NZ Formulary



What does it do?

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic used to treat and prevent bacterial infections.

How should you take it?

Take ciprofloxacin regularly as directed with a glass of water. You can take it with or without food, but not with milk or yoghurt. Taking it with milk or yoghurt may stop ciprofloxacin from working.
Keep taking it until the course is finished, even when you start to feel better.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible and continue as directed.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with ciprofloxacin including:

  • products containing aluminium, calcium, iron, magnesium or zinc, such as antacids (e.g. Mylanta®) or multivitamins

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Pain or swelling in tendons or joints

Sharp, sudden pain in your tummy, chest or back



Tell your doctor immediately

Confusion, agitation, unusual behaviour or thinking

Numbness or tingling of the fingers or toes

Changes in vision

Severe or persistent diarrhoea, abdominal pain

Skin rash

Tell your doctor

Headache, dizziness

Stomach upset

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, G6PD deficiency, or if you have ever had a seizure or an aneurysm.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Protect yourself from too much sunlight while being treated with ciprofloxacin. Always cover up and apply a thick layer of broad spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 30) when outside. Do not use sunbeds.
  • Ciprofloxacin can impair your ability to do tasks such as driving or using machines. Alcohol makes this worse. Discuss your risk with your health professional. (search NZTA - Are you safe to drive?)
  • Your doctor may do a heart test (ECG) before you start and while you are taking ciprofloxacin.