurotoxicity with levofloxacin.2 and we have done articles on the Peripheral Neuropathies associated with this drug, as well as other neurologic issues such as Pseudotumor Cerebrii and the ubiquitous Psychological Damage these drugs can cause.

According to T Boomer, a fluoroquinolone researcher,  in his comprehensive tome called the Flox Report 3, states that Levofloxacin is one of the most potent quinolones in terms of side effects and states that, “500 mg of levaquin tends to cause as much damage as 1000 mg of ciprofloxacin.”  In conclusion, levofloxacin may exhibit higher rates of toxicity when compared with older quinolone agents such as ciprofloxacin, and with newer quinolones including moxifloxacin. This observation could explain the abnormally high incidence of adverse reaction reports with Levaquin.

outsmart the Fluoroquinolones with the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity SolutionAs we always recommend, please understand all of Drug Side Effects of any pharmaceutical drug you have to take. And if you do have to take antibiotics, be sure that you absolutely  need them, preferably by getting a test called a Culture and Sensitivity.

If you absolutely do need antibiotics, get an alternative to the fluoroquinolone drugs whenever possible. But if you must take a fluoroquinolone and you end up suffering from any of the symptoms of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, we highly recommend following the protocol in the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution book. With a money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by the information you’ll learn.

Research Used in This Article

 

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