Levaquin i.e. levofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that is used in the treatment of bacterial infections in the skin, lung and urinary tract. Many a times, patients are prescribed Levaquin along with other treatments as well. Obviously, drug interactions need to be borne in mind.
That being said, it is not uncommon for patients who consume alcohol on a regular basis to suffer from different kinds of infections that may warrant the use of Levaquin. The concern of course in such situations is the interaction that may occur between Levaquin and alcohol.
Alcohol is a commonly consumed product that has a number of detrimental effects on the human physiology. In addition, it can affect the function of the liver which is a common site for drugs to be broken down. Alcohol can have numerous effects on the human body and can ultimately cause heart disease, liver disease and even be fatal if consumed in large quantities over prolonged periods of time.
Regarding the interactions between alcohol and levofloxacin, there do not appear to be any clear studies that have demonstrated an interaction between the two. However, doctors strongly recommended that patients avoid combining levofloxacin with alcohol. This is because the interaction between the two is a rather unpredictable and there is always a possibility that the alcohol levels in the blood and can alter the way levofloxacin is absorbed. Take for example a patient who has a severe pneumonia. When Levaquin is prescribed in such patients, if these patients consume alcohol on a regular basis or even take the drug with alcohol instead of taking it with water, there is a possibility that insufficient amount of levofloxacin will be absorbed into the bloodstream. This means that the antibiotic use may be insufficient to treat infections making the infection worse.
In addition, alcohol can worsen the side-effects that Levaquin causes. This can include an excessive amount of light-headedness and giddiness. High amounts of alcohol are well known to cause the side-effect anyway but taking it along with levofloxacin can potentiate this tremendously to a point where it significantly impacts a patient’s well-being.
In a nutshell, despite their being a lack of clinical evidence, there is sufficient amount of anecdotal evidence suggesting that levofloxacin and alcohol should not be combined with each other. Patients who wish to consume alcohol should try and abstain completely when taking levofloxacin. If taking alcohol is essential, it should not be taken along with the medicine and must be done so many hours later once sufficient amount of Levaquin has been absorbed into the bloodstream.
While that is no clear consensus on the interaction between levofloxacin and alcohol, it is recommended that the two not be combined with each other.