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Generic name: ciprofloxacin and dexamethasone otic [ SIP-roe-FLOX-a-sin-and-DEX-a-METH-a-sone-OH-tik ]
Brand names: Ciprodex, Ciprofloxacin-Dexamethasone
Drug class: Otic steroids with anti-infectives

Medically reviewed by on Mar 31, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Ciprofloxacin-Dexamethasone?

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic. Dexamethasone is a steroid.

Ciprofloxacin-Dexamethasone (for the ear) is a combination medicine used to treat infections inside the ear (also called otitis media), and infections of the ear canal (also called otitis externa).

Ciprofloxacin and dexamethasone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


You should not use Ciprofloxacin-Dexamethasone if you have a viral infection affecting your ear canal, including herpes..

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to ciprofloxacin or dexamethasone, or if you have:

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • severe ear pain; or

  • hearing problems.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Ciprofloxacin and dexamethasone should not be used on a child younger than 6 months old.

How should I use Ciprofloxacin-Dexamethasone?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Do not take by mouth. Otic medicine 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.

Wash your hands before using ear drops.

To use the 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 Ciprofloxacin-Dexamethasone 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 at least 2 minutes. You may use a small piece of cotton to plug the ear and keep the medicine from draining out.

  • Do not touch the 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 this medicine 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 at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medicine after your treatment is finished.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of Ciprofloxacin-Dexamethasone 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 Ciprofloxacin-Dexamethasone?

Avoid getting the medicine in your eyes.

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

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

Ciprofloxacin-Dexamethasone side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: rash, hives, itching; dizziness, fast heartbeats, fluttering in your chest; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have drainage from your ears after you stop using Ciprofloxacin-Dexamethasone, especially if it occurs 2 or more times within 6 months after you stop.

Common side effects of Ciprofloxacin-Dexamethasone 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 Ciprofloxacin-Dexamethasone?

Medicine used in the ears is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. 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 this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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