The influence of age and gender on the pharmacokinetics of levofloxacin in healthy subjects receiving a single oral 500-mg dose of levofloxacin was investigated in this parallel design study. Six young males (aged 18 to 40 years), six elderly males (aged > or = 65 years), six young females (aged 18 to 40 years), and six elderly females (aged > or = 65 years) were enrolled and completed the study. The study reveals that the bioavailability (rate and extent) of levofloxacin was not affected by either age or gender. In both age (young and elderly) and gender (male and female) groups of subjects, peak concentrations in plasma were reached at approximately 1.5 h after dosing; renal clearance of levofloxacin accounted for approximately 77% of total body clearance, and approximately 76% of the administered dose was recovered unchanged in urine over the 36 h of collection. The apparent differences in the calculated pharmacokinetic parameters for levofloxacin between the age groups (young versus elderly) and between the gender groups (males versus females) could be explained by differences in renal function among the subjects. A single dose of 500 mg of levofloxacin administered orally to both young and old, male and female healthy subjects was found to be safe and well tolerated. As the differences in levofloxacin kinetics between the young and the elderly or the males and the females are limited and are mainly related to the renal function of the subjects, dose adjustment based on age or gender alone is not necessary.