Treatment for bacterial infections include antibiotics and one of the more popularly prescribed and used medications is ciprofloxacin. Commonly known as Cipro, the medication is used in the treatment of specific types of bacterial infections. The following subsections offer a detailed look at the medication, its uses, dosage and possible cipro side effects in elderly to help users identify and prevent undesirable outcomes. This information is important as the probability of an individual having to take Cipro at least more than once in lifetime is high. This is because of the growing number of infections that individuals are exposed to, requiring some kind of treatment.

Overview of Ciprofloxacin

Cipro, belongs to the category of second-generation fluoroquinolones that are prescribed for bacterial infections. It is available in formulations for administration in various modes, including oral, and intravenous. It is also administered in the ear for various bacterial infections in the ear, apart from ophthalmic administration. The medication works by preventing bacterial DNA replication, and this helps to treat the condition effectively. The medication has been in use for almost 35 years.  The medication is used for treating bacterial infections in the urinary tract, in the skin, in the abdomen, apart from infections in the prostate and bone.

Specific abdomen related infections include gastroenteritis, gall bladder infections, diverticulitis, and also for treating food poisoning. It is also used in the treatment of bone and joint infections. Respiratory infections that can be treated with Cipro include bronchitis and pneumonia. In addition to the above, the antibiotic is also prescribed for treating gonorrhea, and sinus infections, apart from cellulitis and urinary tract infections. For the latter condition, it is specifically prescribed for bladder, kidney and prostate infections. The drug is also used off label for conditions such as treating the plague, and for typhoid.

Conditions that are not to be treated with Cipro

With the list of conditions that can be treated with Cipro behind us, it is time to look at conditions that cannot be treated with the antibiotic. For instance, it is not be used for treating blood infections, for cystic fibrosis, and chlamydia. Similarly, the antibiotic is not to be used for treating infections of the teeth, for strep throat and for diarrhea that is identified as traveller’s diarrhea. Additionally, a word of caution about its use; the antibiotic is not to be first line of treatment or medication for certain conditions. For instance, patients diagnosed with bronchitis, or sinus infections or any urinary tract infection, are to be first put on other class of antibiotics. Cipro is to be prescribed only when the outcomes are not achieved with other first choice medications.

Commonly reported side effects of Cipro

To understand more about common cipro side effects in elderly, it is necessary to know about the frequently occurring or reported undesirable outcomes. All medications come with the possibility of undesirable effects, with different users experiencing different types of effects.  A section of users may experience mild or moderate effects from the medication, while some may experience serious or adverse effects. There are other users who may not experience any kind of effects whatsoever. This clearly indicates that the possibility of side effects depends on various factors. This includes the age of the patient, the overall health of the patient, gender, condition being treated, dosage of medication, period of treatment, other existing ailments and medications in use.

Here is a compilation of the commonly documented and reported side effects of the drug. This is neither exhaustive in nature, nor is it complete, and is intended to only serve as a broad reference of the possible undesirable effects. Patients are known to experience feelings of nausea when on the medication. This may or may not be accompanied by vomiting, while others have reported diarrhea. There is the possibility of an upset stomach, while some are known to have dizzy feelings. Outbreak of rashes is also another possibility when on the medication.

Patients are advised that the results from liver function test may turn out to be higher than normal, and it is necessary to seek specialist assistance to determine if it indicates actual damage to the liver or if it is the result of the medication.

Effects that are a cause for concern

The effects listed above belong to the category of mild effects and may resolve naturally, in a short period. Only those mild effects that are persistent or intense in nature require medical intervention. However, there are other effects that are serious in nature and require medical intervention. It is essential to be aware o the symptoms and seek medical assistance at the earliest. For instance, it is important to check for any swelling in tendons, with tell tale symptoms such as pain in the tendons. Other serious effects include damage to the liver, with symptoms such as discoloration of the urine, and sudden decrease in appetite apart from pain in the stomach. The color of the skin may also change to a yellowish hue, or the whites of the eyes may also turn yellow.

Serious symptoms also include allergic reactions that may swiftly develop to serious levels. Symptoms that are indicative of possible serious allergic reactions include outbreak of rashes that are similar to that of hives. Other symptoms that point to possible allergies include difficulty in breathing and swallowing, apart from swelling on the face. It is necessary to treat allergic reactions that could turn serious in nature.

