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Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Ciprofloxacin, Fluoroquinolones

Ciprofloxacin - What is it for

​Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic that is used to treat or prevent bacterial infections. These infections may include those of the lungs, digestive system, urinary system, bone, joints, eyes and ears.

Ciprofloxacin - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Ciprofloxacin cause?

Common side effects include:
Oral tablets

  • Nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite
    • Eat mild tasting food, and avoid rich or spicy meals.
    • Take this medication after meals.
  • Diarrhoea
    • Drink plenty of water with oral rehydration salts to replenish your fluids and electrolytes.
    • Speak to your healthcare professional if the diarrhoea is severe or bloody.
  • Dizziness, drowsiness
    • Rest, and wait for it to go away before resuming daily activities.
    • Avoid driving or operating machinery if affected.
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight
    • Apply sunblock, wear long sleeves and trousers, and avoid being exposed to direct sunlight especially during the hottest time of the day.

      Eye preparations
  • Temporary blurring of vision after use
    • Do not drive or operate machinery until you can see clearly again

Rare but serious side effects include:

  • Painful swelling of the joints or tendons
  • Sudden chest, stomach or back pain
  • Burning, tingling or numbing sensations or muscle pain/weakness
  • Changes in behaviour, attention or thinking
  • Seizures (fits)
  • Severe and bloody diarrhoea
  • Drug allergy-symptoms may include swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue, difficulty in breathing, skin rashes over your whole body
  • Eye preparations: redness or irritation to the eyes that do not go away
  • Ear drops:  irritation or pain in the ears that do not go away

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Ciprofloxacin , what precautions must I follow?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You have any other medical conditions such as:
    • Epilepsy (fits or seizures)
    • Myasthenia gravis (a long-term immune condition that causes muscle weakness)
  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies
  • You have existing heart problems or are on any medicine that regulates your heartbeat
  • You have glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Ciprofloxacin ?

​Oral tablets

Avoid consuming the following foods or medications together with Ciprofloxacin:

  • Milk-containing products or dairy products
  • Indigestion remedies (e.g Antacids)
  • Medicines (e.g. Sucralfate) or supplements that contain aluminium, calcium, iron, magnesium or zinc
  • Medicines that act as binders (e.g. Lanthanum, Sevelamer)

You should take Ciprofloxacin 2 hours before or 6 hours after the above products as taking them together with Ciprofloxacin reduces the absorption of Ciprofloxacin into your body.

You should avoid consuming milk feeds 1-2 hours before and after Ciprofloxacin.

Certain medications may increase the risk of side effects of Ciprofloxacin if taken together with Ciprofloxacin. These medications are (but not limited to):

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
  • Theophylline
  • Cyclosporin
  • Probenecid

Consult your healthcare professional if you can continue taking them with Ciprofloxacin.

Ciprofloxacin - Dosage and How to Use

How should Ciprofloxacin be used?

Oral tablets

  • You may take this medication with or without food.
  • Take this medication at the same time each day.
  • Complete the course of antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor. Incomplete treatment may cause infections to recur.
  • Do check with your healthcare professional before stopping your medication.

    Eye drops
  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before using the eye drops.
  2. Shake the bottle and remove the cap.
  3. Tilt your head back and pull your lower eyelid downwards to form a pocket.
  4. Hold the tip of the bottle near your eye. Do not touch your eye with the tip of the bottle.
  5. Gently squeeze the bottle to instil one drop into your eye.
  6. Release the lower eyelid and close your eye.
  7. Press the inner corner of your eye (the tear duct). This helps to stop the medication from draining away and keeps it in your eye.
  8. Repeat steps 1 to 7 for the other eye if you have been instructed to use the eye drops for both eyes. If you need more than 1 drop to the eye, repeat steps 1 to 7 after 5 minutes.
  9. Replace the cap.

Eye ointment

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before using the eye ointment.
  2. Remove the cap.
  3. Tilt your head back and pull your lower eyelid downwards to form a pocket.
  4. Hold the tip of the tube near your eye.  Do not touch your eye with the tip of the tube.
  5. Squeeze the tube to release a thin line of ointment (about 1 cm) along the insides of your eye pocket.
  6. Let go of your eyelid and close your eyes for 1-2 minutes to allow the ointment to spread  around the inside of your eye.
  7. With a clean tissue, wipe off any excess ointment from your eyelid and eyelashes.
  8. Repeat steps 1 to 7 for the other eye if you have been instructed to use the eye ointment for both eyes.
  9. Replace the cap.

Ear drops

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before using the ear drops.
  2. Remove the cap.
  3. Position your head so that your ear faces upwards.
  4. Gently pull the upper ear up and back (for adults) or pull the lower ear down and back (for children).
  5. Hold the tip of the bottle near your ear. Do not touch your ear with the tip of the bottle.
  6. Squeeze the correct number of drops into the ear.
  7. Gently pull the earlobe up and down to allow the drops to move into the ear. Keep your head tilted for about 2-5 minutes.
  8. Wipe away any extra liquid from your ear with clean tissues.
  9. Replace the bottle cap.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​Oral tablets: If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the usual time. If it is less than 6 hours until the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

Ciprofloxacin - Handling

How should I handle Ciprofloxacin safely?

Ciprofloxacin - Storage

How should I store Ciprofloxacin ?

;#Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Ciprofloxacin safely?

​Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

Discard eye/ear drops and eye ointments 4 weeks after opening.

Ciprofloxacin - Additional Information



  • Updated on 7/31/2021 12:00:00 AM
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth


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