Generic Name: ciprofloxacin (oral) (SIP roe FLOX a sin)
Brand Names: Cipro, Cipro XR, Proquin XR
Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD Last updated on Jan 19, 2019.
What is Cipro?
Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is a fluoroquinolone (flor-o-KWIN-o-lone) antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body. Ciprofloxacin is used to treat different types of bacterial infections.
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics can cause serious or disabling side effects that may not be reversible.
Cipro should be used only for infections that cannot be treated with a safer antibiotic.
Stop using Cipro and call your doctor at once if you have symptoms such as: headache, hunger, irritability, numbness, tingling, burning pain, confusion, agitation, paranoia, problems with memory or concentration, thoughts of suicide, or sudden pain or movement problems in any of your joints.
In rare cases, ciprofloxacin may cause damage to your aorta, which could lead to dangerous bleeding or death. Get emergency medical help if you have severe and constant pain in your chest, stomach, or back.
Ciprofloxacin can cause serious side effects, including tendon problems, nerve damage, serious mood or behavior changes, or low blood sugar.
You may not be able to use Cipro if you have a muscle disorder. Tell your doctor if you have a history of myasthenia gravis.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Cipro if you are allergic to ciprofloxacin, or if:
you also take tizanidine; or
Ciprofloxacin may cause swelling or tearing of a tendon (the fiber that connects bones to muscles in the body), especially in the Achilles' tendon of the heel. This can happen during treatment or up to several months after you stop taking Cipro. Tendon problems may be more likely in certain people (children and older adults, or people who use steroid medicine or have had an organ transplant).
To make sure Cipro is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
tendon problems, bone problems, arthritis, or other joint problems (especially in children);
blood circulation problems, aneurysm, narrowing or hardening of the arteries;
heart problems, high blood pressure;
a genetic disease such as Marfan syndrome or Ehler's-Danlos syndrome;
a muscle or nerve disorder, such as myasthenia gravis;
long QT syndrome (in you or a family member); or
low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia).
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I take Cipro?
Take Cipro exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.
You may take Cipro with or without food, at the same time each day.
Shake the oral suspension (liquid) for 15 seconds before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon). Do not give Cipro oral suspension through a feeding tube.
Swallow the extended-release tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.
Use Cipro for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. Ciprofloxacin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Do not share Cipro with another person.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow the liquid medicine to freeze. Throw away any unused liquid after 14 days.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking Cipro?
Do not take Cipro with dairy products such as milk or yogurt, or with calcium- fortified juice. You may eat or drink these products with your meals, but do not use them alone when taking this medicine. They could make the medication less effective.
Using caffeine while taking Cipro can increase the effects of the caffeine.
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor before using anti-diarrhea medicine.
Ciprofloxacin could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors. Tell your doctor if you have severe burning, redness, itching, rash, or swelling after being in the sun.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how ciprofloxacin will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.
Cipro side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Cipro (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).
Ciprofloxacin can cause serious side effects, including tendon problems, side effects on your nerves (which may cause permanent nerve damage), serious mood or behavior changes (after just one dose), or low blood sugar (which can lead to coma).
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
nerve symptoms in your hands, arms, legs, or feet - numbness, weakness, tingling, burning pain;
serious mood or behavior changes - nervousness, confusion, agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, memory problems, trouble concentrating, thoughts of suicide; or
signs of tendon rupture - sudden pain, swelling, bruising, tenderness, stiffness, movement problems, or a snapping or popping sound in any of your joints (rest the joint until you receive medical care or instructions).
In rare cases, ciprofloxacin may cause damage to your aorta, the main blood artery of the body. This could lead to dangerous bleeding or death. Get emergency medical help if you have severe and constant pain in your chest, stomach, or back.
Also, stop using Cipro and call your doctor at once if you have:
severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness (like you might pass out);
the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;
muscle weakness, breathing problems;
little or no urination;
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
increased pressure inside the skull - severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, pain behind your eyes.
Common Cipro side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;
vaginal itching or discharge;
abnormal liver function tests.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Cipro?
Some medicines can make Cipro much less effective when taken at the same time. If you take any of the following medicines, take your ciprofloxacin dose 2 hours before or 6 hours after you take the other medicine.
vitamin or mineral supplements that contain calcium, iron, magnesium, or zinc.
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:
a diuretic or "water pill";
heart rhythm medication;
insulin or oral diabetes medicine (check your blood sugar regularly);
medicine to treat depression or mental illness;
steroid medicine (such as prednisone); or
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with ciprofloxacin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Cipro only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about Cipro (ciprofloxacin)
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- Drug class: quinolones
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Other brands: Proquin XR