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Levofloxacin in 5% Dextrose Injection, USP Use in Specific Populations


8.1 Pregnancy

Levofloxacin was not teratogenic in rats at oral doses as high as 810 mg/kg/day which corresponds to 9.4 times the highest recommended human dose based upon relative body surface area, or at intravenous doses as high as 160 mg/kg/day corresponding to 1.9 times the highest recommended human dose based upon relative body surface area. The oral dose of 810 mg/kg/day to rats caused decreased fetal body weight and increased fetal mortality. No teratogenicity was observed when rabbits were dosed orally as high as 50 mg/kg/day which corresponds to 1.1 times the highest recommended human dose based upon relative body surface area, or when dosed intravenously as high as 25 mg/kg/day, corresponding to 0.5 times the highest recommended human dose based upon relative body surface area.

There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Levofloxacin should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

8.3 Nursing Mothers

Based on data on other fluoroquinolones and very limited data on levofloxacin, it can be presumed that levofloxacin will be excreted in human milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions from levofloxacin in nursing infants, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Quinolones, including levofloxacin, cause arthropathy and osteochondrosis in juvenile animals of several species [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12) and Animal Toxicology and/or Pharmacology (13.2)].

Pharmacokinetics following intravenous administration

The pharmacokinetics of levofloxacin following a single intravenous dose were investigated in pediatric patients ranging in age from six months to 16 years. Pediatric patients cleared levofloxacin faster than adult patients resulting in lower plasma exposures than adults for a given mg/kg dose [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) and Clinical Studies (14.9)].

Inhalational Anthrax (Post-Exposure)

Levofloxacin is indicated in pediatric patients 6 months of age and older, for inhalational anthrax (post-exposure). The risk-benefit assessment indicates that administration of levofloxacin to pediatric patients is appropriate. The safety of levofloxacin in pediatric patients treated for more than 14 days has not been studied [see Indications and Usage (1.7), Dosage and Administration (2.2) and Clinical Studies (14.9)].


Levofloxacin is indicated in pediatric patients, 6 months of age and older, for treatment of plague, including pneumonic and septicemic plague due to Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis) and prophylaxis for plague. Efficacy studies of levofloxacin could not be conducted in humans with pneumonic plague for ethical and feasibility reasons. Therefore, approval of this indication was based on an efficacy study conducted in animals. The risk-benefit assessment indicates that administration of levofloxacin to pediatric patients is appropriate [see Indications and Usage (1.8), Dosage and Administration (2.2) and Clinical Studies (14.10)].

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of six months have not been established.

Adverse Events

In clinical trials, 1534 children (6 months to 16 years of age) were treated with oral and intravenous levofloxacin. Children 6 months to 5 years of age received levofloxacin 10 mg/kg twice a day and children greater than 5 years of age received 10 mg/kg once a day (maximum 500 mg per day) for approximately 10 days.

A subset of children in the clinical trials (1340 levofloxacin-treated and 893 non-fluoroquinolone-treated) enrolled in a prospective, long-term surveillance study to assess the incidence of protocol-defined musculoskeletal disorders (arthralgia, arthritis, tendinopathy, gait abnormality) during 60 days and 1 year following the first dose of the study drug. Children treated with levofloxacin had a significantly higher incidence of musculoskeletal disorders when compared to the non-fluoroquinolone-treated children as illustrated in Table 7.

Table 7: Incidence of Musculoskeletal Disorders in Pediatric Clinical Trial
Follow-up Period Levofloxacin
Non-Fluoroquinolone: ceftriaxone, amoxicillin/clavulanate, clarithromycin
2-sided Fisher's Exact Test
There were 1199 levofloxacin-treated and 804 non-fluoroquinolone-treated children who had a one-year evaluation visit. However, the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders was calculated using all reported events during the specified period for all children enrolled regardless of whether they completed the 1-year evaluation visit.
60 days 28 (2.1%)8 (0.9%)p=0.038
1 year46 (3.4%)16 (1.8%)p=0.025

Arthralgia was the most frequently occurring musculoskeletal disorder in both treatment groups. Most of the musculoskeletal disorders in both groups involved multiple weight-bearing joints. Disorders were moderate in 8/46 (17%) children and mild in 35/46 (76%) levofloxacin-treated children and most were treated with analgesics. The median time to resolution was 7 days for levofloxacin-treated children and 9 for non-fluoroquinolone-treated children (approximately 80% resolved within 2 months in both groups). No child had a severe or serious disorder and all musculoskeletal disorders resolved without sequelae.

Vomiting and diarrhea were the most frequently reported adverse events, occurring in similar frequency in the levofloxacin-treated and non-fluoroquinolone-treated children.

In addition to the events reported in pediatric patients in clinical trials, events reported in adults during clinical trials or post-marketing experience [see Adverse Reactions (6)] may also be expected to occur in pediatric patients.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Geriatric patients are at increased risk for developing severe tendon disorders including tendon rupture when being treated with a fluoroquinolone such as levofloxacin. This risk is further increased in patients receiving concomitant corticosteroid therapy. Tendinitis or tendon rupture can involve the Achilles, hand, shoulder, or other tendon sites and can occur during or after completion of therapy; cases occurring up to several months after fluoroquinolone treatment have been reported. Caution should be used when prescribing levofloxacin to elderly patients especially those on corticosteroids. Patients should be informed of this potential side effect and advised to discontinue levofloxacin and contact their healthcare provider if any symptoms of tendinitis or tendon rupture occur [see Boxed Warning; Warnings and Precautions (5.2); and Adverse Reactions (6.3)].

In Phase 3 clinical trials, 1,945 levofloxacin-treated patients (26%) were ≥65 years of age. Of these, 1,081 patients (14%) were between the ages of 65 and 74 and 864 patients (12%) were 75 years or older. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Severe, and sometimes fatal, cases of hepatotoxicity have been reported post-marketing in association with levofloxacin. The majority of fatal hepatotoxicity reports occurred in patients 65 years of age or older and most were not associated with hypersensitivity. Levofloxacin should be discontinued immediately if the patient develops signs and symptoms of hepatitis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].

Epidemiologic studies report an increased rate of aortic aneurysm and dissection within two months following use of fluoroquinolones, particularly in elderly patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)].

Elderly patients may be more susceptible to drug-associated effects on the QT interval. Therefore, precaution should be taken when using levofloxacin with concomitant drugs that can result in prolongation of the QT interval (e.g., Class IA or Class III antiarrhythmics) or in patients with risk factors for torsade de pointes (e.g., known QT prolongation, uncorrected hypokalemia) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11)].

The pharmacokinetic properties of levofloxacin in younger adults and elderly adults do not differ significantly when creatinine clearance is taken into consideration. However, since the drug is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.6 Renal Impairment

Clearance of levofloxacin is substantially reduced and plasma elimination half-life is substantially prolonged in patients with impaired renal function (creatinine clearance < 50 mL/min), requiring dosage adjustment in such patients to avoid accumulation. Neither hemodialysis nor continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) is effective in removal of levofloxacin from the body, indicating that supplemental doses of levofloxacin are not required following hemodialysis or CAPD [see Dosage and Administration (2.3)].

8.7 Hepatic Impairment

Pharmacokinetic studies in hepatically impaired patients have not been conducted. Due to the limited extent of levofloxacin metabolism, the pharmacokinetics of levofloxacin are not expected to be affected by hepatic impairment.

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