Levofloxacin. Its use in infections of the respiratory tract, skin, soft tissues and urinary tract.Drugs. 1998 Sep; 56(3):487-515.D
Levofloxacin, the optically pure levorotatory isomer of ofloxacin, is a fluoroquinolone antibacterial agent. Like other fluoroquinolones, it acts on bacterial topoisomerase and has activity against a broad range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms. Levofloxacin also appears to have improved activity against Streptococcus pneumoniae compared with ciprofloxacin or ofloxacin. Levofloxacin distributes well and achieves high levels in excess of plasma concentrations in many tissues (e.g., lung, skin, prostate). High oral bioavailability allows switching from intravenous to oral therapy without dosage adjustment. In patients with mild to severe community-acquired pneumonia receiving treatment for 7 to 14 days, oral levofloxacin was similar in efficacy to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, and intravenous and/or oral levofloxacin was superior to intravenous ceftriaxone and/or oral cefuroxime axetil. With levofloxacin use, clinical success (clinical cure or improvement) rates were 87 to 96% and bacteriological eradication rates were 87 to 100%. In the 5- to 10-day treatment of acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, oral levofloxacin was similar in efficacy to oral cefuroxime axetil or cefaclor. Levofloxacin resulted in clinical success in 78 to 94.6% of patients and bacteriological eradication in 77 to 97%. Oral levofloxacin was also similar in efficacy to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid or oral clarithromycin in patients with acute maxillary sinusitis treated for 7 to 14 days. Equivalence between 7- to 10-day therapy with oral levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin was seen in patients with uncomplicated skin and soft tissue infections. Clinical success was seen in 97.8 and 96.1% of levofloxacin recipients and bacteriological eradication in 97.5 and 93.2%. Complicated urinary tract infections, including pyelonephritis, responded similarly well to oral levofloxacin or ciprofloxacin for 10 days or lomefloxacin for 14 days. Clinical success and bacteriological eradication rates with levofloxacin occurred in 92 to 93.3% and 93.6 to 94.7% of patients.
Levofloxacin can be administered in a once-daily regimen as an alternative to other fluoroquinolones in the treatment of infections of the urinary tract, skin and soft tissues. Its more interesting use is as an alternative to established treatments of respiratory tract infections. S. pneumoniae appears to be more susceptible to levofloxacin than to ciprofloxacin or ofloxacin. Other newer fluoroquinolone agents that also have enhanced in vitro antipneumococcal activity may not share the well established tolerability profile of levofloxacin, which also appears to improve on that of some older fluoroquinolones.