Antibiotics Home > Ciprofloxacin

Many different bacterial infections can be treated with ciprofloxacin. The drug works by interfering with certain bacterial enzymes, which prevents bacteria from multiplying. Ciprofloxacin comes in a wide variety of forms and strengths. Your dosage will depend on several factors, such as the particular product used, the type and severity of your infection, and other medications you are taking. Side effects may include nausea, headaches, and diarrhea.

What Is Ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin is a prescription antibiotic. It belongs to a class of drugs called fluoroquinolones, or "quinolones" for short. This medication is an active ingredient in several different prescription products and is used to treat a variety of infections. Ciprofloxacin comes in many forms, including:
  • A regular tablet
  • An extended-release tablet
  • An intravenous (IV) solution
  • An oral liquid suspension
  • An eye and ear drop
  • An eye ointment.
(Click What is Ciprofloxacin Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, ciprofloxacin can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. Most people tolerate it quite well.
If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
The specific side effects depend on the particular form of ciprofloxacin used. Commonly reported problems include but are not limited to:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Vaginal yeast infection
  • Ear pain and itching when using the ear drops
  • Eye redness, discomfort, or burning when using the eye products.
(Click Ciprofloxacin Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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