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The Clinical Pharmacokinetics of Levofloxacin

Douglas N. Fish, Pharm D
Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, USA

Levofloxacin has many favorable pharmacokinetic properties. It is rapidly absorbed and virtually 100% bioavailable after oral administration. In addition, the intravenous and oral routes of administration are considered interchangeable. Oral levofloxacin may therefore be useful as an alternative to parenteral agents and may also play a role in early switching of patients from parenteral to oral antibiotics during the treatment of many infections. Levofloxacin is primarily excreted in the urine unchanged with minimal metabolism. Because levofloxacin has a relatively long plasma half-life (6-8 hours) and is widely distributed to tissues and biological fluids in concentrations often higher than in plasma, levofloxacin is clinically effective when given once daily. These pharmacokinetic features, along with its broad in vitro antimicrobial spectrum of activity and good tolerability during clinical use, make levofloxacin useful in the treatment of many infections.

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Last updated April 15, 1999.