Ciprofloxacin (By mouth)


Ciprofloxacin (sip-roe-FLOX-a-sin)

Treats infections. Also treats anthrax infection after possible exposure. This medicine is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic.

Brand Name(s)


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to ciprofloxacin or to any other fluoroquinolone antibiotic (such as levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, Avelox®, Floxin®, Levaquin®, or Noroxin®). Do not use this medicine together with tizanidine (Zanaflex®). This medicine should not be used in patients who have myasthenia gravis.

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • The extended-release tablet (Cipro® XR, Proquin® XR) is not the same as the regular-release tablet (Cipro®) or liquid (Cipro®). Use the exact medicine that your doctor prescribed. Do not use a different medicine, even if the names look alike.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food. Do not take this medicine with milk, yogurt, or other dairy products. Do not drink any juice with added calcium when you take this medicine. You may have dairy products or juice as part of a larger meal and then take this medicine with that meal.
  • Proquin® XR tablets should be taken with a main meal, preferably the evening meal.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Shake the oral liquid for at least 15 seconds just before each use. The oral liquid has small microcapsules floating in it. These microcapsules may look like bubbles or small beads. Do not chew the microcapsules when you drink the liquid. Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Drink extra fluids so you will pass more urine while you are using this medicine. This will keep your kidneys working well and help prevent kidney problems.
  • Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose. Do not take more than 1 extended-release tablet (Cipro® XR, Proquin® XR) each day.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. You may store the oral liquid at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Do not keep the oral liquid for more than 14 days. Throw away any liquid that you do not use after 14 days.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you use a steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, or Medrol®). Your risk of tendon problems may increase if you use this medicine together with a steroid.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you also use clozapine (Clozaril®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), duloxetine (Cymbalta®), lidocaine (Xylocaine®), metoclopramide (Reglan®, Reglan ODT®), methotrexate (Folex®, Rheumatrex®, Trexall®), omeprazole (Prilosec®), pentoxifylline (Trental®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), probenecid (Benemid®, Col-probenecid®), ropinirole (Requip®), sildenafil (Viagra®), or theophylline (Elixophyllin®, Theochron®, Theolair®, Theo-Dur®, Theo-24®, Uniphyl®). Tell your doctor if you use a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®), diabetes medicine (such as glyburide, Diabeta®, Glucovance®, Glynase®, or Micronase®), heart rhythm medicine (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, quinidine, procainamide, sotalol, Betapace®, Cardioquin®, Cordarone®, Norpace®, Procanbid® , Quinaglute®, or Tikosyn®), or pain or arthritis medicine (such as celecoxib, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, or Celebrex®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you also use medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, fluoxetine, nortriptyline, Elavil®, Pamelor®, Prozac®, Sarafem®, or Vivactil®) or to treat mental illness (such as haloperidol, mesoridazine, pimozide, prochlorperazine, quetiapine, thioridazine, ziprasidone, Compazine®, Geodon®, Haldol®, Mellaril®, Orap®, Serentil®, or Seroquel®).
  • Some medicines can change with the way ciprofloxacin works in your body. Tell your doctor if you use antacids that contain magnesium or aluminum (such as Maalox®, Mylanta®) or any vitamin or mineral supplements that contain calcium, zinc, or iron. Also talk with your doctor if you use lanthanum carbonate (Fosrenol®), sevelamer (Renagel®), sucralfate (Carafate®), or didanosine (Videx®, Videx® EC) powder or chewable buffered tablets. If you use any of these medicines, take them at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after you take ciprofloxacin.
  • Avoid products that have caffeine (such as coffee, soda, chocolate, or energy drinks) while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, heart rhythm problems (such as QT prolongation), hypokalemia (low blood potassium), nerve problems, rheumatoid arthritis or joint problems, or a history of seizures, epilepsy, head injury, or stroke.
  • Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin; red skin rash; sores or ulcers on the skin; or fever or chills.
  • Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have dark urine, clay-colored stools, abdominal or stomach pain, or yellow eyes or skin. These maybe symptoms of a serious liver problem.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet. These may be symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
  • This medicine may rarely cause inflammation or tearing of a tendon (the cord that attaches muscles to bones). This can occur while you are taking the medicine or after you finish taking it. Your risk may be increased if you are older than 60 years of age, use steroid medicines (such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, or Medrol®), have severe kidney problems, have a history of tendon problems (such as rheumatoid arthritis), or have received an organ transplant (such as heart, kidney, or lung). Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have sudden pain or swelling in a tendon after exercise (such as ankle, back of the knee or leg, shoulder, elbow, or wrist), bruise more easily after an injury, or are not able to put weight on or move the affected area. Do not exercise until your doctor says it is all right.
  • If you have severe diarrhea, ask your doctor before taking any medicine to stop the diarrhea. Diarrhea may occur 2 months or more after you stop taking this medicine.
  • This medicine can cause changes in heart rhythms, such as a condition called QT prolongation. Contact your doctor right away if you have fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, and lightheaded. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • Use this medicine only to treat the infection your doctor has prescribed it for. Do not use this medicine for any infection or condition that has not been checked by a doctor. This medicine will not treat the flu or the common cold.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate
  • Changes in the color of your urine or stool
  • Confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior
  • Diarrhea that may be bloody
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your upper stomach
  • Numbness, tingling, weakness, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Pain or swelling in your knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, hand, or wrist
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Severe sunburn
  • Trouble breathing
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, tiredness, or weakness
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain
  • Mild skin rash or itching

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

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