What is ciprofloxacin?


Generic Name: Ciprofloxacin Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is ciprofloxacin used for?

Ciprofloxacin 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.

Ciprofloxacin treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for virus infections (such as common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or overuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.

How should I take ciprofloxacin?

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.

Ciprofloxacin may be taken with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually twice a day in the morning and evening.

Shake the container well for 15 seconds before pouring each dose. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Do not chew the contents of the suspension.

Do not use the suspension with feeding tubes because the suspension may clog the tube.

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 ciprofloxacin 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, 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.

Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals.

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 worsen.

How do I store ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store ciprofloxacin in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of ciprofloxacin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush ciprofloxacin down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using ciprofloxacin?

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ciprofloxacin in children. However, because of this medicine’s toxicity, it should be used with caution, after other medicines have been considered and found ineffective. Ciprofloxacin oral liquid or tablets may be used in children to prevent anthrax infection after possible exposure, and to treat serious kidney infections.

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of ciprofloxacin extended-release tablets in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ciprofloxacin in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney or heart problems, or develop severe tendon problems (including tendon rupture), which may require caution in patients receiving ciprofloxacin.

Is it safe to take ciprofloxacin during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of ciprofloxacin?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using ciprofloxacin and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • Severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • Sudden pain, snapping or popping sound, bruising, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, or loss of movement in any of your joints;
  • Diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • Confusion, hallucinations, depression, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • Seizure (convulsions);
  • Severe headache, ringing in your ears, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, pain behind your eyes;
  • Pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, weakness;
  • Urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • Easy bruising or bleeding;
  • Numbness, tingling, or unusual pain anywhere in your body;
  • The first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild; or
  • Severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Nausea, vomiting;
  • Dizziness or drowsiness;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Feeling nervous, anxious, or agitated; or
  • Sleep problems (insomnia or nightmares).

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Agomelatine, Amifampridine, Cisapride, Dronedarone, Lomitapide, Mesoridazine, Pimozide, Piperaquine, Sparfloxacin, Thioridazine, Tizanidine.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Acarbose, Acecainide, Acetohexamide, Alfuzosin, Alogliptin, Alosetron, Amiodarone, Amitriptyline, Amoxapine, Anagrelide, Apixaban, Apomorphine, Aripiprazole, Arsenic Trioxide, Artemether, Asenapine, Astemizole, Azimilide, Azithromycin, Bendamustine, Benfluorex, Bosutinib, Bretylium, Buserelin, Canagliflozin, Chlorpromazine, Chlorpropamide, Citalopram, Clarithromycin, Clomipramine, Clozapine, Crizotinib, Cyclobenzaprine, Dabrafenib, Dapagliflozin, Dasatinib, Delamanid, Desipramine, Deslorelin, Disopyramide, Dofetilide, Dolasetron, Domperidone, Doxorubicin, Doxorubicin, Hydrochloride Liposome, Droperidol, Eliglustat, Eltrombopag, Erlotinib, Erythromycin, Escitalopram, Everolimus, Exenatide, Fentanyl, Fingolimod, Flecainide, Fluconazole, Fluoxetine, Gatifloxacin, Gemifloxacin, Gliclazide, Glimepiride, Glipizide, Gliquidone, Glyburide, Gonadorelin, Goserelin, Granisetron, Guar Gum, Halofantrine, Haloperidol, Histrelin, Hydrocodone, Ibrutinib, Ibutilide, Ifosfamide, Iloperidone ,Imipramine, Insulin Aspart, Recombinant, Insulin Degludec, Insulin Detemir, Insulin Glargine, , Recombinant, Insulin Glulisine, Insulin Human Isophane (NPH), Insulin , Human Regular, Insulin Lispro, Recombinant, Ivabradine, Ketoconazole, Lapatinib, Leuprolide, Levofloxacin, Linagliptin, Liraglutide, Lopinavir, Lumefantrine, Lurasidone, Mefloquine, Metformin, Methadone, Metronidazole, Mifepristone, Miglitol, Moricizine, Moxifloxacin, Nafarelin, Naloxegol, Nateglinide, Nilotinib, Norfloxacin, Nortriptyline, Octreotide, Ofloxacin, Ondansetron, Paliperidone, Pasireotide, Pazopanib, Perflutren , Lipid Microsphere, Pioglitazone, Pirfenidone, Pomalidomide, Posaconazole, Pramlintide, Procainamide, Prochlorperazine, Promethazine, Propafenone, Protriptyline, Quetiapine, Quinidine, Quinine, Ranolazine, Rasagiline, Repaglinide, Rosiglitazone, Salmeterol, Saquinavir, Saxagliptin, Sematilide, Sevoflurane, Simeprevir, Simvastatin, Sitagliptin, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium , Phosphate, Dibasic, Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic, Solifenacin, Sorafenib, Sotalol, Sunitinib, Tasimelteon, Tedisamil, Telavancin, Telithromycin, Terfenadine, Teriflunomide, Tetrabenazine, Theophylline, Tolazamide, Tolbutamide, Toremifene, Trazodone, Trifluoperazine, Trimipramine, Triptorelin, Vandetanib, Vardenafil, Vemurafenib, Vilanterol, Vilazodone, Vildagliptin, Vinflunine, Voriconazole, Warfarin, Ziprasidone.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Aluminum Carbonate, Basic, Aluminum Hydroxide, Aluminum Phosphate, Betamethasone, Calcium, Chloroquine, Corticotropin, Cortisone, Cosyntropin, Cyclosporine, Deflazacort, Dexamethasone, Diclofenac, Didanosine, Dihydroxyaluminum Aminoacetate, Dihydroxyaluminum Sodium Carbonate, Dutasteride, Fludrocortisone, Fluocortolone, Fosphenytoin, Hydrocortisone, Itraconazole, Lanthanum Carbonate, Levothyroxine, Magaldrate, Magnesium Carbonate, Magnesium Hydroxide, Magnesium Oxide, Magnesium Trisilicate, Methylprednisolone, Mycophenolate Mofetil, Olanzapine, Paramethasone, Phenytoin, Prednisolone, Prednisone, Probenecid, Rifapentine, Ropinirole, Ropivacaine, Sevelamer, Sildenafil, Sucralfate, Triamcinolone, Zolpidem.

