Levaquin and Alcohol: What You Need to Know

While the combination of Levaquin and alcohol might not kill you, it can cause seriously dangerous side effects.

Levaquin is made out of a chemical known as levofloxacin. Like most antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, metronidazole, levofloxacin, amoxicillin, doxycycline, prednisone, etc. There are specific rules about what you can and cannot consume when you are taking this drug. While the combination of Levaquin and alcohol use might not kill you, it can cause seriously dangerous side effects. Because of this, you should avoid drinking alcohol when you are using Levaquin.

What Is Levaquin?

This medication is typically used to treat bacterial infections. As one of the quinolone antibiotics, it can stop bacteria from growing. You should never use Levaquin for viral infections because it will not kill viruses and for people with diabetes, levofloxacin may affect your blood sugar levels.

Levaquin and Alcohol

Unlike some medications, you do not have to take Levaquin with food. Unless your doctor tells you to do otherwise, you should drink water when you take your daily dose of this medication. To ensure the best results, you should take it at least two hours before or after taking vitamins, quinapril, antacids and sucralfate. You should also take Levaquin several hours after you have consumed any product that contains aluminum, calcium or magnesium.

What Medications Should You Avoid While Taking Levaquin?

You should talk to your doctor about any medications you are currently taking. There are certain drugs that can cause problems if you take Levaquin at the same time. For example, ofloxacin is chemically similar to Levaquin. Because of this, you should never take both of these medications at the same time.

If you are currently using Levaquin, you may want to wait before taking certain lab tests. You may get a false positive for opiates if you take a urine test while you are using Levaquin. If you cannot postpone the test, you should make sure the laboratory is aware that you have a doctor’s prescription for Levaquin.

Is Drinking Alcohol Safe While Taking Levaquin?

Mixing Levaquin and alcohol can be a potentially dangerous decision. Drinking alcohol with Levaquin can cause disorientation, nervousness, agitation and confusion. When you combine alcohol and antibiotics, it can lead to memory loss and attention issues.

Levaquin and alcohol might not be a life-threatening combination at first, but they can lead to dangerous complications. For example, disorientation, confusion and agitation can cause fatal consequences if you are operating heavy machinery. Because of this, you should always avoid consuming Levaquin and alcohol at the same time. If you accidentally take both products at once, you should avoid driving or operating heavy equipment.

Because Levaquin is part of a broader class of medications known as fluoroquinolone antibiotics, it can cause potential mental health side effects. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has previously published warnings about the effects of fluoroquinolone antibiotics on mental health. Drinking alcohol while taking any kind of fluoroquinolone will increase these risks.

In some cases, people have even experienced seizures while taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics. This is more common among people who have suffered from seizures in the past. Drinking alcohol or going through alcohol withdrawal can both increase the odds of having a seizure. Because alcohol affects your seizure threshold, you should never take Levaquin and alcohol together if you have a history of seizures.

A single drink may not cause lasting damage if it only happens once. Alcohol affects your central nervous system, and Levaquin can worsen these effects. To avoid issues with your central nervous system, you should never consume Levaquin and alcohol at the same time.


The Impact of Alcohol on Antibiotics

When someone drinks heavily on a regular basis, it can overwhelm the liver. This can cause immediate problems if you are also taking antibiotics. Your liver is normally responsible for metabolizing medications. If your liver is overwhelmed by alcohol, it will be unable to do its job. Depending on the medications and the amount of alcohol you drink, the combination can even cause liver damage.

Many antibiotics can have side effects that are similar to alcohol consumption. For example, you may suffer from an upset stomach, drowsiness or dizziness. When alcohol and antibiotics are combined, these side effects may become worse.

Modest alcohol consumption does not necessarily limit the effectiveness of the antibiotics you are taking. Instead, it can slow down how fast you recover from your illness. Alcohol can also negatively impact your energy levels.

What Are the Side Effects of Levaquin?

Even when you do not consume any alcohol, Levaquin is known to have a range of potential side effects. You may have problems sleeping or feel lightheaded. Some people suffer from dizziness, nausea, headaches or diarrhea. You should talk to your doctor immediately if you develop any of these symptoms.

In very rare cases, you may develop more serious side effects. Nonstop vomiting, stomach pains, loss of appetite, dark urine and yellowed skin are all signs of liver issues. Meanwhile, changes in your urine production or bruising can be an indication of kidney problems. Fainting, irregular heartbeats, severe chest pain, shortness of breath and other severe side effects may occur. If you experience any of the previous symptoms, it is important that you get immediate medical advice.

Seek Help for Substance Abuse Disorders

Levaquin and alcohol can cause side effects if they are taken at the same time. Alcohol can also reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics. Because of this, it is crucial to avoid drinking any alcohol while you are using Levaquin. If you suffer from a substance abuse disorder, you should talk to your doctor before taking any antibiotics. Drinking alcohol can cause long-term side effects, so getting the proper recovery treatment is essential.


TL;DR: Mixing Levaquin (levofloxacin) and alcohol is not recommended as it can increase the risk of side effects and decrease the drug’s effectiveness.


  • How long after taking Levaquin can i drink alcohol?
  • How long after taking my last dose of Levaquin is it safe to consume alcohol?

Published on: 2022-02-26
Updated on: 2024-06-19