Does Ciprofloxacin Work for Flu?

Available by prescription only, ciprofloxacin is a medication approved to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. As a type of fluoroquinolone, ciprofloxacin works by killing certain bacteria by interfering with two specific enzymes that the bacteria need to grow and multiply. Although it is an antibiotic, does ciprofloxacin work for treating the flu virus?
 
The answer is no. Ciprofloxacin is only designed to kill certain bacteria; it is not effective at treating infections caused by viruses, such as the common cold, the flu, or viral conjunctivitis.
 
In fact, ciprofloxacin is not effective at treating just any type of bacteria either. Although it is a "broad spectrum" antibiotic, which means it is effective against many different types of bacteria, not all bacteria will respond to it.
 
(For a more in-depth look at why ciprofloxacin does not work for treating the flu or other viruses, click What Is Ciprofloxacin Used For?. This article also outlines specific uses of the drug, including possible off-label uses and whether this antibiotic is safe for children and the elderly.)
 
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