Ciprofloxacin is a synthetic antibiotic of the second-generation fluoroquinolone drug class. It is used to treat patients suffering from different infectious diseases such as respiratory tract infections (e.g. malignant otitis externa, sinusitis, tonsillitis, bronchitis, pneumonia), bone and joint infections (arthritis, poliomyelitis), endocarditis, gastroenteritis, infectious diarrhea of different causes, skin infections (infected wounds, burns, cellulitis, abscess, phlegmon), urinary tract infections (e.g. cystitis, pielonephritis, prostatitis, adnexitis, endometritis), infectious eye diseases (conjunctivitis, blepharitis, keratitis etc), anthrax, bacteriemia, septicemia. This antibiotic can also be used for prophylaxis of infectious complications after surgery.
Although Ciprofloxacin is usually well tolerated by the body, up to 15% of patients who use it experience some side effects. The most common side effects are:
Other side effects of Ciprofloxacin are:
Like any other drug, Ciprofloxacin can cause allergic reactions such as rash, urticaria, itching, swallowing or breathing difficulty, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, hands, eyes, conjunctivae, face, lips, tongue and throat, unusual hoarseness, angioedema, anaphylaxis, anaphylactic shock and anaphylactoid reactions, allergic interstitial nephritis. These reactions are serious and require urgent medical attention.
In some cases, Ciprofloxacin can cause toxic reactions such as bullous pemphigoid, purpura, erythema multiforme, serum sickness-like reaction, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, exfoliative dermatitis, fixed eruption, toxic epidermal necrolysis (Lyell’s syndrome), necrotizing and cutaneous vasculitis, interstitial nephritis.
In some rare cases, Ciprofloxacin intake can lead to disturbance in attention, migraine, tinnitus, hearing loss, bad taste, loss of taste, hiccough, injection site reaction, erythema nodosum, lymphadenopathy, allodynia, hypesthesia, dyskinesia, temperature sensitivity, cystic fibrosis arthropathy, foot pain, Achilles tendon rupture, knee inflammation, abnormal gait, Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea, tachycardia, hypotension, renal calculi, phlebitis, gout flare up, polyuria, urinary retention, vaginitis.
People who use Ciprofloxacin should bear in mind that this medicine can cause changes in laboratory tests results. Therefore, you should keep in mind that Ciprofloxacin can cause such abnormalities as anemia, methemoglobinemia, decreased hematocrit, eosinophilia, leukopenia or leukocytosis, increased atypical lymphocyte count, monocytosis, immature white blood cells, neutropenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia or throbocytosis, pancytopenia (life-threatening), bone marrow depression signs, elevated sedimentation rate, prolongation or decrease in prothrombin time, hepatic enzyme elevations (alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, lactat dehydrogenase, gammaglutamyl transferase, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase), elevation of lipase levels, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood urea nitrogen, uric acid, serum creatinine, creatine phosphokinase, serum amylase, serum calcium, potassium, blood glucose (or hypoglycemia), acidosis signs, decrease in total serum protein, serum albumin. There can also be some changes in urine tests: abnormal odor, color, polyuria, crystalluria, albuminuria, candiduria, hematuria, eosinophiluria. Presence of blood or mucus in your stool.
Ciprofloxacin can cause some serious side effects that require urgent medical attention. Among them are:
Ciprofloxacin seems to be sufficiently safe during pregnancy. However, it should be used only when the benefit outweighs the risk and it is not advisable to take it during breastfeeding due to risks for the baby.
The most common side effects in children are joint problems: arthralgia, arthrosis, joint sprains, limited movement in affected joints (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle). In addition, Ciprofloxacin can cause such adverse reactions as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, diarrhea, fever, myalgia, asthma, rash, dizziness, insomnia or somnolence. There are also reported cases of Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (hypotension, tachycardia, and disseminated intravascular coagulation).
You may never experience any of the side effects listed above. Your doctor cannot predict your body’s reaction to Ciprofloxacin until you have tried it. That is why you should immediately inform your doctor of any changes in your health condition after taking Ciprofloxacin. Therefore, when you feel something is wrong, ask your doctor for advice and he or she will diagnose if your problem is connected with the medicine intake. You should also be careful because some of the side effects of Ciprofloxacin require urgent medical attention.