Ciprofloxacin has the distinction of being an effective derivative antibiotic, with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity. Working against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, the antibiotic, in use for the last 5 years, continues to be prescribed for various bacterial infections that afflict different parts of the body. It has also been used to manage/treat anthrax infections, post-exposure and this makes it an important drug in society. The following sub-sections are focused on the commonly reported drug interactions and possible side effects of cipro to create awareness among users of the undesirable outcomes.

Conditions treated or managed with cipro

Here is a quick look at the conditions that are effectively managed or treated with cipro in different forms.  The antibiotic is used in the treatment of pneumonic and septicemic plague, in addition to preventing plague. It is also used to prolong or prevent symptoms associated with syphilis, though it is not used for treating an active syphilis infection. Cipro is also recommended for treating urinary tract infections. It is antibiotic that also used in ophthalmic, otic and intratympanic infections. Belonging to the category of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, cipro is known to possess bactericidal properties, in addition to preventing the growth of bacteria.

Possible drug Interactions of cipro

Drug interactions are common to all medications, including prescription drugs and OTC products. This is mainly due to the conflict in mechanism of action or properties that occur when two or more products are taken at the same time. Products may be used for treating the same condition, or may be used for treating different conditions. Typically, a drug interaction could result in an increase in the potency of one of the two medications, or it could reduce the effectiveness of one medication. Alternatively, either or both the medications may end up causing increased side effects, when compared to effects that may be experienced when taken alone.

Specialists always seek complete information about medications in use, and conditions being treated to avoid possible interactions. To avoid any such undesirable outcome, doctors either temporarily discontinue one of the two products, or recommend an alternative that does not cause interactions. In the event that both the medications are equally important, then discontinuing or alternatives may not be an option. In such circumstances, specialists alter the dosage and the schedule of intake of the medications to minimize the impact. Here is a quick compilation of what to avoid when taking cipro. This is only intended to act as a broad reference of drug categories that may cause interaction, and is not complete in nature.

Drug categories that are not prescribed with fluoroquinolone antibiotics

Skeletal muscle relaxants, antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, medications for cardiac arrhythmias, medications for Gaucher’s disease, and medications used for treating women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder are some of the drugs that may interact with cipro. In most of these conditions, specialists usually avoid recommending both the drugs together. Other medications include drugs recommended for treating Cushing’s syndrome and drugs used in the treatment of schizophrenia. Antipsychotic drugs, and antimalarial drugs are also medications that may cause interactions, and are not generally prescribed together. Cipro is also usually not prescribed along with antiretroviral drugs due to the possibility of complications.

As treatment for HIV is more important, cipro is typically dropped, and a replacement medication is generally prescribed. Cipro also interacts with other fluoroquinolone antibiotics and is therefore not prescribed when sparfloxacin is also recommended. Other drugs that do not go well with cipro include antihistamines, antipsychotics and drugs for treating muscle spasticity.

Possibility of effects from alcohol, tobacco and certain food products

In addition to the above, medications are often not recommended to be taken along with certain food products due to the possibility of interactions. This also includes alcohol, and other intoxicants and tobacco.  It is necessary to follow specific instructions on food and drink when on medications. For instance, individuals are generally advised to stay off caffeine and dairy food products to avoid any undesirable outcome.

Impact of medical problems

Other medical conditions are also known to impact the efficacy of medications. It is therefore necessary for patients and caregivers to share complete information about existing medical conditions and medications in use. For instance, patients with aortic aneurysm may experience issues when on the antibiotic. The condition refers to the formation of a bulge in the artery, and as this condition is relatively serious in nature, when compared with the desired outcomes of cipro, the antibiotic is stopped or replaced.

Diabetics and patients with diarrhea

Patients with a slow heart beat rate, medically known as Bradycardia are also not recommended cipro due to the effects of the medication.  Similarly, patients with diabetes and on medications, are also not advised to stay off cipro, due to hypoglycemia associated with the combination of drugs. The fluoroquinolone antibiotic is also known to cause diarrhea and due to this, patients with diarrhea are not to take the medication. This is mainly to avoid the possibility of severe diarrhea which can turn serious in nature, due to loss of fluids.

Patients with heart ailments

Cipro is also not recommended for patients with a history of heart ailments. This is because of the possible cardiac cipro side effects in elderly, and as warned by the FDA, individuals with hypertension and aorta blockages are not to take the drug. Heart ailments includes patients with a history of heart attack, or congestive heart failure. Similarly, patients with heart rhythm problems and heart beat rate issues are also not to take the antibiotic. Patients are not to be given Cipro when low potassium levels have not been treated, resulting in hypokalemia.  Other conditions that make cipro unsuitable include hypomagnesemia, that occurs when the magnesium levels in the blood are low, and patients with liver ailments.

Due to the possible effects on the medications used for treating certain mental illnesses, cipro is also not recommended for use on patients with psychiatric conditions, including seizures. Other conditions include stroke, changes in brain structure, renal complications, and patients who have received organ transplants.


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