This medication is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. Ciprofloxacin belongs to a class of drugs called quinolone antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for virus infections (such as common cold, flu). Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections.
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking ciprofloxacin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually twice a day in the morning and evening.
The tablet may have a bitter taste if you split, chew, or crush it before taking it. The manufacturer recommends swallowing the tablet whole for this reason.
The dosage and length of treatment is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Take this medication at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after taking other products that may bind to it, decreasing its effectiveness. Ask your pharmacist about the other products you take. Some examples include: quinapril, sevelamer, sucralfate, vitamins/minerals (including iron and zinc supplements), and products containing magnesium, aluminum, or calcium (such as antacids, didanosine solution, calcium supplements).
Calcium-rich foods, including dairy products (such as milk, yogurt) or calcium-enriched juice, can also decrease the effect of this medication. Take this medication at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after eating calcium-rich foods, unless you are eating these foods as part of a larger meal that contains other (non-calcium-rich) foods. These other foods decrease the calcium binding effect.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about safely using nutritional supplements/replacements with this medication.
For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.
Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of the infection.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Before taking ciprofloxacin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other quinolone antibiotics such as norfloxacin, gemifloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, or ofloxacin; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: diabetes, heart problems (such as recent heart attack), joint/tendon problems (such as tendonitis, bursitis), kidney disease, liver disease, mental/mood disorders (such as depression), myasthenia gravis, nerve problems (such as peripheral neuropathy), seizures, conditions that increase your risk of seizures (such as brain/head injury, brain tumors, cerebral atherosclerosis), blood vessel problems (such as aneurysm or blockage of the aorta or other blood vessels, hardening of the arteries), high blood pressure, certain genetic conditions (Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome).
Ciprofloxacin may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using ciprofloxacin, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using ciprofloxacin safely.
This medication may rarely cause serious changes in blood sugar, especially if you have diabetes. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Watch for symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Ciprofloxacin may increase the blood-sugar-lowering effects of the medication glyburide. Also watch for symptoms of low blood sugar such as sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet. It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar. If you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, rapidly raise your blood sugar by eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or by drinking fruit juice or non- diet soda. Tell your doctor right away about the reaction and the use of this product. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals. Your doctor may need to switch you to another antibiotic or adjust your diabetes medications if any reaction occurs.
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.
Ciprofloxacin may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) to not work as well. Do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication unless your doctor tells you to.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially joint/tendon problems.
Older adults may be at greater risk for tendon problems (especially if they are also taking corticosteroids such as prednisone or hydrocortisone), QT prolongation, and a sudden tear/break in the main blood vessel (aorta).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Along with its needed effects, ciprofloxacin (the active ingredient contained in Cipro) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention. Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking ciprofloxacin:
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early. Avoid antacids, aluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc products for 6 hours before and 2 hours after taking a dose of this medicine. A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time. Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.