Why is this medication prescribed?
Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, such as pneumonia; gonorrhea; infectious diarrhea; typhoid fever; inhalational anthrax (after exposure); and bone, joint, skin, and urinary tract infections. Antibiotics will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Ciprofloxacin comes as a tablet and liquid (suspension) to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food every 12 hours (twice a day) for 7-14 days. Treatment for some infections may take 6 weeks or longer. To treat inhalation anthrax (after exposure), ciprofloxacin is taken for 60 days. To treat gonorrhea, a single dose is taken. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take ciprofloxacin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the bottle of ciprofloxacin suspension well for 15 seconds before each use.
The tablets should be taken with a full glass of water preferably two hours after a meal.
Continue to take ciprofloxacin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking ciprofloxacin without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
Ciprofloxacin also is used to treat patients with cystic fibrosis who have lung infections. It also is used to treat some malignant ear infections and tuberculosis (TB). Ciprofloxacin may be used with another medicine to treat disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC). Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking ciprofloxacin,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ciprofloxacin, enoxacin (Penetrex), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), cinoxacin (Cinobac), nalidixic acid (NegGram), or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially other antibiotics, anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), cancer chemotherapy agents, cimetidine (Tagamet), cinoxacin (Cinobac), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), enoxacin (Penetrex), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), medications that can cause seizures, medications with caffeine (NoDoz, Vivarin), nalidixic acid (NegGram), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), phenytoin (Dilantin), probenecid (Benemid), sparfloxacin (Zagam), sucralfate (Carafate), theophylline (Theobid, Theo-Dur, others), and vitamins.
- do not take with antacids (Mylanta, Maalox); didanosine (Videx) chewable/buffered tablets or powder; calcium, iron or zinc supplements; or sucralfate (Carafate). Take them 2 hours after or 6 hours before ciprofloxacin.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease, epilepsy, colitis, stomach problems, vision problems, heart disease, or history of stroke.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking ciprofloxacin, call your doctor immediately.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking ciprofloxacin.
- you should know that this drug may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and tiredness. Do not drive a car or work on dangerous machines until you know how ciprofloxacin will affect you.
- plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Ciprofloxacin may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Do not take ciprofloxacin with dairy products such as milk or yogurt alone. If you have dairy products as part of a meal, you may take ciprofloxacin with the meal. Drink at least eight full glasses of water or other liquid every day. Do not drink or eat a lot of caffeine-containing products such as coffee, tea, cola, or chocolate. Ciprofloxacin increases nervousness, sleeplessness, heart pounding, and anxiety caused by caffeine.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from ciprofloxacin are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- stomach pain
- difficulty falling or staying asleep
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- skin rash
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face or throat
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- dark urine
- pale or dark stools
- blood in urine
- unusual tiredness
- sunburn or blistering
- seizures or convulsions
- vaginal infection
- vision changes
- pain, swelling, or rupture of a tendon
- seeing visions or hearing voices that do not exist
- thoughts about dying or killing yourself
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store the tablets at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Keep away from light. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison controlcenter at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsedor is not breathing, call local emergency services at911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to ciprofloxacin.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ciprofloxacin should not be taken by children under 18 years old, except for the treatment of inhalational anthrax in children who have been exposed to anthrax spores.
Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the ciprofloxacin, call your doctor.