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Generic Name: ciprofloxacin and dexamethasone otic (SIP roe FLOX a sin and DEX a METH a sone OH tik)
Brand Name: Ciprodex

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 30, 2020.

What is Ciprodex?

Ciprodex ear drops contain ciprofloxacin and dexamethasone. Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic that treats infections caused by bacteria.

Dexamethasone is a steroid. It reduces the actions of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation.

Ciprodex is used to treat infections inside the ear (also called otitis media), and infections of the ear canal (also called otitis externa).

Ciprodex may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not use Ciprodex ear drops if you have a viral infection affecting your ear canal, including herpes or chickenpox.

Do not use this medication in the eyes or take it by mouth. Ciprodex is intended for use in the ears only. Do not touch the dropper opening to any surface, including the ears or hands. The dropper opening is sterile. If it becomes contaminated, it could cause another infection in the ear.

Notify your doctor if the condition does not improve or appears to worsen.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Ciprodex ear drops if you are allergic to ciprofloxacin or dexamethasone, or if you have:

  • a viral infection affecting your ear canal, including herpes or chickenpox; or

  • if you are allergic to any antibiotic similar to ciprofloxacin (Cipro), such as gatifloxacin (Tequin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (Noroxin), or ofloxacin (Floxin).

To make sure Ciprodex is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • severe ear pain; or

  • hearing problems.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Ciprodex will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

It is not known whether ciprofloxacin and dexamethasone otic passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Ciprodex should not be used on a child younger than 6 months old.

How should I use Ciprodex?

Use Ciprodex exactly as directed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Do not take by mouth. Ciprodex is for use only in the ears.

Shake the medicine well just before each use.

You may warm the medicine before use by holding the bottle in your hand for 1 or 2 minutes. Using cold ear drops can cause dizziness, especially in a child who has ear tubes in place.

To use the Ciprodex ear drops:

  • Lie down or tilt your head with your ear facing upward. Open the ear canal by gently pulling your ear back, or pulling downward on the earlobe when giving this medicine to a child.

  • Hold the dropper upside down over your ear and drop the correct number of drops into the ear.

  • Stay lying down or with your head tilted for 60 seconds. You may use a small piece of cotton to plug the ear and keep the medicine from draining out.

Do not touch the Ciprodex dropper tip or place it directly in your ear. It may become contaminated. Wipe the tip with a clean tissue but do not wash with water or soap.

Use Ciprodex for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have new symptoms.

Store Ciprodex ear drops at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Throw away any unused medicine after your treatment is finished.

Ciprodex dosing information

Usual Adult Dose of Ciprodex for Otitis Externa:

4 drops in the affected ear{s} twice daily for 7 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Otitis Media:

>=6 months: 4 drops in the affected ear{s} twice daily for 7 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Otitis Externa:

>=6 months: 4 drops in the affected ear{s} twice daily for 7 days

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this medicine is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.

What should I avoid while using Ciprodex?

Avoid getting water in your ears while bathing or showering. Avoid swimming while you are treating an ear infection.

Avoid getting the medicine in your eyes.

Do not use other ear medications unless your doctor tells you to.

Ciprodex side effects

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

Stop using Ciprodex and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;

  • drainage from your ears; or

  • severe burning or other irritation after using the ear drops.

Common Ciprodex side effects may include:

  • ear itching or pain, ear discomfort or fullness;

  • unusual taste in your mouth;

  • feeling irritable;

  • rash; or

  • a buildup of debris in the ear canal.

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 Ciprodex?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on Ciprodex used in the ears. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Ciprodex only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.