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Ciprofloxacin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that belongs to the fluoroquinolone class.

Last Modified: 21 May 2024

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What is Ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that belongs to the fluoroquinolone class. It is effective against many bacterial infections by inhibiting bacterial DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV. 

Ciprofloxacin has a fluorinated quinolone structure. It is synthetically manufactured using a complex chemical process involving the reaction of various organic compounds.  

Global Name

Generic Names:

The generic name for the medication is Ciprofloxacin. 

Global Brand Names:

  • Cipro: Perhaps the most well-known brand, especially in the United States. 
  • Ciproxin: Another common brand name, often used in European countries and Hong Kong. 
  • Ciprobay: This brand is available in Germany, South Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia and some countries in Europe 
  • Ciproflox: Available in the UK and Spain. 
  • Cifran: Marketed in India and the Middle East. 
  • Proquin (as Proquin XR): Available in the United States. 


What is Ciprofloxacin used for? 

Ciprofloxacin is used to treat various bacterial infections including: 

  • Urinary tract infections 
  • Respiratory tract infections 
  • Skin and soft tissue infections 
  • Bone and joint infections 
  • Gastrointestinal infections 
  • Infectious diarrhoea 

How do you use Ciprofloxacin? 


Ciprofloxacin is available as tablets, oral suspension, extended-release tablets, and as an injectable solution. 

Dosage information:

  • Mild to moderate urinary tract infections: 250-500 mg every 12 hours. 
  • Severe urinary tract infections: 500-750 mg every 12 hours. 
  • Respiratory tract infections: 500-750 mg every 12 hours. 
  • Diarrhea: 500 mg every 12 hours for 5-7 days. 
  • Dosages may vary based on the infection being treated and patient-specific factors. 


  • Children: Not recommended for routine use; may be used under special circumstances. 
  • Adults: Yes, with proper dosage adjustments. 
  • Elderlies: Yes, dosage adjustments may be necessary for kidney function. 


Who cannot take Ciprofloxacin?

  • Children: Use caution only as directed by a physician due to; risk of joint and tissue damage. 
  • Adults: Those with a history of tendon disorders related to fluoroquinolone use should avoid it. 
  • Elderlies: Increased risk of side effects, especially tendon damage. 
  • Pregnancy and Lactation: Not recommended; consult with a healthcare provider. 


Allergies and unsuitability:

Individuals with a history of hypersensitivity to ciprofloxacin or other quinolones should not use this medication.  

Any warnings and precautions :

Ciprofloxacin may cause tendonitis or tendon rupture, peripheral neuropathy, CNS effects, and exacerbation of myasthenia gravis. It should be used with caution in patients with known risk factors for these conditions. 

Due to the emergence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria, it is always best to seek professional medical consultation first, and if possible, be guided by culture and sensitivity testing before initiating any antibiotic therapy. 

Interactions and contraindications:

Ciprofloxacin can interact with antacids, sucralfate, and multivitamins containing metals. It is contraindicated in patients with a history of myasthenia gravis. 

Side Effects

Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, and headache. Serious side effects may include tendon rupture, nerve damage, and severe allergic reactions. 

Pharmacist Tips

  • Starting Ciprofloxacin: Take exactly as prescribed, and complete the full course of treatment. 
  • Missed Dose: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember unless it's almost time for the next dose. 
  • Avoid Dairy Products: Dairy products and calcium-fortified juices can interfere with absorption. 
  • Storage Information: Keep in a cool, dry place away from light and moisture. 
  • Hydration: Maintain adequate hydration to prevent crystalluria. 
  • Sun Exposure: Minimize sun exposure and use sunscreen to prevent photosensitivity reactions. 

If you have questions or concerns about taking Ciprofloxacin, consult your healthcare provider for more personalized information. 



Where is Ciprofloxacin available in Hong Kong?

Ciprofloxacin is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers.


Can Ciprofloxacin treat viral infections such as colds or flu?

No, Ciprofloxacin is ineffective against viral infections. 

How long does it take for Ciprofloxacin to work?

Improvement in symptoms is typically seen within a few days, but the full course should be completed to prevent resistance. 

Is Ciprofloxacin available for purchase over the counter?

No, Ciprofloxacin requires a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider. 

How long after taking Ciprofloxacin can I eat?

Ciprofloxacin can be taken either with or without food. However, it's important to avoid taking ciprofloxacin with dairy products (like milk or yogurt) or calcium-fortified juices alone, as calcium can interfere with the body's ability to absorb the antibiotic effectively. 


This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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