Ciprofloxacin Uses, Dosage, Interactions and Side Effects

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.

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

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.

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.

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