5.1 Disabling and Potentially Irreversible Serious Adverse Reactions Including Tendinitis and Tendon Rupture, Peripheral Neuropathy, and Central Nervous System Effects
these adverse reactions [ )]. Fluoroquinolones, including levofloxacin, have been associated with disabling and potentially irreversible serious adverse reactions from different body systems that can occur together in the same patient. Commonly seen adverse reactions include tendinitis, tendon rupture, arthralgia, myalgia, peripheral neuropathy, and central nervous system effects (hallucinations, anxiety, depression, insomnia, severe headaches, and confusion). These reactions can occur within hours to weeks after starting levofloxacin. Patients of any age or without pre-existing risk factors have experienced these adverse reactions [ see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.2, 5.3, 5.4)].
any of these serious adverse reactions associated with fluoroquinolones. Discontinue levofloxacin immediately at the first signs or symptoms of any serious adverse reaction. In addition, avoid the use of fluoroquinolones, including levofloxacin, in patients who have experienced any of these serious adverse reactions associated with fluoroquinolones.
Fluoroquinolones, including levofloxacin, have been associated with an increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture in all ages [ see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1) and Adverse Reactions ( 6.2) ]. This adverse reaction most frequently involves the Achilles tendon and has also been reported with the rotator cuff (the shoulder), the hand, the biceps, the thumb, and other tendon sites. Tendinitis or tendon rupture can occur within hours or days of starting levofloxacin or as long as several months after completion of fluoroquinolone therapy. Tendinitis and tendon rupture can occur bilaterally.
The risk of developing fluoroquinolone-associated tendinitis and tendon rupture is increased in patients over 60 years of age, in those taking corticosteroid drugs, and in patients with kidney, heart or lung transplants. Other factors that may independently increase the risk of tendon rupture include strenuous physical activity, renal failure, and previous tendon disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. Tendinitis and tendon rupture have been reported in patients taking fluoroquinolones who do not have the above risk factors. Discontinue levofloxacin immediately if the patient experiences pain, swelling, inflammation or rupture of a tendon. Patients should be advised to rest at the first sign of tendinitis or tendon rupture, and to contact their healthcare provider regarding changing to a non-quinolone antimicrobial drug. Avoid levofloxacin in patients who have a history of tendon disorders or tendon rupture [ see Adverse Reactions ( 6.3); Patient Counseling Information ( 17.3) ].
Fluoroquinolones, including levofloxacin, have been associated with an increased risk of peripheral neuropathy. Cases of sensory or sensorimotor axonal polyneuropathy affecting small and/or large axons resulting in paresthesias, hypoesthesias, dysesthesias and weakness have been reported in patients receiving fluoroquinolones, including levofloxacin. Symptoms may occur soon after initiation of levofloxacin and may be irreversible in some patients [ see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1) and Adverse Reactions ( 6.1, 6.2) ].
Discontinue levofloxacin immediately if the patient experiences symptoms of neuropathy including pain, burning, tingling, numbness, and/or weakness or other alterations of sensation including light touch, pain, temperature, position sense, and vibratory sensation. Avoid fluoroquinolones, including levofloxacin, in patients who have previously experienced peripheral neuropathy [ see Adverse Reactions ( 6), Patient Counseling Information ( 17.3) ].
Fluoroquinolones, including levofloxacin, have been associated with an increased risk of central nervous system (CNS) effects, including convulsions, toxic psychoses, increased intracranial pressure (including pseudotumor cerebri) . Fluoroquinolones may also cause central nervous system stimulation which may lead to tremors, restlessness, anxiety, lightheadedness, confusion, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, nightmares, insomnia, and, rarely, suicidal thoughts or acts. These reactions may occur following the first dose. If these reactions occur in patients receiving levofloxacin, discontinue levofloxacin and institute appropriate measures. As with other fluoroquinolones, levofloxacin should be used with caution in patients with a known or suspected central nervous system (CNS) disorder that may predispose them to seizures or lower the seizure threshold (e.g., severe cerebral arteriosclerosis, epilepsy) or in the presence of other risk factors that may predispose them to seizures or lower the seizure threshold (e.g., certain drug therapy, renal dysfunction). [see Adverse Reactions ( 6) ; Drug Interactions ( 7.4 , 7.5) ; Patient Counseling Information ( 17.3)] .
Fluoroquinolones, including levofloxacin, have neuromuscular blocking activity and may exacerbate muscle weakness in persons with myasthenia gravis. Postmarketing serious adverse events, including deaths and requirement for ventilatory support, have been associated with fluoroquinolone use in persons with myasthenia gravis. Avoid levofloxacin in patients with a known history of myasthenia gravis [see Adverse Reactions ( 6.3); Patient Counseling Information ( 17.3)].
Other serious and sometimes fatal adverse reactions, some due to hypersensitivity, and some due to uncertain etiology, have been reported rarely in patients receiving therapy with fluoroquinolones, including levofloxacin. These events may be severe and generally occur following the administration of multiple doses. Clinical manifestations may include one or more of the following:
- fever, rash, or severe dermatologic reactions (e.g., toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome);
- vasculitis; arthralgia; myalgia; serum sickness;
- allergic pneumonitis;
- interstitial nephritis; acute renal insufficiency or failure;
- hepatitis; jaundice; acute hepatic necrosis or failure;
- anemia, including hemolytic and aplastic; thrombocytopenia, including thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura; leukopenia; agranulocytosis; pancytopenia; and/or other hematologic abnormalities.
Discontinue levofloxacin immediately at the first appearance of skin rash, jaundice, or any other sign of hypersensitivity and institute supportive measures [see Adverse Reactions ( 6); Patient Counseling Information ( 17.3)] .
Serious and occasionally fatal hypersensitivity and/or anaphylactic reactions have been reported in patients receiving therapy with fluoroquinolones, including levofloxacin. These reactions often occur following the first dose. Some reactions have been accompanied by cardiovascular collapse, hypotension/shock, seizure, loss of consciousness, tingling, angioedema (including tongue, laryngeal, throat, or facial edema/swelling), airway obstruction (including bronchospasm, shortness of breath, and acute respiratory distress), dyspnea, urticaria, itching, and other serious skin reactions. Levofloxacin should be discontinued immediately at the first appearance of a skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity. Serious acute hypersensitivity reactions may require treatment with epinephrine and other resuscitative measures, including oxygen, intravenous fluids, antihistamines, corticosteroids, pressor amines, and airway management, as clinically indicated [ see Adverse Reactions ( 6); Patient Counseling Information ( 17.3) ].
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