How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic that belongs to the family of antibiotic medications known as quinolones. It is used to treat eye infections (conjunctivitis) or corneal ulcers (ulcers in the part of the eye called the cornea) caused by certain types of bacteria.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

pms-Ciprofloxacin 0.3% is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada. For brands that may still be available, search under ciprofloxacin eye drops. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.

How should I use this medication?

To treat conjunctivitis, the recommended dose is 1 or 2 drops in the affected eye every 2 hours while awake for 2 days, then 2 drops every 4 hours while awake for 5 days.

To treat corneal ulcers, the recommended dose is 2 drops every 15 minutes for the first 6 hours, then 2 drops every 30 minutes for the rest of the first day. On the second day, apply 2 drops every hour. For days 3 to 14, apply 2 drops every 4 hours.

Be sure to wash your hands before and after using the medication to avoid introducing new bacteria into the eye. Avoid touching the tip of the bottle to anything, as this can cause contamination. Ask your pharmacist to show you how to properly apply eye drops.

Use this medication for the full length of time your doctor has recommended. This will reduce the chance of the infection returning.

This solution should never be used for injection directly into the eye.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, use it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not instill a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children. Use within 28 days after opening the container. Safely discard any medication remaining in the container 28 days after opening the container.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Ciprofloxacin eye drop solution should not be used by anyone who:

  • is allergic to ciprofloxacin or to any of the ingredients of the medication
  • is allergic to nalidixic acid or other quinolones (e.g., norfloxacin, levofloxacin, and ofloxacin)

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • bad taste in the mouth
  • burning, stinging, or other discomfort of the eye
  • crusting or crystals in corner of the eye
  • dryness of the eye
  • feeling of something in the eye
  • increased sensitivity of eyes to light
  • itching of the eye
  • redness of the lining of the eyelids
  • tearing of the eye

Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • irritation (severe) or increased redness of the eye
  • white crusting on the eye

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • allergic reaction, such as skin rash, hives, or itching
  • blurred vision or other change in vision
  • headache
  • severe eye pain
  • spots or pits on the eye
  • swelling of the eye

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Allergy: Occasionally, ciprofloxacin eye drops can cause allergic reactions. Stop using ciprofloxacin at the first sign of allergy (e.g., a skin rash) and contact your doctor.

Overgrowth of organisms: Prolonged use of ciprofloxacin eye solution may result in overgrowth of organisms not killed by the medication, including fungi. Contact your doctor if eye symptoms worsen or new symptoms develop while using this medication.

Pregnancy: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of the use of ciprofloxacin eye solution by pregnant women. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if ciprofloxacin eye solution passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of ciprofloxacin eye solution have not been established for children under one year of age.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between ciprofloxacin eye drops and any of the following:

  • other medications being applied directly into the eye

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.