MHRA limits use of levofloxacin owing to unfavourable safety profile

The use of levofloxacin as first-line treatment is no longer recommended in certain settings.

Adverse events associated with levofloxacin include tendinitis | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Adverse events associated with levofloxacin include tendinitis | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Use of levofloxacin for the following indications has been restricted to cases where other medicines cannot be prescribed or have been ineffective:

  • treatment of acute bacterial sinusitis;
  • acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis;
  • community acquired pneumonia; 
  • complicated skin and soft tissue infections.

Safety concerns

The MHRA decision to limit use of the quinolone antibiotic was based on data indicating an unfavourable safety profile associated with its use as first-line treatment in these conditions. Specified risks include serious hepatotoxicity, cardiac arrhythmia, severe skin reactions and tendon rupture.

Other indications unaffected

Other licensed indications for both oral and parenteral forms of the drug, including UTI and chronic bacterial prostatitis, are unaffected by the change.

View levofloxacin drug record

Follow MIMS on Twitter

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in

Register or Subscribe to MIMS

GPs can get MIMS print & online and GPonline for free when they register online – take 2 minutes, and make sure you get your free MIMS access! If you're not a GP, you can subscribe to MIMS for full access.

Register or subscribe

MIMS bulletins

News and updates straight to your inbox.

Prescribing Update: Fortnightly news bulletin
Urgent prescribing updates
Spotlight: Disease-themed monthly round-up

Sign me up

MIMS Dermatology

Read the latest issue online exclusively on MIMS Learning.

Read MIMS Dermatology

MIMS Adviser

Especially created for prescribing influencers.

Request free copy

Mobile apps

MIMS: access the full drug database and quick-reference tables on the go

MIMS Diagnosis and Management: concise information on signs and symptoms, investigations and diseases