Does food or alcohol interact with ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Bradycardia (slow heartbeat);
  • Diabetes;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Heart attack, history of;
  • Heart disease (eg, heart failure);
  • Heart rhythm problems (eg, prolonged QT interval), or family history of;
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood), uncorrected;
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood), uncorrected;
  • Liver disease;
  • Seizures (epilepsy), history of;
  • Stroke, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Brain disease (eg hardening of the arteries);
  • Kidney disease, severe;
  • Organ transplant (eg, heart, kidney, or lung), history of;
  • Tendon disorder (eg, rheumatoid arthritis), history of—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
  • Myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness)—Should not be used in patients with this condition.

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Ciprofloxacin for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Anthrax Prophylaxis

Prophylaxis postexposure to inhalational Bacillus anthracis:

Intravenous: 400 mg every 12 hours

Oral: 500 mg orally every 12 hours

Treatment should start as soon as possible following suspected or confirmed exposure. Total duration of therapy (intravenous and oral combined) is 60 days.

Usual Adult Dose for Bacteremia

Secondary bacteremia associated with urinary tract infections caused by Escherichia coli: 400 mg intravenous every 12 hours

Therapy should be continued for 7 to 14 days, depending on the nature and severity of the infection.

Usual Adult Dose for Bronchitis

Acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis:


Intravenous: 400 mg every 12 hours

Oral: 500 mg orally every 12 hours


Intravenous: 400 mg every 8 hours

Oral: 750 mg orally every 12 hours

Duration: 7 to 14 days

What is the dose of Ciprofloxacin for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Anthrax Prophylaxis

Prophylaxis postexposure to inhalational Bacillus anthracis:

Intravenous: 10 mg/kg every 12 hours (maximum dose: 400 mg/dose)

Oral: 15 mg/kg orally every 12 hours (maximum dose: 500 mg/dose)

Treatment should start as soon as possible following suspected or confirmed exposure. Total duration of therapy (intravenous and oral combined) is 60 days.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Urinary Tract Infection

Complicated infection due to E coli:

1 to 18 years:

Intravenous: 6 to 10 mg/kg every 8 hours (maximum dose: 400 mg/dose)

Oral: 10 to 20 mg/kg orally every 12 hours (maximum dose: 750 mg/dose)

Total duration of therapy (intravenous and oral combined) is 10 to 21 days.

Ciprofloxacin is not a drug of first choice due to a higher rate of adverse reactions in this population.

How is ciprofloxacin available?

Ciprofloxacin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

Film-coated tablet 250 mg, 500 mg

Suspension 5% (100 mL); 10% (100mL)

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of ciprofloxacin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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