What Cipro Is
Cipro (trade name for ciprofloxacin) is an antibiotic of the fluoroquinolone class. Cipro is prescribed for treating dangerous acute bacterial diseases and when milder antibiotics do not work because it can cause adverse or even disabling side effects that sometimes may be irreversible. Among the indications for Cipro are anthrax, certain types of plague, some bone and joint infections, abdominal infections, certain type of infectious diarrhea, respiratory infections, typhoid fever, skin infections, and urinary tract infections.
Recommendations for Use, Dosage and Overdose
Take Cipro in strict accordance with your doctor’s prescription and directions on the label and the instruction sheet. It is recommended to take Cipro at the same time each day; it can be taken with meals to avoid upsetting your stomach.
If you take Cipro as liquid suspension, shake the bottle before you measure a dose. Do not measure the dose with a regular kitchen spoon, use a special syringe, cup or spoon. Do not feed Cipro oral suspension through a tube.
Increased fluid intake is recommended when taking ciprofloxacin. Use the drug for the full prescribed course, even if your symptoms improve. Do not skip doses either because it can increase the risk of developing an antibiotic-resistant infection. Keep in mind that ciprofloxacin, as well as other antibiotics, does not treat viral infections such as flu or common cold.
If you accidentally skip a dose, take it as soon as you remember, but skip it if your next one is due in less than 6 hours. Do not take two doses at a time.
If you accidentally overdose the drug, please, seek urgent medical help immediately.
Precautions and Contraindications
Do not take Cipro if you are allergic to it or other fluoroquinolones, or if you also receive tizanidine treatment.
Ciprofloxacin may lead to swelling or tearing of a tendon, especially in the Achilles’ tendon. It can happen even months after Cipro treatment. These problems are more likely to occur in children and senior adults, people who have had an organ transplant or are taking steroid medicines.
To make sure Cipro is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- Problems with bones, tendons or joints, arthritis;
- Low blood sugar, diabetes;
- Problems with the nervous system;
- Problems with blood circulation, aneurysm;
- Heart problems;
- Myasthenia gravis;
- Liver or kidney conditions;
- Head injury, a seizure, or brain tumor;
- Low potassium levels (hypokalemia);
- Long QT syndrome (even in family history).
Cipro should be given to children with caution.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding. The clinical data is insufficient to know whether ciprofloxacin can harm a fetus or a nursing child. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed when on ciprofloxacin treatment and for two days after your take your last dose.
Interactions with Other Drugs and Substances
Some medications can make Cipro less effective when taken simultaneously. Take Cipro two hours before other medications or six hours after.
Among the medications that can interfere with Cipro are:
- Ulcer medications (like sucralfate), calcium-, magnesium-, or aluminum-based antacids;
- Supplements with calcium, magnesium, iron, or zinc.
Inform your doctor about all the medicines that you are taking, especially:
- Cyclosporine, clozapine, methotrexate, probenecid, phenytoin, ropinirole, sildenafil, or theophylline;
- Blood thinners (Jantoven, warfarin, Coumadin);
- Heart medications, diuretics;
- Orally-administered diabetes medication;
- Caffeine-containing products;
- Antidepressants or other medications for mental health;
- Steroids (like prednisone);
- NSAIDs – aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
The list is incomplete. Other drugs may interact with Cipro, including over-the-counter medicines, like vitamins and herbal products. Keep in mind not to take Cipro with dairy products or with calcium-fortified juice. Note that ciprofloxacin increases photosensitivity, which could lead to sunburns. Avoid direct sunlight or tanning beds. To prevent sunburns, wear protective clothing and sunscreen (SPF 30+) outdoors.
Cipro can impair your reactions, so avoiding driving or operating heavy machinery or hazardous materials is recommended.
If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction (difficult breathing, hives, swollen glands) or a severe skin reaction (sore throat, fever, eyes itching, skin pain, rash, blistering and peeling), get emergency medical help.
Ciprofloxacin can cause adverse side effects to tendons and nerves, which can be irreversible, serious mood or behavior changes or lower your blood sugar level.
Contact your doctor immediately if you have:
- Low blood sugar symptoms: headache, dizziness, hunger, irritability, fast heart rate, nausea;
- Nerve damage symptoms: tingling, numbness, burning sensations in extremities;
- Serious mood or behavior changes: confusion, anxiety, agitation, hallucinations, paranoia, memory problems, concentration problems, suicidal thoughts;
- Signs of tendon rupture: sharp pain, tenderness, swelling, stiffness, bruising, movement problems, a snapping or popping sound in any of your joints. Rest the joint until further medical care or instructions.
Very rarely ciprofloxacin can damage the aorta, the main blood artery of the body. This could cause dangerous intense bleeding or death. Get urgent medical help if you feel severe and permanent pain in your chest, back or stomach.
Other common Cipro-associated side effects that require medical consultation include:
- Stomach pain, watery or bloody diarrhea;
- Fast pounding heartbeat, chest fluttering, short breath, dizziness;
- Skin rash;
- Muscle fatigue;
- Insufficient urination;
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- Increased intracranial pressure: severe headaches, dizziness, ringing in your ears, nausea, vision problems, pain behind the eyes;
- Abnormal liver function tests.
Keep in Mind
Do not give Cipro to other people. While they might have the same symptoms or even disease as you do, their individual circumstances and health might be different and the drug might harm them.
Store the drug at room temperature in dry dark places. Do not freeze the liquid medicine and dispose of any unused suspension after 14 days. Keep out of children’s reach.
Provide your doctor with full information about the conditions you have or had in the past, all the medications you are currently taking, known allergies to any substances, pregnancy or breastfeeding. Use Cipro only when prescribed by a professional qualified physician and strictly in accordance with their instructions! If you experience any severe side effects or reactions, always inform your doctor immediately.