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Ciprofloxacin (injection)

Generic Name: ciprofloxacin (injection) (SIP roe FLOX a sin)
Brand Name: Cipro I.V.

Medically reviewed on September 11, 2017

What is ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic in a group of drugs called fluoroquinolones (flor-o-KWIN-o-lones). Ciprofloxacin fights bacteria in the body.

Ciprofloxacin is used to treat different types of bacterial infections. Ciprofloxacin is also used to treat people who have been exposed to anthrax.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics can cause serious or disabling side effects. Ciprofloxacin should be used only for infections that cannot be treated with a safer antibiotic.

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

Important Information

You should not use ciprofloxacin if you are also taking tizanidine.

You may not be able to use ciprofloxacin if you have a muscle disorder. Tell your doctor if you have a history of myasthenia gravis.

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 effect may be more likely to occur if you are over 60, if you use steroid medication, or if you have had a kidney, heart, or lung transplant.

Call your doctor at once if you have sudden pain, swelling, bruising, tenderness, stiffness, or movement problems in any of your joints. Rest the joint until you receive medical care or instructions.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use ciprofloxacin if you are allergic to it, or if:

You may not be able to use ciprofloxacin if you have a muscle disorder. Tell your doctor if you have a history of myasthenia gravis.

To make sure ciprofloxacin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

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 using ciprofloxacin. Tendon problems may be more likely to occur if you are over 60, if you use steroid medication, or if you have had a kidney, heart, or lung transplant.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

Ciprofloxacin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How is ciprofloxacin given?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Ciprofloxacin is injected into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to use the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used.

Ciprofloxacin must be injected slowly, over at least 60 minutes.

Drink plenty of liquids while you are using ciprofloxacin.

Ciprofloxacin is usually given every 8 to 12 hours for up to 14 days. Some infections may need to be treated for 4 to 6 weeks. Anthrax exposure is usually treated for 60 days.

Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

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. Ciprofloxacin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not freeze.

Do not use ciprofloxacin if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medication.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of ciprofloxacin.

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 using ciprofloxacin?

Avoid caffeine while you are using ciprofloxacin, because the medicine can make the effects of caffeine stronger.

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. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Ciprofloxacin can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors. Call your doctor if you have severe burning, redness, itching, rash, or swelling after being in the sun.

Ciprofloxacin may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Ciprofloxacin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, rash; fast heartbeats, feeling light-headed; hoarse voice, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Ciprofloxacin may cause swelling or tearing of (rupture) a tendon. Ciprofloxacin can also have serious effects on your nerves, and may cause permanent nerve damage. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • 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); or

  • nerve symptoms--numbness, tingling, burning pain, or being more sensitive to temperature, light touch, or the sense of your body position.

Also, stop using ciprofloxacin and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;

  • a headache with chest pain and severe dizziness and fast or pounding heartbeats;

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

  • confusion, hallucinations, nightmares, paranoia, depression, thoughts about hurting yourself;

  • muscle weakness or trouble breathing;

  • ongoing headaches (sometimes with blurred vision);

  • tremors, anxiety, trouble sleeping, feeling restless or nervous;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • increased pressure inside the skull-- severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, vision problems, pain behind your eyes;

  • liver problems--nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, upper stomach pain, itching, fever, tiredness, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); 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.

Common side effects may include:

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect ciprofloxacin?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

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 interactions are listed in this medication guide.

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.

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