Is Ciprofloxacin a Penicillin: Distinguishing Between These Antibacterial Drugs

Aarohi Batra
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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is ciprofloxacin a penicillin

Several bacterial infections are treated with the profound benefits and antibacterial actions of conventional antibiotics.

Similarly, two FDA-approved antibiotics, Ciprofloxacin and Penicillin, have laid their hallmark and testimony with safer and more productive usage.

Ciprofloxacin is a broad-spectrum medication to treat various bacterial infections, including Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

On the other hand, Penicillin has always been the first choice to recommend against bacterial infections.

But is Ciprofloxacin a Penicillin-containing drug? 

This question can raise concern for people sensitive to Penicillin allergy and want to administer Ciprofloxacin to treat it without getting harmed.

In this comprehensive article, we will help you understand the differences between these antibiotics and if Ciprofloxacin is the right choice for people with Penicillin allergy.

An overview

Before learning about Ciprofloxacin and Penicillin, let’s take a look at an overview of the distinction between these anti-bacterial drugs:

Drug ClassFluoroquinolonesBeta-lactam
Brand NameCiproxin Ciloxan CentraxalN/A
Indicated forBacterial infectionsBacterial infections
AdministrationIntravenous solutionOral tabletsOral capsuleOral tablets
Mode of ActionInhibition of enzymes: DNA Gyrase and Topoisomerase IVInhibits the Transpeptidase enzyme

Is Ciprofloxacin a Penicillin

Antibiotics are the primary form of treatmentSource: AlexRaths_from_Getty_Images_Pro

Ciprofloxacin is not an antibiotic that contains Penicillin.

It is a second-generation Fluoroquinolones class of antibiotics used to treat diverse bacterial infections.

Ciprofloxacin was patented in 1983 and approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) in 1987.

Being a broad-spectrum antibiotic, Ciprofloxacin can treat several infections caused by bacteria, such as:

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including Gonorrhea and Chancroid
  • Typhoid fever
  • Prostatitis
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Anthrax
  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Plaque
  • Skin, bone, and joint infections

On the other hand, Penicillin is a separate family of antibiotics that are also efficient in treating bacterial infections.

Penicillin is in the beta-lactam antibiotic class of drugs and can effectively treat Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

They exhibit bactericidal activity with an excellent distribution and low toxicity in the body.

The infectious conditions that can be treated with antibiotics that contain Penicillin are:

  • Pneumonia
  • Anthrax
  • Enterococcal and non-enterococcal Endocarditis
  • Diphtheria
  • Syphilis
  • Meningitis 

Does Ciprofloxacin have Penicillin

As Ciprofloxacin belongs to the Fluoroquinolones class of antibiotics, it does not have Penicillin in it.

Moreover, all the antibiotics in the class Fluoroquinolones are unrelated to Penicillin and do not have Penicillin in them.

Sometimes, Ciprofloxacin can show mild side effects such as nausea and diarrhea. You should consult your doctor when facing such problems.

Can you take Ciprofloxacin if allergic to Penicillin

People allergic to Penicillin can administer prescribed CiprofloxacinSource: Milko_from_Getty_Images_Signature

People allergic to Penicillin can administer prescribed Ciprofloxacin to treat their bacterial infections effectively.

Many people administer Ciprofloxacin instead of antibiotics with Penicillin to treat their condition if they are susceptible to Penicillin.

However, according to NCBI, widespread use of Ciprofloxacin is a cause of the increased risk of Ciprofloxacin resistance among E. coli bacteria in UTIs.

Furthermore, it is advised to discontinue your Ciprofloxacin if you have ever had or faced severe allergic reactions to Ciprofloxacin or other Fluoroquinolone drugs.

A doctor can prescribe you anti-histamines and Corticosteroids to block the activated immune response to treat the allergic symptoms shown by Penicillin.

Therefore, it is recommended to administer prescribed medications to treat your several bacterial infections and eliminate the problems forever!


Ciprofloxacin is not a Penicillin.

Ciprofloxacin is a second-generation Fluoroquinolones class of antibiotics that can treat several bacterial infections.

On the other hand, Penicillin is a beta-lactam class of a separate family of antibiotics that can also treat bacterial infections.

Ciprofloxacin effectively treats conditions such as Urinary Tract Infections, Sexually Transmitted Infections (Gonorrhea and Chancroid), etc.

Penicillin can treat Pneumonia, Anthrax, and Diphtheria and eliminate bacterial infections.

Ciprofloxacin does not have Penicillin, so it can be administered by patients sensitive or allergic to Penicillin.

However, the increased use of Ciprofloxacin is known to cause Ciprofloxacin resistance among E. coli UTIs.

Therefore, you must consult your doctor before administering this medication to eliminate the condition. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Ciprofloxacin a class of Penicillin?

No, Ciprofloxacin is not a member drug of the Penicillin group of antibiotics. Ciprofloxacin belongs to the second-generation Fluoroquinolones antibiotics and is effective in treating bacterial infections. Ciprofloxacin can treat UTIs, Typhoid, Anthrax, and Skin infections. You can administer this drug with a doctor’s prescription to avoid complications.

Is Ciprofloxacin safe for Penicillin allergy?

Yes, Ciprofloxacin is safe for people allergic to Penicillin. The second-generation Fluoroquinolone, Ciprofloxacin, can be administered to treat bacterial infections effectively. Many people use Ciprofloxacin instead of Penicillin to treat their condition to avoid allergic reactions. However, it is recommended to consult your doctor and seek prescribed medications only.

Can I take Ciprofloxacin if I am allergic to Penicillin?

Yes, you can administer prescribed Ciprofloxacin if you are allergic to Penicillin. Many people administer Ciprofloxacin or other Fluoroquinolones instead of antibiotics that contain Penicillin to treat their bacterial infections. However, the extensive use of Ciprofloxacin can increase the risk of Ciprofloxacin resistance among E. coli bacteria.

What type of antibiotic is Ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin is a second-generation Fluoroquinolone and is effective in the treatment of bacterial infections. It can effectively relieve UTIs, STIs, Typhoid fevers, Prostatitis, Gastrointestinal infections, etc. It is recommended to consult your doctor before administering any medication to avoid complications.

How is Ciprofloxacin different from drugs that contain Penicillin?

Ciprofloxacin is a second-generation Fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics. However, Penicillin is a separate class of antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections in individuals. Ciprofloxacin inhibits the Topoisomerase enzymes necessary for DNA replication. On the other hand, Penicillin inhibits the Transpeptidase enzyme and kills the bacteria.

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