Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Complete insomnia due to levofloxacin

Some days ago, I reported my health problem in this blog. After a struggle, my status became considerably good.

My past entry: Headache and sore throat

However, I made a mistake that brought me an annoying symptom. For your interest, I will write about it.

I had been forced to stay on the bed for a couple of days because of a serious headache and sore throat. I had to be absent on Monday. Also, I felt cold a bit, although without fevered. I was afraid if I would not get recovered even in the next day.

The cause of 90% of pharyngitis is a viral infection. There is no specific remedy against viruses, other than few exception like influenza. Therefore, I had not taken any medication for these days.

However, I suspected that my bad status was attributed to bacterial infections, considering the severe and long-lasting symptoms. Then, I decided to take a pill.

I chose a 500mg tablet of levofloxacin. Levofloxacin is an antibacterial drug belonging to fluoroquinolone type antibiotics. It covers several categories of pathogenic bacteria as a counterstrike. In a clinical setting, I should be cautious to prescribe levofloxacin to patients because of the risk of creating antibiotics-resistant bacteria. But, I did not hesitate to use it, since I seldom take pills. First of all, I had to go to my office for clinical work the next day. After all, I took it at 9 P.M.

What happened?

I could not sleep at all that night. Never! On the day, I went to bed at 1 A.M., because I overslept on the morning. I was tired, and guessed I would easily go to sleep. However, I felt no sleepiness at all. I seldom experience insomnia. It was terribly surprising.

According to the theory of the good sleep, I had to leave from the bed when difficult to sleep. But I was exhausted due to a headache, and could not get up again. Instead, I continued to lay down on the bed, thinking some silly things, turning over my body again and again. Finally, I felt miserable, and I noticed I was depressed.

My past entry: Five essences for beautiful sleep

I got up at 6 A.M., on the next morning. I did not take even one minute of sleep. It was the first experience for me.

Refusing sleep, or stay up late at night is sometimes fun. Sleep deprivation is considered as a treatment option for depression. But the inability to sleep while tired is nothing other than a torture. I understood how terrible insomnia is.

Levofloxacin causes insomnia. It is one of the adverse effects of this drug. I underestimated its risk.

I will never take, or prescribe a 500mg tablet of levofloxacin at night.


  1. Hi, I am having the same experience like you. A few days ago, I took levofloxacin at night, and I just couldn't sleep. So, I decided to take them in the morning, but it didn't change. I'm still having my insomnia right now, and I told my doctor about my condition, but she said thad I had to finish them all,and gave me some new meds to cure my tonsil infection. I was wondering, how long did you have your insomnia since the last you took the pills at night? It's been 5 days and I just couldn't get any good sleep. Looking forward to your answers.

    1. So sorry to hear that. I recovered the next day from drug-induced insomnia. The effect of levofloxacin is rarely continuous beyond several days, as far as my knowledge. Hope you will have good sleep soon.

    2. Thanks for replying, I'm so stressed for the whole week because I'm a type of person who falls asleep easily in any condition, and it's been kinda nightmare because i've been so weary all day, tired, but I just can't sleep. In the night, I have to wait for hours to get to sleep, and sleep quality doesn't turn out very well. I decided to take the antibiotic in the morning for these two days and I still have four days to go. Thinking of the stress for lacking a sleep might be somehow the cause, or is it really the side effect?:(