What is it?

Ciprofloxacin or cipro for short is a type of antibiotic that belongs to a group of drugs that is known as fluoroquinolones. Like other antibiotic, cipro is used to fight bacterial infections in the body. It can even be given to people who have been exposed to anthrax. However, this will not work with viral infections such as the common colds and flu. Cipro_4

Important things you need to know

Before taking this drug though, there are some important things that you need to know. First of all, do not take cipro if you are taking tizanidine. People with muscle disorder are also advised not to take cipro because it has been known to cause swelling and tearing of a tendon, the fibrous material that connects muscles to the bones. This usually happens in the Achilles' tendon of the heel. People over 60 are more likely to experience this effect. Those who take steroid medication or have had lung, kidney or heart transplant are also advised not to take cipro.

So if you have a muscle disorder or if you have been diagnosed before of having myasthenia gravis then you should immediately tell your doctor so he will not prescribe you with cipro.

If you are already taking cipro and you experience sudden pain, bruising, swelling, stiffness, tenderness or movement problems in any of your joints then you must stop taking the drug right away and call your doctor. It also advisable that you take some rest until you receive medical attention.

How to take cipro

Ciprofloxacin should be taken every 12 hours. You must follow all the directions that are indicated in the label. You should not take cipro for a longer time than what is recommended by your doctor. The drug should be taken with a full glass of water. You are also highly advised to drink several glasses of water and fluid each day while taking the medicine. You can take cipro with or without food, but you must take it the same time every day. You should not take this medicine with milk or other dairy products such as yogurt or any other liquids with high amounts of calcium in them. You may still consume dairy products as a part of a regular meal while taking cipro, but do not use them alone with the drug. Dairy products can minimize the effectiveness of cipro.

When you are taking it in tablet form, swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, chew or break it. When you are taking it as an oral suspension, make sure that you shake the liquid for at least 15 seconds before you measure a dose. You should use a special measuring spoon or a medicine cup. You can easily get a measuring device from your local pharmacy. You must swallow the liquid straight. Do not chew any solid matter that you will feel.

If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If the time is close to your next dose then simply wait for it. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose. If you have overdosed, call for help right away.
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Even if you start to feel better after a few days of taking cipro, be sure to use it for the proscribed length of time. If you will skip a dose, you will increase your risk of further infection and you might develop an infection that is resistant to antibiotics. You should not share cipro with another person, especially a child, even if they have the same condition as you. Cipro must be stored at room temperature. You must keep it away from heat and moisture. Do not freeze it. Throw away any unused cipro liquid after 14 days.

Side effects

Ciprofloxacin may cause the following side effects:

  • • hives
  • • skin rash
  • • difficulty in breathing
  • • fast heartbeat
  • • swelling of the face, tongue, lips or throat
  • • headache
  • • nausea
  • • vaginal itching or discharge
  • • stomach discomfort
  • • vomiting
  • • diarrhea
  • • muscle weakness
  • • seizure
  • • depression

The drug can also cause permanent nerve damage. So if you experience tingling or numbness, immediately stop taking the medicine.

This is not a complete list of side effects of ciprofloxacin. Contact your doctor for complete information on the drug.