GENERIC NAME: ciprofloxacin
BRAND NAME: Cipro, Cipro XR, Proquin XR (discontinued brand)
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
USES: Ciprofloxacin is used to treat infections of the skin, lungs, airways, bones, and joints caused by susceptible bacteria. Ciprofloxacin is also frequently used to treat urinary infections caused by bacteria such as E. coli. Ciprofloxacin is effective in treating infectious diarrheas caused by E. coli, Campylobacter jejuni, and Shigella bacteria. Anthrax, patients with fever and low white blood cell counts, and intraabdominal infections are also treated with ciprofloxacin.
WARNING: Ciprofloxacin should be used with caution in patients with central nervous system diseases such as seizures, because rare seizures have been reported in patients receiving ciprofloxacin. Ciprofloxacin should be avoided in children and adolescents less than 18 years of age, as safe use in these patients has not been established.
Many antibiotics, including ciprofloxacin, can alter the normal bacteria in the colon and encourage overgrowth of a bacterium responsible for the development of inflammation of the colon (pseudomembranous colitis). Patients who develop signs of pseudomembranous colitis after starting ciprofloxacin (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their physician. Patients taking ciprofloxacin can develop sensitivity of the skin to direct sunlight (photosensitivity) and should avoid exposure to sunlight or use sun protection and sunscreens.
Ciprofloxacin as well as other antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics, has been associated with tendinitis and even rupture of tendons, particularly the Achilles tendon. Some physicians recommend that their patients discontinue vigorous exercise while they are taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
Fluoroquinolones have neuromuscular blocking activity and can worsen muscle weakness in individuals with myasthenia gravis. Ciprofloxacin may worsen low blood glucose when combined with sulfonylureas (for example, glyburide).
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of ciprofloxacin are:
Other important side effects include:
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