Intestinal infections may present symptoms such as serious diarrhea, and stools with traces of blood. The patient may also experience cramps in the stomach and may also have low or high-grade fever. Apart from these effects, the patient is also likely to undergo problems with the nerves in the limbs. Commonly reported symptoms include pain and a burning or tingling sensation in the affected limb. A distinct feeling of numbness is also possible and patients are to seek attention to confirm the effect and take suitable remedial measures.

Effects that impact the mind or behavior of the patient

Other effects that may be experienced include an abrupt change in mood, with the patient experiencing depression and possible anxiety. There is also the possibility of restlessness and difficulty in sleeping deeply or normally. The patient may also experience hallucinations and may harbor suicidal tendencies. There is also the possibility of the patient having to put up with convulsions and possible seizures or tremors.

Cipro may also have long term implications

Medications typically have effects that are experienced when the treatment is underway. However, certain medications also come with the possibility of patients experiencing effects long after the medication has been stopped, discontinued or when the course has completed. When Cipro is recommended for long term use due to specific conditions, it may expose the patient to certain long-term implications and effects. This includes possible nerve complications, damage to the liver, intestinal infections, and possible damage to the tendons. It is therefore necessary to seek advice on long term use of the medication and rely on suitable remedial measures to prevent or mitigate the long-term effects of Cipro.

Possibility of cipro side effects in elderly

The possibility of undesirable effects on elderly patients is stronger due to typical health degeneration among the elderly. The effects are generally the same, with probably increased intensity and higher risk of exposure. Elderly patients may experience additional effects such as aortic aneurysm as a result of the medication. This refers to the bulging of the aorta with a ballooning effect, and that may in turn end up getting ruptured or dissected causing aortic dissection.  There are typical symptoms associated with the condition, and elderly patients or caretakers are to monitor and report the symptoms. This includes abnormal pain the stomach, or the check and the back, that is severe in nature. The patient may have difficulty in walking or speaking and may experience shortness of breath.

Cipro impact on young children

Most specialists generally avoid use of Cipro for treating conditions in children due to the possible impact. Conditions that may be experienced by children due to Cipro include joint damage and effects on mobility. This can have a strong impact on the routines and activities of children, and is therefore avoided wherever possible. However, in special circumstances, it may be necessary to prescribe specific dosages to treat conditions effectively. In such instances, caregivers are to monitor for tell-tale symptoms such as reduced joint movements, in addition to pain in the joints. Caretakers are to seek medical assistance to mitigate the effects.

Drug interactions of Ciprofloxacin

All medications come with the possibility of drug interactions. This is mainly as a result of the conflicting mechanism of action of two or more medications in use at the same time. This is also attributed to the properties of active compounds in drugs. Effects could be the result of interactions with prescription medications, with OTC formulations, herbal remedies, supplements or other alternative treatments. Unlike undesirable effects of medications that may have different outcomes in different individuals, the effect of drug interactions is the same between two different substances.

The different types of drug interactions include increased potency in either or both the medications, or a decrease in efficacy in either or both the medications. It is also possible that the interactions could trigger stronger side effects in either or both of the medications when compared with side effects when taken alone. Depending on the drug interactions, specialists may recommend discontinuation or temporary break for one of the two medications. This is determined by choosing the one that is more critical or important in nature. In the event that both the medications are equally important, the only option is to alter the dosage or the schedule of the medications to reduce the possibility of interactions. The next option is to choose a different medication that will not conflict with the other.

Medications that interact with Cipro

Here is a compilation of some of the medications that commonly interact with Cipro. This is not a complete list of medications that interact with Cipro. Antacids, and medications that belong to the category of anticoagulants are known to cause interactions when taken with Cipro. Cipro is not to be taken along with drugs such as amiodarone that is in tended to change the ventricular depolarisation and repolarisation (the QT interval). Cipro is also not to be taken alongside certain antipsychotic medications, macrolide antibiotics, tricyclic antidepressants, and specific anti-diabetic medications. The antibiotic is also not to be taken along with medications such as sildenafil, and metronidazole.

It is not to be taken when on clozapine, as it could cause an increase in clozapine levels, thereby increasing the risk of exposure to stronger side effects of clozapine. Similarly, it is not to be taken along with methotrexate, probenecid, ropinirole, phenytoin, theophylline, tizanidine and zolpidem,

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