What is Ciprofloxacin?
Ciprofloxacin is a type of medicine called a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. The active ingredient, ciprofloxacin, works by killing the bacteria that cause gastrointestinal infections (travellers’ diarrhoea), urinary infections and other bacterial infections, thereby reducing symptoms such as diarrhoea, pain and fever. Ciprofloxacin is a prescription-only medicine.
What is Ciprofloxacin used for?
Ciprofloxacin is a strong antibiotic. It is often used when other antibiotics are not effective. Ciprofloxacin is used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections, including:
- Infections of the gastrointestinal system (characterised by symptoms such as diarrhoea, stomach pain and/or vomiting);
- Infections of the urinary tract (e.g. bladder infection and pyelonephritis);
- Respiratory infections such as pneumonia, middle ear infection and sinus infection;
- Infections of the skin and soft tissue;
- Infections of the joints and bones.
How to use Ciprofloxacin?
Ciprofloxacin tablets should be swallowed whole and not chewed. It is important to drink plenty of fluid while taking this medicine. Do not take dairy products (e.g. milk, yoghurt, cheese) at the same time as Ciprofloxacin. This is because these can reduce the absorption of the antibiotic from the gut. Always finish the entire course, even if you feel better. Stopping the course too soon may cause the infection to return. In general, Ciprofloxacin is given as a 5 to 21-day course, depending on the symptoms.
Ciprofloxacin is available in tablets of 250 mg and 500 mg. The doctor will recommend the right variant for you depending on your symptoms. Unless otherwise prescribed, the usual dose in adults is:
- 100 mg to 750 mg twice a day for as long as the doctor prescribes.
This medicine should only be used in children and young people on advice of a doctor. In this case, the doctor will prescribe an adjusted dose. Read the package leaflet before use.
Ciprofloxacin may cause side effects. The most commonly reported side effects include:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. nausea, diarrhoea, loss of appetite);
- Increased sensitivity of the skin to UV light (avoid exposure to direct sunlight and sunbeds);
- Joint pain;
- Sleep disturbances.
Consult a doctor if these or other side effects are severe. For more information on possible side effects, see the package leaflet.
When not to use Ciprofloxacin
Ciprofloxacin is not suitable for everyone and should not be used if:
- You are allergic to ciprofloxacin or any other ingredient in this medicine;
- You are taking a muscle relaxant called Tizanidine.
Consult a doctor on the use of Ciprofloxacin if you have epilepsy, diabetes, cardiac arrhythmia, abnormal muscle weakness (myasthenia gravis) or other health problems. Ciprofloxacin may interact with other medicines. It is therefore important to tell the doctor what other medicines you are taking when you order.
Do not use Ciprofloxacin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, unless otherwise advised by your doctor.
This medicine may affect your ability to react. Stay out of traffic if you are less alert.
Alcohol may trigger or intensify the side effects. It is therefore important to reduce or stop alcohol consumption while taking this medicine.