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    Does Levofloxacin cause nerve or muscle pain?

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Posted on Wed, 1 Jun 2016 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: I am on the third of five days on levofloxacin. I have increasing pain from nerve or muscle pain to the point I am getting no rest or sleep the last two days. I have taken 3 and am due for my forth in an hour. I have never experienced an anti biotic reaction like this. Is this the way this antibiotic should affect me ? Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 18 minutes later
Brief Answer:
where is the pain located?

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

you haven't mentioned the distribution of the pain. Levofloxacin and other quinolones may cause rupture of the Achilles tendon. So if you're feeling heel or calf pain then it is possible even after a single pill of levofloxacin. Rhabdomyolysis is another concern. It causes muscular pain and may lead to kidney damage. A final concern is neuropathy.

In all of the aforementioned causes, the distribution of the symptom is important.

I'll be waiting for your input.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 34 minutes later
The pain is everywhere. Legs, back,shoulders. No pain in tendons. Both Friday night and Saturday night, I experienced a burning sensation throughout my body that lasted 2 hours. Worse Saturday. I don't know what to do. I will take the last 2 days if you think that is the best thing.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 12 minutes later
Brief Answer:
a side effect or a symptom of the disease...

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for the additional information!

If you feel pain everywhere then there are two likely explanations. The first one was mentioned in my first answer. Rhabdomyolysis means muscular damage which causes pain, red urine (if significant enough) and renal damage.

The second one is that this symptom could be a symptom of the disease itself. Influenza for example may cause severe body aches (all over the body). Usually the pain is worse when the body temperature rises and gets a little better when it drops. It also gets better with paracetamol (acetaminophen).

If you haven't had this symptom before starting the antibiotic then it could be the first one. In any case, you'd better contact your doctor for appropriate testing and perhaps an alternate treatment regimen.
Creatine phosphokinase (CPK) is the right blood test to check for rhabdomyolysis. Red urine is a visible indicator of serious rhabdomyolysis.

I hope you find my comments helpful!
You can contact me again, if you'd like any clarification or further information.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3691 Questions

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