Ciprofloxacin: What is it? Class, Uses, Side Effects and Interactions

It is an antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections. Stops the multiplication of bacteria by inhibiting the reproduction and repair of their genetic material.


Ciprofloxacin belongs to the class of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Examples of other antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone class include:

  • Levofloxacina (Levaquin).
  • Ofloxacin (Floxin).
  • Gatifloxacina (Tequin).
  • Norfloxacin (noroxin).
  • Moxifloxacina (Avelox).
  • Trovafloxacina (Trovan).

What types of bacterial infections are you treating?

Skin infections., Lung or respiratory tract infections, for example, tuberculosis (TB), pneumonic and septicemic plague due to Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis), lower respiratory tract infections and chronic bronchitis, for example:

  • Bone infections
  • Joint infections
  • Urinary tract infections (UTI) caused by certain bacteria such as E. coli .
  • Infectious diarrhea caused by E. coli, Campylobacter jejuni and the Shigella bacterium.
  • Patients with anthrax with fever and low white blood cell counts and intra-abdominal infections.
  • Typhoid fever.
  • Cervical and urethral gonorrhea due to Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis.
  • Acute cystitis uncomplicated.

What infections should not be treated with this medicine?

Due to the serious side effects associated with fluoroquinolones, they should not be used to treat certain infections unless there are no other alternatives, including:

  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI).
  • Acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis.
  • Acute bacterial sinusitis

Ciprofloxacin like other antibiotics in the class of fluoroquinolone antibiotics have been associated with tendonitis and even rupture of the tendon, particularly the Achilles tendon.

Some doctors and other medical professionals recommend that patients discontinue vigorous exercise while taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

Fluoroquinolones have neuromuscular blocking activity and may worsen muscle weakness in individuals with myasthenia gravis.

What are the side effects of ciprofloxacin?

The most common side effects are:

  • Nausea.
  • He retched.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Eruption.
  • Headache.
  • Restlessness.

Anaphylaxis or shock is a rare allergic reaction to this medication. This allergic reaction is a medical emergency and you are experiencing these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Symptoms of shock include:

  • Cardiovascular collapse
  • Facial swelling or throat.
  • Short of breath.
  • Urticaria.
  • Itch.

What are the serious side effects?

Possible serious side effects include:

  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Effects of the central nervous system (CNS), for example, toxic psychosis, nervousness, agitation, insomnia , anxiety, nightmares, paranoia, dizziness, tremors, depression and hallucinations.
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Diarrhea associated with Clostridium difficile (CDAD).
  • Heartbeats
  • Abnormal heart episodes necrolysis.
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Carrera.
  • Convulsionedérmica toxica.
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
  • Vasculitis.
  • Allergic pneumonitis
  • Interstitial nephritis.
  • Acute renal failure.
  • Hepatitis.
  • Jaundice .
  • Liver failure.
  • Anemia.
  • Leucopenia.
Other serious side effects

This should be used with caution in patients with diseases of the central nervous system, such as seizures, because infrequent attacks have been reported in patients.

It should be avoided in children and adolescents under 18 years, since a safe use in these patients has not been established.

Many antibiotics can alter normal bacteria in the colon and promote the overgrowth of a bacteria responsible for the development of colon inflammation.

Patients who develop signs of pseudomembranous colitis after starting the antibiotic (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and possibly shock) should contact their doctor immediately.

  • Heart attack.
  • Respiratory insufficiency.

What drugs, foods or supplements interact with this antibiotic?

Ciprofloxacin administered with theophylline (Respbid, Slo-Bid, Theo-24, Theolair) can cause high and toxic concentrations of theophylline in the blood.

Theophylline is used to open the airways in the treatment of asthma. Toxic levels of theophylline can cause seizures and alterations in heart rhythm.

If concurrent use of ciprofloxacin and theophylline can not be avoided, frequent blood tests are recommended to monitor levels of theophylline in the blood.

Ciprofloxacin increases the effect of tizanidine (Zanaflex), which is used to treat muscle spasticity. Therefore, the two drugs should not be combined.

Iron salts (for example, ferrous sulfate) can reduce the absorption of ciprofloxacin due to the formation of a complex of ciprofloxacin and iron that is not absorbable.

Antacids can also reduce the absorption of ciprofloxacin. If patients are receiving iron salts or antacids and ciprofloxacin.

Ciprofloxacin should be administered two hours before or six hours after the iron salt or antacid. Ciprofloxacin may increase the anticoagulant effect of warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven). The reason for this is unknown.

The anticoagulant activity should be controlled after starting or stopping ciprofloxacin. Sevelamer (Renagel) may reduce the absorption of ciprofloxacin and possibly reduce the effectiveness of ciprofloxacin.

Milk and orange juice may also reduce the absorption of ciprofloxacin. Ciprofloxacin, as with iron and antacids, should be administered two hours before or six hours after milk or orange juice.

The administration of ciprofloxacin with diabetic medications (eg, glyburide Micronase, Diabeta, Glynase, Prestab) can cause low blood glucose levels.