Ciprofloxacin: Uses, Side Effects, Dosage, Precautions & More



The Ciprofloxacin medicinal tablet treats different kinds of bacterial infections. It is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that is used for the treatment of anthrax and a few types of plague. It is recommended for adults only. Ciprofloxacin is helpful in treating severe bacterial infections where other antibiotics fail.

What are the uses of ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin, a quinolone antibiotic, is used to stop the growth of bacteria in the following conditions:

  • Eye infection

  • Conjunctivitis

  • Ear infections

  • Chest infections

  • Meningitis

  • Sexually transmitted infections 

  • Skin and bone infections

  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)

How and when to take ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin is available in the form of tablets, liquid, and extended-release tablets to be taken orally. The tablets and liquids are to be taken twice a day generally, whereas the extended-release tablets are taken once a day. For treating gonorrhoea, Ciprofloxacin should be taken every day and the suspension as a single dose only.

Do not chew the tablet; swallow it without crushing or breaking it. If you take it in a liquid form, shake the bottle well for 15 seconds each time you use it to mix it evenly. The dosage and the duration of treatment depend on the type of infection and its severity. But it is advisable to take it at the same time every day. Follow the doctor’s instructions. It is advisable not to take it with dairy products or calcium-fortified juices. Read the label on the medicine carefully before you take it. Take it with meals that include food or drinks.

In the case of eye drops, the doctor would suggest you put 1-2 drops in the affected eye 4 times a day. But if the infection is severe, the doctor may advise using it every 15 minutes for every 6 hours.

What are the side effects of ciprofloxacin?

There could be common or more serious kinds of side effects with Ciprofloxacin. 

What are the common side effects of ciprofloxacin?

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Liver function problems

  • Diarrhoea

Serious side effects

  • Skin rash

  • Muscle weakness

  • Irregular heartbeats

  • Jaundice

  • Urination

If you feel that you have developed any serious side effects, then you should consult your doctor immediately. You should avoid taking it if there are any reactions due to Ciprofloxacin.

The doctor may suggest taking this medicine because of its benefits rather than its side effects. Mostly, there are no side effects in the majority of cases.

What precautions should be taken while taking ciprofloxacin?

You need to discuss your allergies with your doctor if you are allergic to Ciprofloxacin or any other medicine. There are some inactive components of the medicine that may cause allergic reactions and various other health problems.

 You need to inform your doctor about the following existing conditions or diseases:

  • Heart problems

  • Diabetes

  • Kidney disease

  • Liver disease

  • Nerve problems

  • Joint problems

  • Seizures

  • High blood pressure

  • Genetic conditions

  • Blood vessel problems

The heart rhythm may be affected due to ciprofloxacin, which is known as QT prolongation. It could cause dizziness and fainting because of an irregular heartbeat.

What if I missed the dose of Ciprofloxacin?

If you miss one or two doses of Ciprofloxacin, it will not affect your body. But for a few medicines to work properly, it is necessary to take them at the scheduled time. Missing a dose will cause a rapid chemical change affecting the body. If you have missed a dose, the doctor may advise you to take it the moment you recall it. However, do not take it if another dose is due in some time. Keeping at least a 4-hour gap is a must between two doses. 

How does an overdose of ciprofloxacin affect the body?

If ciprofloxacin is taken in amounts greater than prescribed, then it could have harmful effects on your body. You might even need a medical emergency as well. Hence, rush to the nearest hospital or seek medical help immediately in case of an overdose.

What are the storage conditions of Ciprofloxacin?

The Ciprofloxacin medicine gets damaged due to its direct contact with air, heat, and light. Such exposure results in harmful effects of the medicine. It must be kept in a cool and dry place. Keep it in a safe place, away from children.

The medications should be stored at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees Fahrenheit (68-77 degrees Fahrenheit). It is advised to take it as per the doctor’s prescription and carry it in your bag if you are travelling in order to avoid emergencies.

Can I take Ciprofloxacin with other medicines?

Ciprofloxacin might cause some serious side effects when taken with certain medications. It is necessary to share information with your doctor about the medicines that you are already taking to avoid any interactions. The effect of the medicine may also decrease when it is taken with other drugs.

Warfarin, Acenocoumarol, and Strontium are some of the medicines that may interact with Ciprofloxacin.

How quickly will Ciprofloxacin show results?

Ciprofloxacin starts working within few days after taking it. However, it depends on the type of infection. If there is no improvement in your condition within two days after taking it, inform your doctor. 

Comparison of Ciprofloxacin with Amoxicillin




About the medicine

Ciprofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic.

Amoxicillin is an antibacterial medicine. 

Content and use

It is used for treating various types of bacterial infections including those who have been exposed to anthrax or certain types of plague.

It is used to treat pneumonia, bronchitis, and tonsillitis along with infections of the skin, urinary tract, nose, and ear.

Amoxicillin is sometimes used with clarithromycin (antibiotic) for treating stomach ulcers.

Side effects

It could cause serious  side effects such as

  • Skin rash

  • Muscle weakness

  • Urination

  • Irregular heartbeats

  • Jaundice

  • Severe stomach ache

  • Diarrhoea

Serious side effects of Amoxicillin includes:

  • Bloating

  • Cough

  • Chest pain

  • Abdominal pain

  • Dizziness

  • Diarrhoea

  • Blood in the urine

Though considered safe by many, Ciprofloxacin must be used as per the doctor’s advice and the dosage should be exactly as prescribed.

Let your doctor know about your existing health conditions and other medications that you take to avoid possible interactions or reactions due to this medicine.






Disclaimer: The information provided here is not meant to substitute an advice from a healthcare professional. The information is not intended to cover all the possible uses, side-effects, precautions, and drug interactions. This information is not intended to suggest that using a specific drug is suitable, safe, or efficient for you or anyone else. The absence of any information or warning regarding the drug should not be interpreted as an implicit guarantee from the organisation. We strongly advise you to consult a doctor if you have any concerns about the drug and never use the medication without a doctor’s prescription.