Generic name: Ciprofloxacin hydrochloride.

Other brand name: Ciloxan Eyedrops.

Cipro is an antibiotic and antibacterial. It interferes with the production of certain biochemicals necessary for bacteria to sustain life. 

Quick Facts About Cipro


Used to treat lower respiratory tract, skin, bone and joint, and urinary tract infections. Also used to treat infectious diarrhea, serious ear infections, tuberculosis, infections common in AIDS patients, and ocular infections. Additionally, used to treat cystitis in women, prostatitis, certain intra-abdominal infections, and sinusitis.

Cipro Dosage

May be taken with or without food, best tolerated when taken 2 hours after a meal. Drink plenty of fluids while taking Cipro. Take medication exactly as prescribed — consistently, at evenly spaced intervals.

  • Usual adult dose: 250 milligrams taken every 12 hours. For more serious infections — 500 milligrams taken every 12 hours. For lower respiratory tract, skin, bone and joint infections — 500 milligrams taken every 12 hours; more serious infections may require 750 milligrams taken every 12 hours. For infectious diarrhea — 500 milligrams every 12 hours. Eyedrops — 1 or 2 drops in affected eye several times per day, as prescribed by your doctor. Also comes in suspension and suspension/drops forms.
  • Usual child dose: not generally prescribed for children.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible, unless almost time for next dose. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Cipro Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

no specific information. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, nausea, rash, restlessness, vomiting.

Less common Cipro side effects: abnormal dread or fear, achiness, bleeding in the stomach and/or intestines, blood clots in the lungs, blurred vision, change in visual perception of colors, chills, confusion, constipation, convulsions, coughing up blood, decreased vision, depression, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, double vision, drowsiness, eye pain, fainting, fever, flushing, gas, gout flare-up, hallucinations, hearing loss, heart attack, hiccups, high blood pressure, hives, inability to fall or stay asleep, inability to urinate, indigestion, intestinal inflammation, involuntary eye movement, irregular heartbeat, irritability, itching, joint or back pain, joint stiffness, kidney failure, labored breathing, lack of muscle coordination, lack or loss of appetite, large volumes of urine, light-headedness, loss of sense of identity, loss of sense of smell, mouth sores, neck pain, nightmares, nosebleed, pounding heartbeat, ringing in the ears, seizures, sensitivity to light, severe allergic reaction, skin peeling, redness, sluggishness, speech difficulties, swelling (of the face, neck, lips, eyes, hands, or throat), tender red bumps on the skin, tingling sensation, tremors, unpleasant taste, unusual darkening of the skin, vaginal inflammation, vague feeling of illness, weakness, yellowed eyes and skin.


Inform your doctor before combining Cipro with:

Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), Cyclosporine (Sandimmune), Metoprolol (Lopressor), Phenytoin (Dilantin), Probenecid (Benemid), Sucralfate (Carafate), Theophylline (Theo-Dur), Warfarin (Coumadin). Taking Cipro with Theophylline (Theo-Dur) has caused serious and fatal reactions, including cardiac arrest, seizures, continuous attacks of epilepsy with no periods of consciousness, and respiratory failure.

Cipro may increase the effects of caffeine. Products with iron, multivitamins containing zinc, and antacids containing magnesium, aluminum, or calcium may interfere with absorption of Cipro. 

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing baby.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Not generally prescribed for children.

  • Notify your doctor immediately if a skin rash or other allergic reaction occurs. Although rare, serious and occasionally fatal allergic reactions — some following the first dose — have been reported. If sensitive to or had an allergic reaction to this or similar drugs, you should not take this medication.
  • May cause dizziness or light-headedness and impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • Convulsions have been reported; if you experience a seizure or convulsions, notify your doctor immediately.
  • Prolonged use may result in a secondary infection not treatable by Cipro; doctor should monitor your condition on a regular basis.
  • Tell your doctor before taking Cipro if you have a known or suspected central nervous system disorder such as epilepsy, or hardening of the arteries in the brain.
  • May become sensitive to light while taking Cipro.
  • Doctor should monitor your urine, kidney and liver function, and blood if taking Cipro for an extended period.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Cipro side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.