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Brand names:


Other names:

Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride

Often used for:

Treating or preventing infections

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About Ciprofloxacin

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic. It works to kill bacteria that cause infections.

Ciprofloxacin comes in different forms. Follow dosing instructions carefully.

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May be taken as a tablet by mouth

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May be taken as a liquid by mouth

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May be given as a liquid into a vein by IV

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Possible Short-Term Side Effects

  • Rash
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Abdominal pain
  • Heartburn
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Vaginal itching and/or discharge

Not all patients who take ciprofloxacin will experience these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Please report all suspected side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Possible Long-Term Side Effects

  • Joint, muscle, or tendon problems
  • Peripheral neuropathy
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Tips for Families

Be sure to discuss these and other recommendations with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Let a doctor know if the patient has severe diarrhea while on this medicine.
  • While taking ciprofloxacin, it is important to drink plenty of fluids. Patients should follow the care team’s instructions for appropriate fluid intake.
  • While taking ciprofloxacin, patients should not take antacids unless recommended by a doctor.
  • Patients should protect their skin from the sun while taking this medicine.
  • Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Finish all doses of the medicine as instructed by a doctor or pharmacist.

Ciprofloxacin at home:

  • Take medicine at the same time each day.
  • Ciprofloxacin can be taken with or without food. Take with food if stomach upset occurs.
  • Take with a full glass of water.
  • Do not take ciprofloxacin with dairy products or calcium-rich foods unless taking with a full meal.
  • Limit caffeine intake while on this medicine.
  • Tablets should be swallowed whole. Do not crush, chew, or break before swallowing.
  • Liquid ciprofloxacin: Shake well, and use the measuring device that comes with the medicine.
  • Do not give liquid ciprofloxacin through a feeding tube. Use the tablet form of the medicine as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Store ciprofloxacin (oral forms) at room temperature.
  • Give a missed dose as soon as possible. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the dose. Do not give 2 doses at the same time. The extended-release tablet should not be taken more than once a day.
  • Do not use the medicine past the expiration date.
  • Follow instructions for safe storage and disposal.