In this drug factsheet:
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 uses 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 using 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.
- mild diarrhea
- pain at the injection site (injection form)
- rash (injection form)
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- diarrhea (watery and severe; may also be bloody)
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- joint pain
- muscle pain
- pain, inflammation, or swelling in the shoulders, hands, or calves of legs
- pain, swelling, or rupture of a tendon
- severe abdominal or stomach cramps or pain
Stop using the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- chest pain
- confusion or changes in thought patterns
- irregular or fast heart rate
- signs of an allergic reaction, e.g.:
- difficulty breathing
- swelling of the face, tongue, or throat
- skin rash, especially if skin is blistering, loosening, or peeling
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.
HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY
March 14, 2012
Health Canada has issued new information concerning the use of ciprofloxacin. To read the full report, visit Health Canada's website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
A previous advisory on ciprofloxacin was issued on November 7, 2011.
To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada's web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Allergic reactions: In rare cases, some people may develop an allergic reaction to this medication. Signs of an allergic reaction include a severe rash, swollen face, or difficulty breathing. If these occur, get immediate medical attention.
Antibiotic-related diarrhea: As with other antibiotics, ciprofloxacin can cause a severe form of diarrhea associated with the condition pseudomembranous colitis. If you develop severe diarrhea while taking this medication, contact your doctor.
Behaviour and movement changes: Rarely, this medication can cause behaviour and movement changes such as agitation, anxiety, confusion, depression, tremors, hallucinations, and other mood changes. If you experience any of the above, contact your doctor immediately.
Driving and operating heavy machinery: Ciprofloxacin may impair your ability to drive or operate machinery, especially when combined with alcohol. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medication will affect you.
Kidney function: Since ciprofloxacin is removed from the body primarily by the kidneys, people with reduced kidney function should be closely monitored by their doctor while taking ciprofloxacin. Their dosage may be reduced by the doctor.
Neuromuscular disorders: People with myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune disorder that causes muscle weakness) should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Other infections: Use of ciprofloxacin for a long time may lead to yeast infections.
QT prolongation: This medication can lengthen heart beat as shown on an electrocardiogram test, also known as QT prolongation. Very rare cases of abnormal heart beat have been reported in people while on ciprofloxacin, but these reports generally involved people who had conditions that predisposed them to abnormal heart beat, or who have been taking other medications that can increase the risk of developing an abnormal heart beat. If you develop heart palpitations (fast or irregular heart beat) or experience fainting spells, you need to stop taking your medication and contact your doctor immediately.
Seizures: Seizures may rarely occur with this medication. If you have a medical condition that would increase the risk of seizures, your doctor will monitor you closely. If you have a seizure while taking this medication, stop taking it and get immediate medical attention.
Sucrose intolerance: The oral suspension form of this medication contains sucrose. People who have a hereditary condition that makes them intolerant to some sugars should not take the oral suspension.
Sun sensitivity: People who take ciprofloxacin are more likely to experience sunburn. While taking ciprofloxacin be careful if you must spend time in the sun. Stop taking the medication if sun sensitivity occurs.
Tendinitis: Ciprofloxacin may increase the chance of tendon injury, which occurs more commonly for seniors who are also taking corticosteroid medications. If there is any new pain in the tendons, stop taking ciprofloxacin, avoid physical exercise, and consult your doctor.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, stop taking it immediately and call your doctor.
Breast-feeding: This medication 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 this medication have not been established for children under 18 years of age.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between ciprofloxacin and any of the following:
- antacids that contain aluminum hydroxide, calcium, and magnesium hydroxide (do not take these products for at least 6 hours before or for 2 hours after ciprofloxacin)
- BCG vaccine
- buffered antiretroviral medications (e.g., didanosine; do not take these products for at least 6 hours before or for 2 hours after ciprofloxacin)
- calcium supplements and multivitamins that contain calcium (do not take these products for at least 6 hours before or for 2 hours after ciprofloxacin)
- certain medications that control heart rhythm
- iron supplements
- multivitamins that contain iron (do not take these products for at least 6 hours before or for 2 hours after ciprofloxacin)
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen)
- sucralfate (do not take these products for at least 6 hours before or for 2 hours after ciprofloxacin)
- typhoid vaccine
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.