Published January 17, 2017
The press release subhead reads: “UCLA, Arizona researchers explain that birth year may largely determine people’s risk for serious illness...
— William Wilberforce
Levaquin (levofloxacin) is a potent antibiotic recommended for use against such dangerous diseases as anthrax and the plague, as well as for pneumonia and other serious bacterial infections.1 It was the drug reportedly used to treat former Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s pneumonia.2
Prescribing information for Levaquin includes warnings about possible central nervous system effects including convulsions, anxiety, confusion, depression, and insomnia.3 According to the product’s labeling information, dizziness is one of the most common side effects of the drug.
Less common central nervous system side effects of this and other fluoroquinolones is reported to include “seizures, loss of consciousness, tremors, restlessness, anxiety, lightheadedness, confusion, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, nightmares, insomnia, and, rarely, suicidal thoughts or acts.”3
Levaquin is also known to have serious interactions with some ingredients in some over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents like Motrin or Advil. Drug interactions with the antibiotic can place people at increased risk for central nervous system stimulation and convulsive seizures, as well as suicidal thoughts.3
Finally, the product information sheet warns against giving Levaquin with any product, even a multivitamin, if it includes aluminum phosphate, since it can keep the antibiotic from working properly.4 One of the vaccines Secretary Clinton received to prevent the pneumonia she ultimately contracted was Pfizer’s Prevnar 13, which includes aluminum phosphate.5 6
1 Levaquin: Highlights of Prescribing Information. Janssen Pharmaceuticals July 2014.
2 Phillip A and Gearan A. Clinton campaign releases doctor’s letter describing ‘mild’ pneumonia. The Washington Post Sept. 14, 2016.
3 FDA Approved Medication Guide: Levaquin. Janssen Pharmaceuticals June 2014.
4 Levaquin: Highlights of Prescribing Information. Janssen Pharmaceuticals July 2014.
5 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Vaccines, Blood & Biologics—Prevnar 13. FDA.gov.
6 Cáceres M and Fisher BL. Food anHillary Clinton “Up to Date” on Pneumonia Vaccines Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23. The Vaccine Reaction Sept. 20, 2016.