Ciprofloxacin (CIPRO) - Works|Dosage|Uses|Side Effects|Interactions
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Ciprofloxacin (CIPRO)

Published on Jul 18, 2019 and last reviewed on Jan 06, 2023   -  5 min read


If you are suffering from a bacterial infection, your doctor would have prescribed Ciprofloxacin. Know its uses, dosage, and side effects now.

Ciprofloxacin (CIPRO)

What Is Ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic that belongs to the Fluoroquinolone group, used to treat various bacterial infections affecting many parts of the body. It treats infection by preventing bacteria from replicating and growing. It is prescribed for uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI). It is also used for bone, abdomen, skin, and prostate infections.

Ciprofloxacin is available in infusion solution, oral suspension, tablet, extended-release tablet, eye drops, and ear drops.

What Does Ciprofloxacin Treat?


It is used in treating the following infections:

  • Gastroenteritis.
  • Bone and joint infection.
  • Food poisoning.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Gonorrhea.
  • Sinusitis.
  • Cellulitis.
  • Urinary tract infection.
  • Gallbladder infection.
  • Ear infection.
  • Eye infection.

Apart from these infections, it is also used to prevent and treat pneumonic and septicemic plague. It does not cure syphilis but can be used to delay the symptoms. For sinusitis, bronchitis, and UTI, Ciprofloxacin is only prescribed if other antibiotics fail, as the risk of side effects is higher.

How Does Ciprofloxacin Work?

Ciprofloxacin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is effective against various types of bacterial infections. It is bactericidal, which means it kills bacteria by blocking enzymes needed for bacteria to divide and grow. But due to indiscriminate use, many bacteria have become resistant to Ciprofloxacin.

How Long Does Ciprofloxacin Take to Work?

It starts working within an hour of taking orally. But, it might take a few days for the infection to go down and for you to see improvement.

Around 40 to 50 % of Ciprofloxacin is excreted through the urine unchanged, and it is completed excreted from the body within 24 hours. The half-life (time taken for the drug concentration to be 50 %) is 4 to 5 hours.

What Is the Dosage for Ciprofloxacin?

Your doctor will prescribe Ciprofloxacin based on the type and severity of bacterial infection, your age, and kidney or other underlying diseases. Always take this medicine under strict medical supervision, and do not take higher doses than prescribed.

Ciprofloxacin is available in the following strengths and forms:

  • Tablet - 100 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg, and 750 mg.
  • Extended-release tablet - 500 and 1000 mg.
  • Infusion solution - 200 mg/100 mL, 200 mg/20 mL, 400 mg/ 40 mL, and 400 mg/ 200 mL.
  • Oral suspension - 250 and 500 mg/mL.

The commonly recommended dosages for adults are:

  • For mild to moderate infection - 250 to 500 mg orally every 12 hours for 7 to 14 days.
  • 500 to 750 mg orally every 12 hours for severe infection for 7 to 14 days.

For some chronic infections, it is prescribed for a more extended period. This medicine is used in a lower dosage for patients with kidney impairment.

How to Use Ciprofloxacin?

Use it as directed by your physician. Ciprofloxacin is usually taken every 12 hours (twice a day), with or without food. Depending on how severe the infection is, you might have to take it for a week or more. Continue taking it even if you feel your symptoms have disappeared, and take it for the prescribed number of days. The infection might return if you stop the medicine in the middle.

The extended-release tablet should not be crushed or broken and should be swallowed as a whole. And oral suspension should be properly shaken before taking.

Avoid taking medicines or supplements (like Quinapril, Sucralfate, iron and zinc supplements, Sevelamer) 2 hours before or 6 hours after taking Ciprofloxacin, as it can interact and increase or decrease its effectiveness. Milk and other milk products that are rich in calcium can reduce the effect of Ciprofloxacin.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose of Ciprofloxacin?

To avoid missing a dose, always take the tablet simultaneously every day so that you will form a habit. But because of any reason you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is already time for the next dose, skip the missed dose as it is not advisable to take two doses simultaneously. It might result in dangerous side effects.

What Are the Side Effects of Using Ciprofloxacin?

The common side effects include:

  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headaches.
  • Rash.
  • Nausea.

