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Generic Name: ciprofloxacin (SIP-roe-FLOX-a-sin)
Brand Name: Cipro

Cipro is associated with an increased risk of tendon problems. These include pain, swelling, inflammation, and possible breakage of tendons. The risk of tendon problems is greater in patients who are older than 60 years old, patients who take corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), and in those who have received kidney, heart, or lung transplants. The Achilles tendon in the back of the foot/ankle is most often affected. However, problems may also occur in other tendons (eg, in the shoulder, arm, hand). Problems may occur while you take Cipro or up to several months after you stop taking it.

Signs of tendon problems may include pain, soreness, redness, or swelling of a tendon or joint; bruising right after an injury in a tendon area; hearing or feeling a snap or pop in a joint or tendon area; or inability to move or bear weight on a joint or tendon area. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms while you take Cipro or within several months after you stop taking it.

Cipro may worsen muscle weakness and breathing problems in patients with myasthenia gravis. Do not take Cipro if you have a history of myasthenia gravis.


Cipro is used for:

Treating bladder inflammation.

Cipro is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic used to kill sensitive bacteria. It works by stopping the production of essential proteins needed by the bacteria to survive.

Do NOT use Cipro if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Cipro or to any other fluoroquinolone (eg, levofloxacin)
  • you have a history of myasthenia gravis
  • you have a certain type of irregular heartbeat (prolonged QT interval), low blood potassium or magnesium levels, or certain heart problems (eg, heart failure, heart attack, slow heartbeat)
  • you are taking certain antiarrhythmic medicines (eg, amiodarone, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol), macrolide antibiotics (eg, clarithromycin), tizanidine, or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline)
  • you are taking any medicines that can cause a certain type of irregular heartbeat (prolonged QT interval). There are many medicines that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: The Shocking Truth About Antibiotic Resistance

Before using Cipro:

Some medical conditions may interact with Cipro. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a stomach infection, liver problems, brain or nervous system problems, increased pressure in the brain, Alzheimer disease, brain blood vessel problems, muscle problems (eg, myasthenia gravis), or a history of seizures
  • if you have a history of stroke, severe or persistent diarrhea, skin sensitivity to the sun, low blood potassium or magnesium levels, heart problems, or irregular heartbeat (eg, QT prolongation), or if you have a family member with a history of irregular heartbeat
  • if you have a history of joint or tendon problems; rheumatoid arthritis; kidney problems or decreased kidney function; or a heart, kidney, or lung transplant
  • if you take corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) or you participate in strenuous physical work or exercise

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Cipro. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Theophylline because the risk of serious and sometimes fatal side effects may be increased
  • Antiarrhythmics (eg, amiodarone, quinidine), macrolide antibiotics (eg, clarithromycin), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the risk of serious side effects, including irregular heartbeat, may be increased
  • Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) because they may increase the risk of tendon problems
  • Diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), metoclopramide, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen), or probenecid because they may increase the risk of Cipro's side effects
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), antipsychotics (eg, clozapine, olanzapine), cyclosporine, duloxetine, methotrexate, oral medicine for diabetes (eg, glimepiride, glyburide), ropinirole, sildenafil, tizanidine, or xanthines (eg, pentoxifylline) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Cipro
  • Phenytoin because their effectiveness may be decreased by Cipro

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Cipro may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Cipro:

Use Cipro as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Cipro comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get Cipro refilled.
  • Take Cipro by mouth with or without food.
  • Swallow Cipro whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing. If you cannot swallow Cipro whole, tell your doctor.
  • Drinking extra fluids while you are taking Cipro is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
  • If you also take any products containing magnesium, aluminum, calcium, iron, or zinc (eg, antacids, quinapril, vitamins/minerals); didanosine; lanthanum; sevelamer; sucralfate; or bismuth subsalicylate, do not take them within 6 hours before or 2 hours after taking Cipro. Check with your doctor if you have questions.
  • Cipro works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • To clear up your infection completely, take Cipro for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • Avoid taking Cipro with milk or milk products (eg, calcium-enriched juice, yogurt) by themselves. However, taking Cipro as part of a full meal that contains milk or milk products is permitted.
  • If you miss a dose of Cipro, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Cipro.

Important safety information:

  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Cipro before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Cipro may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or light-headedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Cipro with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Be sure to use Cipro for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of Cipro may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Cipro only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Before using Cipro, tell your doctor if you take a medicine that contains caffeine or you consume large amounts of food or drink that contain caffeine (eg, coffee, tea, cocoa, cola, chocolate).
  • Tell your doctor right away if you experience pain or swelling of a tendon or weakness or loss of use of a joint area. Rest the area and avoid exercise until further instruction from your doctor.
  • Serious and sometimes fatal allergic side effects have rarely happened. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Serious and sometimes fatal liver problems have happened with Cipro. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, pale stools, unusual stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes).
  • A serious skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have symptoms like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • Diabetes patients - Cipro may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Cipro may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Cipro. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea (pseudomembranous colitis) may rarely occur. This may develop while you use the antibiotic or within several months after you stop using it. Contact your doctor right away if stomach pains or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Nerve problems in the arms, hands, legs, or feet can happen in people taking Cipro. These nerve problems can happen soon after Cipro is started and may be permanent. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms or nerve problems (eg, not able to handle heat or cold; decreased sensation of touch; unusual burning, numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness of the arms, hands, legs, or feet).
  • Use Cipro with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects (eg, tendon problems), especially if they take corticosteroids (eg, prednisone). They may also be more sensitive to other effects (eg, irregular heartbeat).
  • Cipro should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially joint and tendon problems.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of taking Cipro while you are pregnant. Cipro is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Cipro.

Possible side effects of Cipro:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dizziness; headache; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing or swallowing; tightness in the chest or throat; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody or tarry stools; chest pain; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or unusual cough; hallucinations; inability to move or bear weight on a joint or tendon area; mood or mental changes (eg, new or worsening anxiety, agitation, confusion, depression, nervousness, nightmares, paranoia, restlessness, sleeplessness); muscle pain or weakness; pain, soreness, redness, swelling, weakness, or bruising of a tendon or joint area; persistent sore throat; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; shortness of breath or trouble breathing; suicidal thoughts or actions; sunburn; symptoms of kidney problems (eg, not able to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, a big weight gain); tremors; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; vaginal yeast infection; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Cipro:

Store Cipro at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Cipro out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Cipro, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Cipro is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Cipro or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Cipro. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Cipro. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Cipro.

Issue Date: April 1, 2015
Database Edition 15.2.1.001
Copyright © 2015 Clinical Drug Information, LLC

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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