Cipro Warnings and Precautions

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Cipro

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this drug include:
  • Cipro and other similar antibiotics can cause tendon damage, including ruptured tendons. People who are over the age of 60, who have had liver, lung, or heart transplants, or who take corticosteroid drugs are at an increased risk for tendon problems.

Contact your healthcare provider right away if you have any tendon pain, soreness, or swelling, or if you experience weakness or difficulty moving any of your joints. Do not exercise until your healthcare provider makes sure you do not have a ruptured tendon (see Cipro Tendon Rupture for more information).

  • Cipro can cause severe allergic reactions. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any signs of an allergic reaction, such as a rash or hives, itching, swelling of the lips or throat, wheezing, or difficulty breathing.
  • Central nervous system problems and neurological side effects have been reported with Cipro use, even after just one dose. These problems can include:
    • Seizures
    • Tremors
    • Confusion
    • Dizziness
    • Hallucinations
    • Paranoia
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Nervousness
    • Agitation
    • Nightmares
    • Suicidal thoughts or acts.
Certain conditions (including epilepsy, cerebral arteriosclerosis, and kidney disease) can increase the risk for these problems. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any of these conditions.
  • Cipro may cause a rare and potentially dangerous heart rhythm problem known as QT prolongation. This problem may be more common in older adults, people with low blood potassium, or those taking certain other medications (see Cipro Drug Interactions).


  • Cipro (as well as all other fluoroquinolone antibiotics) can cause worsening of myasthenia gravis symptoms, such as muscle weakness and breathing problems. This is a serious occurrence, which can be life-threatening. In severe cases, this can result in the need to be put on a ventilator, or even death. Cipro should be avoided in people with a known history of myasthenia gravis.


  • People with diabetes who are taking certain other medications (sulfonylureas) may experience high or low blood sugar levels while taking Cipro (see Cipro Drug Interactions). If you have diabetes, you may need to monitor your blood sugar levels more closely while taking this drug.
  • People taking Cipro may be more sensitive to the sun. Try to avoid sun exposure, including natural sun and tanning beds, while taking this medication. If you do go out in the sun, wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Contact your healthcare provider if you develop a severe sunburn while taking this medication.
  • Cipro has been reported to cause a nerve problem called peripheral neuropathy. If you develop any unusual sensations while taking this medication, such as pain, burning, tingling, prickling, or weakness, contact your healthcare provider right away to reduce the chance of permanent nerve damage.
  • You may become dizzy or lightheaded while taking Cipro. Therefore, you should avoid driving or doing anything that requires mental alertness until you know how you will react to this medication.
  • Cipro has been associated with muscle, joint, or tendon problems in children. Make sure to tell your child's healthcare provider if your child has a history of joint, muscle, or tendon problems. Also, contact your child's healthcare provider immediately if any muscle, joint, or tendon problems (such as weakness, soreness, or swelling) occur during or after Cipro use.
  • There have been rare reports of liver problems with Cipro use. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any signs of liver problems, including:
    • Dark urine
    • Loss of appetite
    • Fatigue or excessive tiredness
    • Pain in the right upper part of the abdomen (stomach)
    • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice).
  • Antibiotics like Cipro can disrupt the normal bacteria in the digestive tract, allowing undesirable bacteria to overgrow. This can potentially lead to a serious problem known as pseudomembranous colitis.

Make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you experience bloody or watery diarrhea. While mild, short-term diarrhea is a common side effect of Cipro, bloody or watery diarrhea may be a sign of a serious reaction. This severe reaction can occur months after you stop taking Cipro and can lead to life-threatening complications.

  • Cipro may interact with several other medications (see Cipro Drug Interactions).
  • Cipro is a pregnancy Category C medication, which means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Cipro and Pregnancy for more information).
  • Cipro passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding a child, check with your healthcare provider before using this medication (see Cipro and Breastfeeding).

Cipro Antibiotic Information

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