What Is Ciprofloxacin Used For?

Several bacterial infections can be treated with ciprofloxacin, such as bladder infections, pneumonia, and sinus infections. Off-label uses for ciprofloxacin include treating other types of infections caused by susceptible bacteria. This drug is not appropriate for all bacterial infections, and it will not treat viral infections. Children can use many of the ciprofloxacin products; however, they may have an increased risk for tendon problems.

An Overview of Uses for Ciprofloxacin

Ciprofloxacin is a prescription antibiotic that belongs to a group of drugs called fluoroquinolones, or just "quinolones" for short. It is available in several different forms and strengths, and is used to treat a variety of infections. Oral or injectable forms of ciprofloxacin are approved to treat the following infections:
 
Ciprofloxacin ear drops are approved to treat bacterial infections of the outer ear or ear canal, known medically as acute otitis externa. This type of ear infection is sometimes called "swimmer's ear." Ciprofloxacin ophthalmic (eye) ointment is approved to treat bacterial conjunctivitis (commonly called "pink eye"). The ophthalmic drops are used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers.
 
Not all ciprofloxacin products are approved to treat all of the infections listed here. Also, ciprofloxacin is used for treating infections only when they are caused by certain types of bacteria. Although this drug is considered a "broad spectrum" antibiotic, which means it is effective against many different types of bacteria, not all bacteria will respond to it.
 
Ciprofloxacin will not work to cure infections caused by viruses, such as the common cold, the flu, or viral conjunctivitis.
 
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD; Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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