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Ciprofloxacin Overview

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections throughout the body.

Brand Names: Cipro, Cipro XR, Cipro Cystitis Pack, Cipro I.V.

Used for: Bone and joint infections, Chest infections, Digestive system infections, Prostate infections, Urinary tract infections (UTIs), Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhoea

Availability: Prescription.

Dosage: 100 mg to 1000 mg denpending on condition.

Pregnancy: Catagory C Risk cannot be ruled out.

Side effects: Bruising easily, Tender, stiff or swollen joints, Sudden joint pain, Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), Lack of appetite, Sight problems, Muscle, weakness, Seizures, Insomnia.

Warnings: While alcohol won’t make ciprofloxacin less effective, drinking too much can make you dehydrated.

Notes: There are a number of medicines and supplements that don’t mix well with ciprofloxacin - see a doctor before using.

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Learn About:

How to take - Side Effects - Dosage - Things To Avoid - Pregnancy

Called ‘Cipro’ in many branded products it is just one of many antibiotics available, so it’s important to discuss your illness with a doctor to determine if ciprofloxacin is the right drug for you. For example, it causes a handful of side effects that could be harmful if you suffer from certain other medical conditions.

Our doctors can assess your situation fully and, if appropriate, write a prescription that you can pick up from a pharmacy of your choice.

How To Take Ciprofloxacin

Ciprofloxacin is usually prescribed either as an extended release tablet or a liquid.

The tablet is designed to be swallowed whole, without being chewed or broken. This is because the drug is designed to be released gradually into your system. Failing to take the tablet properly will make ciprofloxacin less effective.

If you’re given this medicine in liquid form, shake the bottle well before each use and ensure you’re measuring out the correct dosage.

It’s advisable to drink plenty of water during your course of ciprofloxacin, as it can make you dehydrated. You can normally take it with or without food, but you may wish to check this with your doctor beforehand.

What Does Ciprofloxacin Treat?

The bacterial infections ciprofloxacin can treat include:

What Are The Side Effects of Ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin has a number of potential side effects. While they won’t affect everyone, you should talk to your doctor before you start taking this drug to see if it’s suitable for you.

You might experience a mild dizzy spell, headache and/or impaired reactions when taking ciprofloxacin. Like all antibiotics, it can also cause digestive issues. You should speak to your doctor if your poo is very watery or bloody, as this could indicate a secondary infection.

You might also find you get sunburned more easily if you’re outside. It’s advisable to use plenty of sun cream during your treatment.

In some cases, ciprofloxacin can result in tendon damage or tearing, most commonly in the achilles tendon, which is found at the back of your ankle. This side effect is considered more likely to affect you if you’re over 60, currently taking steroids or you’ve had an organ transplant.

There are a number of serious potential side effects that should be reported to a doctor as soon as you experience them. They include;

  • Bruising easily
  • Tender, stiff or swollen joints
  • Sudden joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)
  • Lack of appetite
  • Sight problems
  • Muscle weakness
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia

Finally, in rare cases you might experience an allergic reaction to ciprofloxacin. Call for emergency medical assistance immediately if you’re having difficulty breathing, or if you notice swelling around your face, lips or throat.

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Ciprofloxacin Dosage

Ciprofloxacin will usually need to be taken every 12 hours, but it’ll be up to your doctor to determine your exact dosage. Whatever they prescribe, it’s important you follow this for the entire duration of your treatment.

You should never skip doses. If you do so by accident, take the medicine as soon as you remember, unless it’s nearly time for your next dose. Don’t take a double dose to compensate for a missed dose, as this will do more harm than good.

Unless you experience the serious side effects detailed above, take the entire course of ciprofloxacin as directed by your doctor. You shouldn’t stop taking the medicine just because you feel better, or because you don’t see any improvement after a couple of days. Ciprofloxacin takes time to work properly.

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Things To Avoid

There are a number of medicines and supplements that don’t mix well with ciprofloxacin, so you should tell your doctor about anything you’re taking, whether it’s a prescription medicine, over the counter product or nutritional supplement.

For example, ciprofloxacin should not be taken alongside:

  • Blood thinners
  • Tizanidine
  • Magnesium, Aluminium, Zinc, Iron & Calcium supplements
  • Didanosine
  • Caffeine
  • Dairy products - these can still be enjoyed as ingredients in a meal, just not on their own

Alcohol and Ciprofloxacin

While alcohol won’t make ciprofloxacin less effective, drinking too much can make you dehydrated. You already need to drink more water than normal to stay hydrated while you’re taking this drug, so drinking alcohol could make this task more different.

Dehydration is potentially a very serious issue, so it’s strongly advisable to either limit your alcohol consumption or cut it out entirely during your treatment.

Ciprofloxacin and Medical Conditions

Ciprofloxacin might also be unsuitable if you have had any of the following medical conditions:

  • Tendon or joint problems
  • Muscle or nerve disorders
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart problems
  • Head injuries
  • Epilepsy
  • Brain tumours
  • Diabetes

It’s important your doctor is aware of your medical history in order to prescribe the most appropriate drug to treat your infection.

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ciprofloxacin being pregnant

Is It Safe To Take Ciprofloxacin During Pregnancy?

The impact of ciprofloxacin on an unborn baby is unknown. As such, it’s important that you tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to start a family in the near future. In these cases, ciprofloxacin will only normally be prescribed if the potential positives for the mother outweigh any risks to the baby.

Ciprofloxacin has been shown to contaminate the milk of breastfeeding mothers, which can be harmful for a baby. You shouldn’t breastfeed while using this drug. Talk to a doctor about your options, from choosing an alternative medicine to temporarily stopping breast feeding.

Find Out More

If you’d like to discuss whether ciprofloxacin is the best antibiotic for you, talk to one of our doctors today. Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with a bacterial or infection, or your current antibiotic hasn’t had the desired effect, our GPs will listen to you and offer professional, practical advice on your treatment options.

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