Compare Levaquin vs. Keflex

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Levaquin
(levofloxacin)

Keflex
(cephalexin)

Kills bacteria. Levaquin (Levofloxacin) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as generic. However, it can cause damage to your tendons, and make your skin more sensitive to the sun.Treats bacterial infections. Keflex (cephalexin) is good for treating many bacterial infections, and is available as a generic.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Coupons for Levaquin
Best available price for 10 (500mg) tablets of levofloxacin
Coupons for Keflex
Best available price for 40 (500mg) capsules of keflex
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.41Levaquin
Reviews for Levaquin
53%
of people (All ages) say Levaquin is worth it
40%
say it works well
31%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Levaquin (levofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Keflex
64%
-11% worse vs. Levaquin
48%
-8% worse vs. Levaquin
14%
-17% worse vs. Levaquin
686 reviews
Have you used Keflex (cephalexin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LevaquinKeflex
  • Nausea 7%
  • Headache 6%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Dizziness 3%
  • Consitpation 3%
  • Abdominal pain 2%
  • Vomiting 2%
  • Indigestion 2%
  • Rash 2%
More Levaquin side effects »

The Keflex FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Keflex side effects »
How it works
LevaquinKeflex
Levaquin (Levofloxacin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.Keflex (cephalexin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from making their own protective covering.
Type of medication
LevaquinKeflex
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
LevaquinKeflex
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
LevaquinKeflex
Risk factors for serious side effects
LevaquinKeflex
  • Over 60 years of age
  • On long-term steroid use
  • Heart, kidney, or lung transplant
  • History of liver disease
  • Seizures
Detailed Levaquin (levofloxacin) risks & warnings »
  • Weakened immune system
  • Not taking Keflex (cephalexin) correctly
  • History of penicillin or cephalosporin allergies
Detailed Keflex (cephalexin) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Food
LevaquinKeflex
No food related info.
  • Can take with or without food.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
LevaquinKeflex
  • There have been reports of liver damage that can require hospitalization or can cause death. These have been rare. Talk to your doctor if you notice pain in your abdomen, loss of appetite, yellowing of your skin or eyes, or dark colored urine.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
LevaquinKeflex
  • If you notice redness/inflammation, pain or swelling in your joints or muscles, especially in the Achilles tendon, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Talk to your doctor immediately if you start to feel burning, tingling, numbness, pain or you can't tolerate heat or cold. This could be a sign of nerve damage. It can happen as soon as you start taking the medication and may not go away if you stop it.
  • If you notice pain in your Achilles tendons, contact your doctor.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
LevaquinKeflex
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
  • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
  • Less resistance seen in bacteria to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see which antibiotics will kill the bacteria causing your infection.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
  • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Generally few side effects compared with other antibiotics.
Downsides and risks
LevaquinKeflex
  • Must be used with caution in people over 60 years of age, or who have had either an organ transplant or on long-term steroid use due to possible tendon rupture.
  • Levofloxacin can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
  • Can't be used if you've ever had myasthenia gravis.
  • You have to space out any medications with aluminum, magnesium or zinc by at least 2 hours.
  • Can cause changes in taste, headaches, and insomnia.
  • Can cause diarrhea.
  • You may need to take Keflex (cephalexin) 2 to 4 times a day, which can be hard to remember.
  • If you're allergic to penicillins or other antibiotics, you might not be able to take this medicine.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
LevaquinKeflex
  • If you notice pain in your Achilles tendons, contact your doctor.
  • Wear sunscreen if you're going to be out in the sun.
  • Take the medication exactly how the doctor tells you to.
  • Take this medication with plenty of fluids.
  • Space out any medications containing aluminum, magnesium or zinc by at least 2 hours.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Can cause changes in taste, headaches and insomnia.
  • Finish all of the medicine your doctor gives you, even if you start to feel better. Stopping it early can cause the bacteria to develop resistance.
  • Store the suspension in the refrigerator. Shake well before using, and discard the bottle after 14 days.
  • Can take with or without food.
Learn more
More about LevaquinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Levaquin (levofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about KeflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Keflex (cephalexin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it