What is Ciprofloxacin and why is it prescribed?
Ciprofloxacin is used to treat infections of the lower respiratory tract, the abdomen, the skin, the bones and joints, and the urinary tract, including cystitis in women. Ciprofloxacin is also prescribed for severe sinus or bronchial infections, infectious diarrhea, typhoid fever, inhalational anthrax, infections of the prostate gland, and some sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea. Additionally, some doctors prescribe Ciprofloxacin for certain serious ear infections, tuberculosis, and some of the infections common in people with AIDS. Because Ciprofloxacin is effective only for certain types of bacterial infections, before beginning treatment your doctor may perform tests to identify the specific organisms causing your infection. Ciprofloxacin is available as a tablet and an oral suspension and as a suspension to be used externally in the ear. Ciprofloxacin kills a variety of bacteria, and is frequently used to treat infections in many parts of the body. However, be sure to stop taking Ciprofloxacin and notify your doctor immediately at the first sign of a skin rash or any other allergic reaction. Although quite rare, serious and occasionally fatal allergic reactions, some following the first dose, have been reported in people receiving this type of antibacterial drug. Some reactions have been accompanied by collapse of the circulatory system, loss of consciousness, swelling of the face and throat, shortness of breath, tingling, itching, and hives. Fever and jaundice are other potential symptoms that should send you to the doctor immediately.

How should you take Ciprofloxacin?
Follow your doctors directions for taking Ciprofloxacin. Ciprofloxacin may be taken with or without meals but is best tolerated when taken 2 hours after a meal. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication to prevent crystals from forming in your urine. Ciprofloxacin works best when there is a constant amount in the blood and urine. To help keep the level constant, try not to miss any doses, and take them at evenly spaced intervals around the clock. If you are taking the suspension, be sure to shake the bottle vigorously for 15 seconds before each dose. Swallow without chewing the microcapsules in the suspension. Reclose the bottle completely, following the instructions on the cap. If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take two doses at the same time. Ciprofloxacin tablets should be stored at room temperature. Ciprofloxacin suspension may be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. The suspension is good for 14 days.

Are there any Ciprofloxacin side effects?
Ciprofloxacin side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. The most common Ciprofloxacin side effect is nausea. Less common Ciprofloxacin side effects may include abdominal pain/discomfort, diarrhea, headache, rash, restlessness, and vomiting. Rare Ciprofloxacin side effects may include abnormal dread or fear, achiness, bleeding in the stomach and/or intestines, blood clots in the lungs, blurred vision, breast pain, change in color perception, chills, confusion, constipation, convulsions, coughing up blood, decreased vision, depression, difficulty in swallowing, dizziness, double vision, drowsiness, eye pain, fainting, fever, flushing, foot pain, gas, gout flare up, hallucinations, hearing loss, heart attack, hiccups, high blood pressure, hives, inability to fall or stay asleep, inability to urinate, indigestion, intestinal inflammation, involuntary eye movement, irregular heartbeat, irritability, itching, joint or back pain, joint stiffness, kidney failure, labored breathing, lack of muscle coordination, lack or loss of appetite, large volumes of urine, light-headedness, loss of sense of identity, loss of sense of smell, mouth sores, neck pain, nightmares, nosebleed, pounding heartbeat, ringing in the ears, seizures, sensitivity to light, severe allergic reaction, skin peeling, redness, sluggishness, speech difficulties, swelling of the face, neck, lips, eyes, or hands, swelling of the throat, swollen lymph nodes, tender, red bumps on skin, tingling sensation, tremors, unpleasant taste, unusual darkening of the skin, vaginal inflammation, vague feeling of illness, weakness, and yellowed eyes and skin.

What are the possible food and drug interactions when taking Ciprofloxacin?
If Ciprofloxacin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Be sure to inform your doctor of all the prescription and over the counter medications you are taking. Serious and fatal reactions have occurred when Ciprofloxacin was taken in combination with theophylline (Theo-Dur). These reactions have included cardiac arrest, seizures, status epilepticus, and respiratory failure. The following can interfere with the absorption of Ciprofloxacin and should be taken no less than 6 hours before or 2 hours after a dose: Antacids containing magnesium and aluminum, Carafate, Supplements and other products containing calcium, iron, or zinc, and Videx chewable tablets and pediatric powder. You should also avoid taking Ciprofloxacin with milk or yogurt alone, though calcium taken as part of a full meal has no significant effect on the drug. Ciprofloxaxin may increase the effects of caffeine. It is especially important to check with you doctor before combining Ciprofloxaxin with Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), Cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral), Glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase, Micronase), Metoprolol (Lopressor), Phenytoin (Dilantin), Probenecid, or Warfarin (Coumadin).

Are there any special warnings about Ciprofloxacin?
Ciprofloxacin may cause you to become dizzy or light-headed. Continued or prolonged use of Ciprofloxacin may result in a growth of bacteria that do not respond to this medication and can cause a secondary infection. Therefore, it is important that your doctor monitor your condition on a regular basis. Ciprofloxacin can cause increased pressure within the brain. Convulsions have been reported in people receiving the drug. If you experience a seizure or convulsion, notify your doctor immediately. Ciprofloxacin may stimulate the central nervous system, which may lead to tremors, restlessness, light-headedness, confusion, depression, and hallucinations. If these reactions occur, consult your doctor at once. Other central nervous system reactions include nervousness, agitation, insomnia, anxiety, nightmares, and paranoia. If you have a known or suspected central nervous system disorder such as epilepsy or hardening of the arteries in the brain, make sure your doctor knows about it when prescribing Ciprofloxacin. Remember to stop taking Ciprofloxacin and see your doctor at the first hint of an allergic reaction. Also call your doctor if you develop diarrhea. Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxaxin occasionally trigger a form of diarrhea that needs a doctor's attention. You may become more sensitive to light while taking this drug. Try to stay out of the sun as much as possible. People taking Ciprofloxacin have been known to suffer torn tendons. If you feel any pain or inflammation in a tendon area, stop taking the drug and call your doctor; you should rest and avoid exercise. You may need surgery to repair the tendon. If you must take Ciprofloxacin for an extended period of time, your doctor will probably order blood tests and tests for urine, kidney, and liver function. If you are taking Ciprofloxacin to treat gonorrhea, the doctor should test you for syphilis after 3 months.

Information on this website is provided for educational purposes and should not replace discussions with your doctor.


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