Ciprofloxacin Side Effects: What You Need to Know

Amisha Jain
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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ciprofloxacin side effects

Ciprofloxacin’s effectiveness against a broad spectrum of bacteria has made it a popular choice for treating both common and complex infections.

However, as with any medication, there are potential side effects to consider when using Ciprofloxacin. 

While many people tolerate this antibiotic well, being aware of its possible adverse effects is essential to ensure your health and safety during treatment.

Moving ahead, we will get into a detailed description of Ciprofloxacin side effects, mentioning essential information required to make an informed decision.

What are the most common side effects of Ciprofloxacin

Some of the commonly observed Ciprofloxacin side effects include:

Gastrointestinal issues

One of the most common side effects of Ciprofloxacin is gastrointestinal discomfort. 

This can manifest as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. 

These symptoms are usually mild and can be managed by taking the medication with food.

Headache and dizziness

headache is a side effectSource: Iurii_Maksymiv
Headache

Some individuals may experience nervous system-related side effects, such as dizziness and headaches. 

These symptoms tend to be mild and often resolve once the medication is discontinued.

Skin reactions

The VigiAccess database by the World Health Organization mentions that 26% of the reported side effects from over 100,000 users were concerning skin and tissue disorders.

Skin itching, rashes, and hives are the most commonly reported Ciprofloxacin side effects. 

It is essential to report any skin reactions to your healthcare provider.

Musculoskeletal disorders

This is one of the more severe Ciprofloxacin side effects in elderly people. 

An increased risk of Tendinitis (inflammation of the tendons) and even tendon rupture have been associated with the use of Ciprofloxacin. 

This pain often affects the hand, shoulder, back of your ankle, and other body parts.

If you experience tendon pain or swelling during treatment, it is important to seek medical attention promptly.

Photosensitivity

Ciprofloxacin has the potential to make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, potentially leading to sunburn more easily.

It is suggested to keep out of the sun as much as possible and avoid tanning beds, sun lamps, etc.

To minimize this risk, use sunscreen, wear protective clothing when outdoors, and avoid prolonged sun exposure.

Changes in blood sugar levels

In rare cases, Ciprofloxacin can lead to changes in blood sugar levels, which may be concerning for individuals with Diabetes. 

It may show up in the form of headaches, irritability, hunger, fast heart rate, etc.

If you notice any of these symptoms, stop taking the medication and get in touch with your doctor right away.

Less common but serious side effects

While the aforementioned side effects are more common, it’s essential to be aware of potentially severe adverse reactions, even if they occur less frequently. 

These include:

Peripheral neuropathy

This is a rare but severe side effect that can cause tingling, numbness, or weakness in the extremities. 

If you notice any unusual sensations in your limbs, inform your healthcare provider promptly.

Fact:
Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage to peripheral nerves, which are nerves located outside the brain and spinal cord.

Allergic reactions

In rare cases, individuals may experience severe allergic reactions to Ciprofloxacin, leading to symptoms like swelling of the face or throat, hives, and difficulty in breathing. 

If you encounter any of the mentioned symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

Behavioral and mood changes

Extreme fatigue can also be observed in people taking CiprofloxacinSource: fizkes_from_Getty_Images
Extreme fatigue

In rare cases, nervousness, agitation, confusion, and extreme fatigue can also be observed in people taking Ciprofloxacin.

These signs and symptoms call for both your doctor’s visit and an immediate discontinuation of the medication.

Liver problems

Liver problems might manifest in rare cases of Ciprofloxacin side effects.

It might cause the urine to become bloody or cloudy.

Some individuals may also experience yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes.

Recommended Article
Apart from side effects, it is essential to know everything you should keep in mind to avoid side effects.
Read Ciprofloxacin Warnings: Understanding the Full Spectrum of Risks for a comprehensive understanding of all the risks.

Takeaway

Ciprofloxacin is a valuable antibiotic used to combat a wide range of bacterial infections. 

While it is generally well-tolerated, it is essential to be aware of the potential side effects associated with its use. 

Most side effects, such as headache, nausea, abdominal pain, etc., are mild and resolve on their own.

But, in some cases, severe reactions, such as hives, difficulty breathing, and Tendinitis, can also occur.

By understanding the common and less common side effects of Ciprofloxacin and taking appropriate precautions, you can ensure a safer and more effective treatment experience. 

Always consult a healthcare provider before starting or discontinuing the medication and report any unusual or severe side effects promptly.

Being informed about the possible risks and benefits of Ciprofloxacin is a crucial step toward making informed decisions about medical treatment.

Warning:
This article does not mention a comprehensive list of all the side effects. Consult a doctor to be aware of all the possible side effects based on your diagnosis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the side effects of taking Ciprofloxacin?

Common side effects of Ciprofloxacin include gastrointestinal discomfort (nausea, diarrhea), CNS effects (dizziness, headaches), skin reactions (rashes, itching), tendon issues (Tendinitis, rupture), and Photosensitivity. Rare but severe side effects can include allergic reactions and peripheral neuropathy.

What are the toxic side effects of Ciprofloxacin?

Severe side effects from Ciprofloxacin are relatively rare but possible. They include severe diarrhea, hives, numbness, tingling, confusion, etc. The frequency of these severe side effects varies among individuals. It is crucial to know about the potential risks and consult a healthcare provider if any unusual symptoms occur during treatment.

What are Ciprofloxacin Urinary Tract Infection side effects?

Ciprofloxacin is commonly prescribed for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). Its side effects in this context are similar to its general side effects, including gastrointestinal discomfort (nausea, diarrhea), CNS effects (dizziness, headaches), skin reactions (rashes, itching), tendon issues (Tendinitis, rupture), and Photosensitivity.

How common are severe side effects from Ciprofloxacin?

Severe side effects from Ciprofloxacin are relatively rare but can occur. The frequency of these severe side effects varies among individuals. It is crucial to know about the potential risks and consult a healthcare provider if any unusual symptoms occur during treatment.

Who should avoid Ciprofloxacin?

Individuals with a history of allergic reactions to Fluoroquinolone antibiotics should avoid its use. Additionally, pregnant and breastfeeding women, children under 18, and those with a known sensitivity to its ingredients should consult a healthcare provider for treatment options. Patients with certain medical conditions may also need careful evaluation.

Citations:
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