Cipro (ciprofloxacin) Side Effects, How to Take & What to Avoid

Ciprofloxacin, also known as Cipro, is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. It belongs to a category of drugs called quinolone antibiotics which includes antibiotics like Floxin, Tequin, Trovan, etc. It prevents bacterial growth via multiplication by inhibiting their reproduction and altering their genetic material.


It is available in different forms including infusion solutions, tablets, and oral solutions in different doses. It should not be used to treat viral infections, and unnecessary use of the drug could lead to ineffectiveness in future.


The medicine is prescribed to fight bacterial infections such as:

  • Joint infections
  • Bone infections
  • Skin infections
  • Urinary tract infections caused by bacteria like E-coli
  • Typhoid fever
  • Lung or airway infections such as tuberculosis, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.
  • Acute cystitis
  • Cervical or urethral gonorrhea
  • Anthrax patients with low white blood cells count and fever


Side Effects:

A few of the common side effects experienced by users include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Stomach upset
  • Headache
  • Sleep problems (insomnia or nightmares)
  • Nervousness
  • Rash
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Anxiety


Severe and rare side effects:

Upon encountering any of the following severe side effects, immediately report to the ER and get treated for it.

  • Unusual thoughts or behaviors
  • Severe skin reaction
  • Fever
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Seizures
  • Infrequent urination
  • Discolored urine
  • Severe headache
  • Stiffness or loss of movement
  • Snapping and popping sounds
  • Bruising, swelling, or tenderness in joints
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea


How to use:

Get the medication guide before starting the use of the medicine. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for any further queries. The medicine is typically prescribed to be taken twice every day at 12 hours interval, with or without food.

Shake the bottle well before pouring in the liquid medicine. Carefully, measure the dose using a measuring spoon or device rather than a household spoon which may lead to taking more or less than actually required. Do not try to chew on suspension and do not administer suspension via tubes as it may clog it.

The dosage and length of the treatment may vary for individuals depending on their age, medical history, and response to treatment. The medicine should be taken 2 hours before taking any other drugs or 6 hours after having taken another medicine to prevent it from binding to it and decreasing its effectiveness. Do not take calcium or similar supplements while taking this medicine.




Calcium carrying foods and dairy products can reduce the effectiveness of the drug. Consult your pharmacist or doctor about what supplements to take that will not reduce the function of Cipro.

For best results, take the medicine timely and at evenly spaced time intervals.

Continue taking the medicine until fully relieved of all infection and don’t prematurely stop the use of it as it may reduce the effectiveness of it, and the infection may return.



Tell your doctor if you have any allergies especially to those related to other antibiotics. Before using this medicine, inform the doctor if you have a history of diseases such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Seizures
  • Brain tumors
  • Mental and mood disorders
  • Nerve problems
  • Brain injuries
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Joint problems

Ciprofloxacin may affect the heart rhythm (QT elongation). Symptoms of QT elongation include fast and erratic heartbeat, dizziness, and fainting. The problem may especially be serious in people suffering from heart diseases or serious heart conditions. Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase the risk of QT elongation.

The medication may rarely bring substantial changes in blood glucose levels of diabetics. The medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Make an effort to avoid tanning booths, sun tans and long exposure to the sun. Wear regular sunscreen and wear protective clothing to prevent sunburn.

Pregnant women are only advised to use the medicine under absolutely necessary conditions. The medicine does pass through breast milk, so it is advised not to breastfeed the child.