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What does it do?

Ciprofloxacin is used to treat and prevent bacterial infections.

How should you take it?

Take ciprofloxacin regularly as directed. Keep taking it until the course is finished, even if you start to feel better.
Take the tablets with a glass of water.
Measure the liquid carefully with an oral syringe or measuring spoon. Shake the bottle well before measuring each dose. Do not chew the granules in the liquid.

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 calcium, iron, magnesium or zinc, such as: antacids (e.g. Mylanta®) or multivitamins. These products should be taken at least 4 hours before or 2 hours after taking each dose of ciprofloxacin.

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

Trouble breathing

Tell your doctor immediately

Severe or persistent diarrhoea, abdominal pain

Confusion, agitation, unusual behaviour or thinking

Small white sores in mouth, furry tongue (oral thrush)

Vaginal itch or discharge (vaginal thrush)

Skin rash, itching

Numbness or tingling of the fingers or toes

Tell your doctor

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea

Headache, dizziness

Changes in vision

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 or heart problems, G6PD deficiency, or if you have ever had a seizure.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Do not consume dairy products or products with added calcium within 2 hours of taking a dose of ciprofloxacin. Minimise caffeine intake.
  • 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?)
  • Store ciprofloxacin liquid at room temperature, or in the fridge, but do not freeze. Once the course is finished, take any leftover liquid back to your pharmacy.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. June 2021

For more general information about this sheet annd its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed