Ciprofloxacin tablets and suspension contain the active ingredient ciprofloxacin, which is a type of medicine called a quinolone antibiotic. Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria.
What is Ciprofloxacin
Ciprofloxacin works by killing the bacteria that are causing an infection. It does this by entering the bacterial cells and inhibiting a bacterial enzyme called DNA-gyrase. This enzyme is involved in replicating and repairing the genetic material (DNA) of the bacteria. If this enzyme doesn't work, the bacteria cannot reproduce or repair themselves and this kills the bacteria.
Ciprofloxacin is effective against a large number of bacteria, some of which tend to be resistant to other commonly used antibiotics. It is particularly useful against a sub-group of bacteria called Gram-negative bacteria, including salmonella, shigella, campylobacter, neisseria, and pseudomonas. It is used to treat a wide range of infections, including infections of the chest, urinary tract and of the gastrointestinal system. It is also used as a single dose treatment for gonorrhoea.
To make sure the bacteria causing an infection are susceptible to Ciprofloxacin your doctor may take a tissue sample, for example a swab from the throat or skin, or a urine or blood sample.
What is Ciprofloxacin used for?
In adults, Ciprofloxacin can be used to treat the infections below, when caused by susceptible bacteria.
- Bacterial infections of the lungs and airways (respiratory tract), such as pneumonia (but not 1st line treatment of pneumococcal pneumonia), acute bronchitis, bronchiectasis and lung infections in cystic fibrosis or chronic bronchitis.
- Bacterial ear, nose and throat infections such as sinusitis, otitis media and otitis externa.
- Bacterial eye infections such as bacterial conjunctivitis.
- Bacterial infections of the urinary tract, such as cystitis, kidney infections (pyelonephritis), urethritis.
- Bacterial infection of the prostate gland (prostatitis) or testicles (epididymitis).
- Bacterial infections of the skin and soft tissue, such as infected ulcers, wounds or burns, abscesses, cellulitis, erysipelas.
- Bacterial infections of bones and joints, such as osteomyelitis and septic arthritis.
- Abdominal bacterial infections, such as peritonitis or abdominal abscesses.
- Bacterial infections of the stomach and intestines, such as typhoid fever or infective diarrhoea.
- Bacterial infections of the biliary tract or gall bladder.
- Bacterial infections in the pelvis, such as pelvic inflammatory disease or infections in the uterus (endometritis) or uterine tube (salpingitis).
- Bacterial infection of the blood (septicaemia or blood poisoning).
- Preventing infections in people having stomach or intestinal surgery or endoscopic procedures, where there is an increased risk of infection.
- Preventing or treating anthrax affecting the lungs, following exposure to anthrax spores.
Before taking Ciprofloxacin
Before taking Ciprofloxacin make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have ever experienced tendon problems after taking any other quinolone antibiotic such as ofloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, nalidixic acid or norfloxacin.
- If you have kidney problems.
- If you have epilepsy or any other condition that causes fitting.
- If you have myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakening disease).
- If you know you have glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.
How do I take Ciprofloxacin?
- The dose of this medicine and how long it needs to be taken for depends on your kidney function and the type of infection you have. Follow the instructions given by your doctor. These will be printed on the dispensing label that your pharmacist has put on the packet of medicine.
- Ciprofloxacin is usually taken twice a day (every 12 hours).
- Ciprofloxacin tablets should be swallowed whole and not chewed.
- Bottles of suspension should be shaken before measuring out a dose. Only use the measuring spoon provided with the suspension. You should not use a regular teaspoon or tablespoon to take the medicine, as this will not give an accurate dose.
- Ciprofloxacin can be taken either with or without food.
- You should not take milk, yoghurt, antacids for indigestion or heartburn, or medicines containing calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium or aluminium at the same time as ciproxin. This is because these can reduce the absorption of the antibiotic from the gut.
- Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, it is important that you finish the prescribed course of this antibiotic medicine, even if you feel better or it seems the infection has cleared up. Stopping the course early increases the chance that the infection will come back and that the bacteria will grow resistant to the antibiotic.
Side effects of Ciprofloxacin
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)
Uncommon (affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)
- Loss of appetite.
- Feeling weak or tired (asthenia).
- Sleep disturbances.
- Hyperactivity or agitation.
- Taste disturbances.
- Abdominal pain, flatulence (wind) or indigestion.
- Joint or back pain.
- Fungal infections.
Rare (affect between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 10,000 people)
- Disturbances in the numbers of blood cells in the blood.
- Increased blood sugar levels (hyperglycaemia).
- Depression. Tell your doctor straight away if you notice any change in your mood, feelings or thoughts while taking this medicine.
- Abnormal dreams.
- Pins and needles, burning or numb sensations. Tell your doctor straight away if you notice any strange sensations while taking this medicine.
- Visual disturbances.
- Hearing problems, including tinnitus.
- Increased heart rate.
- Low blood pressure or fainting.
- Shortness of breath.
- Muscle pain or cramps.
- Increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight.
- Inflammation of the bowel lining.
- Liver or kidney disorders. Tell your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms while taking this medicine, as they may suggest a problem with your liver: rapidly feeling weak or unwell, unexplained itching, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice) or unusually dark urine.
Very rare (affect less than 1 in 10,000 people)
- Disturbances in smell.
- Tendon disorders (see warning section above).
- Psychotic reactions.
- Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).
- Severe allergic skin reactions. Consult your doctor immediately if you get a severe rash, skin peeling, or painful blisters in the mouth/nose or genitals while taking this medicine.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store Ciprofloxacin
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.
Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note: We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.