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Ciprofloxacin: Drug Description

Ciprofloxacin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic prescribed to treat bacterial infections. Among these infections are infections of kidneys and urinary tract, lower respiratory tract, bones and joints, skin, lungs, and prostate gland. For many infections, Ciprofloxacin is prescribed as a first-line antibiotic. Ciprofloxacin is well tolerated by most patients. It was first approved by the FDA in 1987. Learn more about the usage and dosage of Ciprofloxacin.


Ciprofloxacin is approved for the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Kidney infections
  • Prostate infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Skin infections
  • Severe stomach infections
  • Bacteria-induced diarrhea
  • Bone and joints infections
  • Typhoid fever
  • Gonorrhea
Your doctor may also recommend that you can use Ciprofloxacin to prevent infections if you have been exposed to inhaled anthrax. Ciprofloxacin can be used for this purpose in children as well. It is also licensed to treat kidney and urinary tract infections in children.

Remember that Ciprofloxacin should be used for the treatment of the above diseases only if they are caused by bacteria. The drug will not work for infections caused by viruses. Ciprofloxacin will also not work for all types of bacteria. Among the bacteria that Ciprofloxacin is effective against are Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, E.coli, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Enterococcus, Serratia, and Shigella.

Mechanism of Action

Cipro contains the active component ciprofloxacin, which belongs to second-generation fluoroquinolone antibiotics. It interferes with certain bacterial enzymes, which are known to be essential for bacteria growth and multiplying.

How Supplied

The medication is available in several forms, including tablets, IV solution, and liquid suspension. Ciprofloxacin tablets are available in three strengths: Ciprofloxacin 250 mg, 500 mg and 750 mg.

Dosage and Administration

Ciprofloxacin tablets are taken by mouth before or after meal. Take generic Ciprofloxacin with food to prevent stomach upset. Tablets should be swallowed whole without chewing or crushing them. Liquid suspension should be shaken for about 15 sec before taking.

For most infection, Ciprofloxacin should be taken twice daily every 12 hours, usually in the morning and in the evening. Try to take the dose at the same times to maintain an even level of active component in your blood.

Your dosage of Ciprofloxacin will depend on several factors, including the type of infection and its severity, your age and weight. The usual recommended dosage of Ciprofloxacin tablets ranges between 250 mg and 750 mg taken every 12 hours. As for IV Ciprofloxacin, the recommended dose varies from 200 mg to 400 mg administrated every 8-12 hours. Duration of treatment will also vary depending on the infection. In most cases, Ciprofloxacin is taken for 7 to 14 days. At the same time it can be used as a single dose for the treatment of certain infections, including gonorrhea.

The following information includes the standard recommended doses of Ciprofloxacin:

  • For urinary tract infections: 250-500 mg taken twice a day every 12 hours for 3-14 days
  • For lower respiratory tract infections: 500-750 mg taken every 12 hours for 7-14 days
  • For skin and skin structures infections: 500-750 mg taken every 12 hours for 7-14 days
  • For bone and joints infections: 500-750 mg taken every 12 hours for 7-14 days
  • For urethral and cervical infections: 250 mg taken as a single dose
Your dosage of Ciprofloxacin may differ from those listed above.

The pediatric dosage of Ciprofloxacin is based on the patient’s weight and the type and severity of the infection the child has. For example, the usual recommended dosage of Ciprofloxacin for the treatment of kidney or urinary tract infections in children ranges from 10 mg per kg to 20 mg per kg taken every 12 hours.

Before taking Ciprofloxacin, ensure that your doctor knows about any other conditions you have, especially kidney disease. If you have kidney disease you may need a lower dosage of Ciprofloxacin.

Do not discontinue the medication even if your symptoms seem to improve. This may make the infection resistant to antibiotic or cause infection to return.

Avoid having dairy products and juices rich in calcium when taking Ciprofloxacin. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids during the treatment. This will help you prevent dehydration. For more information on how to take Ciprofloxacin, read the Patient Information Leaflet.

For the drug to work properly, take Ciprofloxacin exactly as prescribed by your doctor.