Bacteria Home > Cipro

Available by prescription only, Cipro is an antibiotic approved for the treatment of various bacterial infections. It comes in several forms, including tablets, an oral liquid suspension, and an intravenous (IV) solution. This medicine is typically taken twice a day, with about 12 hours between doses. Although most people tolerate it well, side effects are possible and may include nausea and diarrhea, among others.

What Is Cipro?

Cipro® (ciprofloxacin) is a prescription antibiotic medication used to treat a variety of infections. It belongs to a group of medications called fluoroquinolones, or "quinolones" for short. Cipro is available as a tablet, an oral liquid suspension, and an intravenous (IV) solution.
(Click Cipro Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Cipro is made by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. It is distributed by Schering Plough Corporation.

How Does Cipro Work?

Cipro works by killing certain bacteria that cause infections. It does this by interfering with two bacterial enzymes: topoisomerase IV and DNA gyrase. These enzymes are needed by the bacteria to copy and repair DNA, important steps required for the bacteria to multiply.

When and How to Use This Medication

Some general considerations for using this medication include the following:
  • Cipro comes as a tablet, an oral liquid suspension, and an intravenous (IV) solution. It is usually taken twice a day, with about 12 hours between doses.
  • This medication can be taken with or without food. Try taking it with food if it upsets your stomach.
  • Cipro is usually taken in the morning and evening. Take your doses at about the same time each day to keep an even level of the medication in your bloodstream.
  • Swallow Cipro tablets whole. Do not crush, cut, or chew them. Also, do not chew the tiny capsules in the liquid suspension.
  • Before taking the liquid suspension, shake the bottle well for about 15 seconds to make sure the medicine is mixed up. Do this before each dose.
  • You should not take this medication with dairy products alone (such as milk or yogurt) or with calcium-fortified juices (such as orange juice). However, you can take Cipro with meals that contain these food items.
  • Make sure you stay well hydrated while you take Cipro, by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Finish the entire course of this medicine, even if you start to feel better. Stopping the medicine too early may cause your infection to return, or lead to antibiotic resistance.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be used as prescribed.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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