General Practice 2022

Ciprofloxacin: what it is for, how to take it and side effects

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Ciprofloxacin: what it is for, how to take it and side effects
Ciprofloxacin: what it is for, how to take it and side effects

Ciprofloxacin, also known as ciprofloxacin or ciprofloxacin, is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, belonging to the fluoroquinolone class, indicated for the treatment of various types of respiratory, urinary tract, digestive infections and even the treatment of gonorrhea, for example.

This medication is available in pharmacies or drugstores, under the generic name ciprofloxacin hydrochloride, or under the trade names Cipro, Quinoflox, Proflox, Urcip, Cylocort or Cilodex, for example, in the form of tablets, solution for injection, eye drops or ear suspension.

Like any other antibiotic, ciprofloxacin should only be used under the direction of a physician and can only be purchased with a prescription.

What is it for

Ciprofloxacin is indicated for the treatment of a variety of infections including:

  • Ophthalmologic infections: blepharitis, conjunctivitis or corneal abscess;
  • Respiratory infections: pneumonia, bronchitis or sinusitis;
  • Genital infections: gonorrhea, cervicitis, epididymitis, or pelvic inflammatory disease;
  • Urinary tract infections: cystitis, gonococcal urethritis or acute pyelonephritis;
  • Abdominal infections: infectious diarrhea or intra-abdominal infections;
  • Infections of the skin, soft tissue, bones or joints.

In addition, it can also be used in cases of otitis media or in the prevention and treatment of anthrax inhalation. It is important to emphasize that ciprofloxacin has no action on viruses, and therefore, it is not indicated for the treatment of viral infections.

How to take it

In adults, recommended doses vary according to the disease being treated, and include:

Problem to handle:

Recommended dose per day:

Respiratory infections 250 to 500 mg every 12 hours
Acute sinusitis 500 mg every 12 hours
Urinary tract infections 250 mg every 12 hours
Acute uncomplicated cystitis 250 mg every 12 hours
Infectious diarrhea 500 mg every 12 hours
Gonorrhea Single dose of 250 mg

The duration of treatment also varies according to the infection to be treated. Thus, treatment can be from 1 day in cases of acute gonorrhea, up to 7 days in cases of kidney, urinary tract and abdominal cavity infection. In addition, in more severe cases, such as osteomyelitis, for example, the treatment can last more than 1 month.

Injectable ciprofloxacin should be used for more serious infections, such as acute intra-abdominal infections, moderate urinary tract infections or for the treatment of anthrax inhalation, for example, and the recommended dose should be guided by the doctor according to with the type of infection.

Ophthalmic ciprofloxacin, in the form of eye drops or ointment, should be applied after cleaning the hands correctly to avoid contamination of the eyes, and the dose should be guided by the ophthalmologist according to the cause.

The doses of ciprofloxacin can be changed by the doctor, especially in cases of renal or hepatic insufficiency, because due to its metabolism, this drug can worsen diseases related to the kidneys and liver.

Possible side effects

Some of the most common side effects that can occur during treatment with ciprofloxacin are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain.

Furthermore, Achilles tendon rupture, decreased appetite, agitation, headache, dizziness, seizure, hallucinations, altered taste, pancreatitis, skin blistering, itching, hives, pain in the body, malaise, fever or changes in kidney function.

In children, ciprofloxacin can cause joint pain, and therefore, it should only be used with pediatrician recommendation to avoid complications.

Who should not use

Ciprofloxacin should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women, who must wait 48 hours after stopping treatment to breastfeed again.

Furthermore, this medication should not be used by people who are allergic to ciprofloxacin or other fluoroquinolones, such as levofloxacin or norfloxacin, for example, or to any other component of the formula.

Ciprofloxacin should also not be used by people with a history of tendon problems caused by the use of fluoroquinolones, or who have myasthenia gravis, as it may worsen symptoms.

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