Ciprofloxacin Uses, Dosage, Interactions and Side Effects

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic that is used to treat several different types of infections in the body. This may also be used to slow anthrax in the body.

Ciprofloxacin is in a class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones, which are used to eliminate bacterial infections in the body. These medications are not used to treat viral infections such as the flu or the common cold. Your symptoms may get better before the end of your prescription, but you should continue to take your medication for the full length of the medication period. This will help ensure that the bacteria are sufficiently eliminated so that your infection does not return.

Indications and Usage

Ciprofloxacin is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. In some cases this may also be used to stop or slow the reaction of anthrax when the body has been exposed. This medication should be taken with a full glass of water, though it may be taken without food. Make sure to take in extra fluids throughout the day when using ciprofloxacin as this medication makes it easy to become dehydrated. Try to take your medication around the same time every day to keep a steady stream of the medicine in your system at all times.

Do not chew or split your pills when taking your dose as it can make your body absorb the medication too quickly. When using the liquid form of this medication, avoid chewing the beads suspended in the liquid when you swallow your dose. You will need to shake this medication for at least 15 seconds before you take your dose. Use a market measuring spoon to take your medication rather than trusting a household spoon to ensure that you get the proper amount of medication with each dose. Do not skip doses and do not double up on doses when you accidently forget to take one.

Ciprofloxacin Dosage

Dosing will vary based on the nature and severity of the infection.

  • Mild infections are treated with 250 mg for three days, while moderate infections are often treated with 500 mg per day for 7-14 days.
  • Bacterial prostatitis will need to be treated with 500 mg for up to 28 days.
  • Those treating a severe or complicated infection can be given up to 750 mg of ciprofloxacin each day for 7-14 days.
  • Children may receive an alternate dose based on their weight. Doses for children often range from 200-400 mg per day.

Caution: Those who have liver disease, kidney disease, joint problems or a heart rhythm disorder may not be able to take it. Talk with your doctor about these risks before you start your prescription to help avoid a potentially dangerous reaction to your medication.

Ciprofloxacin Side Effects

  • Side effects involve discomfort of the eye. Up to 10 percent of users report crusty eyelids, eye itching, feeling as though something is in the eye or eye redness while on this medication.
  • Up to two percent of users report problems with the cornea.
  • Ear pain, itching of the ear, headaches or fungal ear infections occur in up to 2-3 percent of users. If an infection of the ear occurs, see your doctor for appropriate treatment.

Report these issues to your doctor to determine if treatment is necessary to help combat them. Do not stop taking to avoid these symptoms unless told to do so by a medical professional.

  • Other more common side effects include nausea in four percent of patients, headaches in up to three percent of users, dizziness in two percent, diarrhea in up to two percent, yeast infections in 2.6 percent, vomiting in two percent, inflammation of the nasal passages or throat in 2.6 percent, urgency to urinate in two percent, abnormal liver function tests in 1.3 percent, rash in one percent, and indigestion in up to one percent of users. These side effects are not necessarily dangerous, but should be reported to your doctor to ensure your dosage is at the level it should be.
  • Children are shown to suffer from an increase in arthraglgia, arthrosis, joint sprains, and limited movements in the joints when using ciprofloxacin. In addition to these issues, children see an increased risk of suffering from abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, diarrhea, fever, myalgia, asthma, rash, dizziness, insomnia or somnolence more so than other groups. Talk with your doctor about these risks and monitor your child's condition carefully while they are using ciprofloxacin. You may need to have their dose adjusted to help combat these issues.

When to Contact Emergent Care

If you begin to suffer from joint or muscle problems, swelling, pain, bruising or rupturing of a tendon, seizures, fainting, unusual changes in thoughts or behavior, irregular heartbeat, watery, bloody or severe diarrhea, burning, numbness or prickling in the arms and legs or signs of liver problems you may be suffering from a severe reaction to ciprofloxacin. Contact your doctor right away to determine how to proceed with your treatment at this point.

If you begin to suffer from unexplained rash, hives, itching, swelling of the mouth or throat, wheezing or difficulty breathing you may be having an allergic reaction to your prescription. If these side effects come on suddenly or make you feel like you will lose consciousness, contact emergency medical services right away to get help.


Some medications, including blood thinners, clozapine, glyburide, methotrexate, metoclopramide, phenytoin, probenecid, ropinirole, theophylline, NSAIDs or steroids may interact negatively with ciprofloxacin. Tell your doctor about any medications or substances you take regularly so this risk can be determined before you start your prescription.



Diovan is used to manage high blood pressure. This medication is often prescribed in addition to other medications to manage your condition.

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