What is Cipro?

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotics. It’s used to treat bacterial infections. These can include skin infections, ear infections, respiratory infections, and urinary tract infections.

Ciprofloxacin belongs to a class of drugs called fluoroquinolones. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.


Health Benefits

Ciprofloxacin is used to treat a number of different infections. Some of these include:

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Skin infections

Respiratory infections

Ear infections

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhea

Side Effects

Ciprofloxacin can cause a number of side effects. Some are more common than others. Common side effects include:



Upset stomach




Serious side effects are less common, but they can happen. Call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following:


Tendon rupture

Nerve problems

Heartbeat that is irregular or fast

Watery or bloody diarrhea

Unusual bruising or bleeding



Yellowing of the skin or eyes

Ciprofloxacin Interactions

Ciprofloxacin can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.


Ciprofloxacin is available as a tablet, oral suspension (liquid), and ophthalmic solution (eye drop). It’s usually taken two to four times a day. The length of your treatment depends on the type of infection you have.

Take ciprofloxacin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Don’t take it in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Ciprofloxacin should be taken with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) within 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Mechanism of Action

The mechanism of action of ciprofloxacin is not completely understood. In vitro studies have shown that ciprofloxacin inhibits the enzyme DNA gyrase, which is essential for the synthesis of bacterial DNA. This inhibition prevents the bacteria from replicating and eventually leads to their death. Ciprofloxacin has also been shown to inhibit topoisomerase IV, another enzyme necessary for bacterial replication.

How Long Does It Take To Work?

Ciprofloxacin begins working within a few hours after you take it by mouth. However, you may not experience the full effects of this medication for 2-3 days.


Ciprofloxacin is rapidly and almost completely absorbed after oral administration. The mean peak plasma concentration (Cmax) occurs between 1 and 2 hours after dosing. Food does not affect the absorption of ciprofloxacin.

After a single oral dose, ciprofloxacin is widely distributed throughout the body. It has been detected in saliva, cerebral spinal fluid, aqueous humor, bile, liver, kidney, lung tissue, bone, sputum and sweat. Protein binding ranges from 20-50%.

Ciprofloxacin is rapidly eliminated by renal excretion as unchanged drug. The elimination half-life in adult patients with normal renal function ranged between 3.3 and 5.8 hours.

In children, the elimination half-life ranged between 4.4 and 6 hours.

Ciprofloxacin is not significantly removed by hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.

Alternatives to Ciprofloxacin

Alternatives for treating infections include other antibiotics such as amoxicillin, azithromycin, or levofloxacin. Some of these alternatives may be cheaper or covered by your insurance.

If you have a ciprofloxacin allergy, your doctor may prescribe doxycycline, erythromycin, or another antibiotic.