CIPRO (Ciprofloxacin)

CIPRO (Ciprofloxacin)

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What is this medication?

Ciprofloxacin, Cipro
Antibiotic, Fluoroquinolone

Ciprofloxacin/Cipro is used on or off label for various infections depending on your common local bacterial strains for various infections and based on local resistance patterns.  Not all antibiotics work for all infections and efficacy can vary from area to area and vary with time.  It is common in North America for use in urinary tract infection, some cases of pneumonia, prostatitis, surgical prophylaxis and for traveler’s diarrhea in some countries.

“ALERT: US Boxed Warning

Serious adverse reactions:
Fluoroquinolones have been associated with disabling and potentially irreversible serious adverse reactions that have occurred together, including tendinitis and tendon rupture, peripheral neuropathy, and CNS effects. Discontinue ciprofloxacin immediately and avoid the use of fluoroquinolones in patients who experience any of these serious adverse reactions. Because fluoroquinolones have been associated with serious adverse reactions, reserve ciprofloxacin for use in patients who have no alternative treatment options for the following indications: acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, acute sinusitis, and acute uncomplicated cystitis.

Exacerbation of myasthenia gravis:
Fluoroquinolones may exacerbate muscle weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. Avoid ciprofloxacin in patients with known history of myasthenia gravis.”

How does this medication work? 

Ciprofloxacin/Cipro inhibits DNA gyrase in bacteria which is important in protein synthesis.  Blocking DNA gyrase results inhibits relaxation of supercoiled DNA so it cannot be used for protein synthesis and promotes the breakage of double stranded DNA eventually causing cell death. Humans do not have DNA gyrase which makes it an ideal target for antibiotics.

How should I take this medication?

250-1000mg once or twice a day depending on if it is extended release (once daily) or instant release (twice daily) and the condition it is used for.

How to Take: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, take consistently at same times each day unless otherwise directed, swallow whole if extended release, store at room temperature

You Need to Avoid: Avoid use of antacids, avoid dairy, or any other sources of calcium, iron, and zinc.  If they are required, then take ciprofloxacin 2 hours before or 6 hours after these products as they will decrease absorption.

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Before starting Ciprofloxacin/Cipro make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you are pregnant, or breastfeeding.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light.  Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Ciprofloxacin/Cipro is generally very well tolerated except in children and should be avoided in them due to risk of musculoskeletal effects unless no other options exist.  Rates of side effects in adults are quite low (under 10% risk for all) however their use needs to be limited to rare but serious irreversible side effects that may occur.

Ciprofloxacin/Cipro can cause QT prolongation which can result in severe cardiac arrhythmia, increased risk of aortic aneurism/dissection, irreversible tendonitis, tendon rupture, peripheral neuropathy, psychiatric symptoms (delirium, agitation, nervousness, hallucinations, paranoia) and central nervous system effects such as seizure and increased intracranial pressure. It is also broad spectrum (kills many kinds of bacteria) which means it can increase risk of opportunistic superinfection such as C. difficile associated diarrhea. It is important to note that these reactions are all rare but due to their severity caution in prescribing is recommended.