Ciprofloxacin Side Effects

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic in a group of drugs called fluoroquinolones (flor-o-KWIN-o-lones). It is used to fight bacteria in the body.

Ciprofloxacin is used to treat different types of bacterial infections. It may also be used to prevent or slow anthrax after exposure.

You should not use ciprofloxacin if you are taking tizanidine (Zanaflex), if you have a history of myasthenia gravis, or if you are allergic to ciprofloxacin (Cipro) or similar antibiotics such as gemifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (Noroxin), and others.

Before taking ciprofloxacin, tell your doctor if you have a heart rhythm disorder, kidney or liver disease, joint problems, diabetes, muscle weakness or trouble breathing, a condition called pseudotumor cerebri, a history of seizures, a history of head injury or brain tumor, low levels of potassium in your blood, a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic.

Do not take ciprofloxacin with dairy products such as milk or yogurt, or with calcium-fortified juice. Avoid taking antacids, vitamin or mineral supplements, sucralfate (Carafate), or didanosine (Videx) powder or chewable tablets within 6 hours before or 2 hours after you take ciprofloxacin. Ciprofloxacin may cause swelling or tearing of a tendon (the fiber that connects bones to muscles in the body), especially in the Achilles’ tendon of the heel. Stop taking ciprofloxacin and call your doctor at once if you have sudden pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, or movement problems in any of your joints. Rest the joint until you receive medical care or instructions.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to ciprofloxacin: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using ciprofloxacin and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • sudden pain, snapping or popping sound, bruising, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, or loss of movement in any of your joints;
  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • confusion, hallucinations, depression, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • severe headache, ringing in your ears, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, pain behind your eyes;
  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, weakness;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • easy bruising or bleeding;
  • numbness, tingling, or unusual pain anywhere in your body;
  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild; or
  • severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious ciprofloxacin side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting;
  • dizziness or drowsiness;
  • blurred vision;
  • feeling nervous, anxious, or agitated; or
  • sleep problems (insomnia or nightmares).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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