The serious side effects are:

  • Tendonitis (pain and swelling in the tendon of the heel, ankle, knee, or elbow).
  • Allergic reaction:
    • Skin rashes.
    • Breathing difficulty.
    • Problem swallowing.
    • Rapid pulse.
  • Impaired liver function:
    • Jaundice.
    • Abdominal pain.
    • Loss of appetite.
  • Psychological symptoms:
    • Mood swings.
    • Anxiety.
    • Depression.
    • Delusion.
    • Suicidal tendency.
    • Restlessness.
  • Seizures.
  • Tingling, numbness, or pain in your arm, legs, feet, or hands.
  • Skin becomes very sensitive to sunlight.
  • In diabetic patients, severe hypoglycemia (drop in blood sugar levels).

Ciprofloxacin Overdose:

If you or someone you know has taken too much Ciprofloxacin, then get immediate medical help. The symptoms of overdose are:

  • Dizziness.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Restlessness.
  • Liver and kidney damage.
  • Tingling or burning sensation, as it affects the nerves.
  • Tendons become painful and swollen.

What Are the Drug Interactions of Ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin is capable of interacting with many drugs and supplements. It can interact with the following drugs and might result in an increase or decrease in the efficacy of Ciprofloxacin or the other drug, or it can cause severe side effects. So always inform the doctor about the supplements you are taking if he or she prescribes you Ciprofloxacin.

  • Antacids containing calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide, and aluminum hydroxide.
  • Anticoagulant drugs like Warfarin.
  • Drugs that prolong the QT interval - Amiodarone, Metronidazole, Erythromycin, Azithromycin, Quinidine, Amitriptyline, Imipramine, and Haloperidol.
  • Clozapine.
  • Antidiabetic drugs - Glimepiride.
  • Sildenafil.
  • Phenytoin.
  • Methotrexate.
  • Tizanidine.
  • Multivitamins.
  • Calcium supplements.

Drug Warning and Precautions:

Your doctor will alter the dosage or prescribe another antibiotic if you have one of the following medical conditions:

  • Diabetes.
  • History of a heart attack.
  • Heart failure.
  • Liver diseases.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Seizures.
  • History of stroke.

What Are the Brand Names for Ciprofloxacin?

  • Bactin.
  • Ciflox.
  • Cipro.

Always consult a doctor before taking any medicine and avoid self-medication. Taking antibiotics for a viral infection will not help.

Frequently Asked Questions


How fast does Ciprofloxacin work for UTI?

For UTI (urinary tract infection), the prescribed dosage is 250 to 500 mg every 12 hours for 7 to 14 days. You might feel better in a few days but take it as long as your doctor prescribed it for.


Is Ciprofloxacin a strong antibiotic?

Ciprofloxacin is used to treat a wide range of bacterial infection, and it works by killing bacteria. But recently, bacteria are becoming resistant to this drug.


How long does Ciprofloxacin stay in your system?

It takes about 4 hours for the body to eliminate 50 % of serum Ciprofloxacin if your kidneys are functioning properly. And it takes around 24 hours for the drug to be completely discarded through the urine.


How long does Ciprofloxacin take to work?

It usually takes about an hour for Ciprofloxacin to start working. But you will notice an improvement in your symptoms only after a couple of days.


What foods should I avoid while taking Cipro?

Ciprofloxacin is less effective if taken along milk and milk products or calcium-rich foods. You can eat them before 2 hours or after 6 hours of taking medicine.


Is Cipro good for UTI?

The extended-release form of Ciprofloxacin (Cipro XR) can be used to treat UTI. But, Cipro should not be used as the first-line drug, as the risk of serious side effects outweighs the benefits.


What does Ciprofloxacin interact with?

Ciprofloxacin interacts with many vitamin supplements, antacids, supplements (magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc), anticoagulants, Sildenafil, Tizanidine, etc.


Are side effects of Cipro permanent?

The side effects of Cipro occur soon after you start taking them, but the longer you take them, the more prone you are for developing severe side effects. Most symptoms are not permanent and go away in some time. But if your symptoms persist, consult a doctor.


Can you drink coffee while taking Ciprofloxacin?

Drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages along with Ciprofloxacin increases the effect of caffeine like sleeplessness, restlessness, anxiety, heart palpitations, etc. So avoid drinking coffee when you are on Cipro.


How effective is Ciprofloxacin for a toothache?

It can reduce toothache by treating gum or tooth infection. But Amoxicillin is best for toothache and infection, as Ciprofloxacin is effective against gram-negative bacteria, and gram-positive bacteria usually cause tooth infections.

Last reviewed at:
06 Jan 2023  -  5 min read




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