Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic drug that is prescribed to patients who have an infection caused by bacteria. It is also known by the brand name, Cipro. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved ciprofloxacin in 1987 as a treatment for urinary tract infections, cystitis, pneumonia, infectious diarrhea, and skin, bone and joint infections. The drug comes in three forms: a pill, an extended release pill and a liquid. It will not work on diseases caused by a virus, such as the common cold or flu.
The FDA has also approved ciprofloxacin for treating anthrax in people. Anthrax is a bacterial infection usually caused by physical contact with an infected animal or eating the meat of an infected animal. However, the disease can infect people who have only inhaled anthrax germs or spores. This situation occurred in 2001, when envelopes containing anthrax were sent to people through the mail. Ciprofloxacin is prescribed to prevent anthrax in people who may have breathed in anthrax.
The prescribing physician will instruct the patient on how to take the medication and how many times per day to take it. Most patients will take one dose in the morning and another in the evening. The medication can be taken before or after eating a meal, and patients should drink plenty of liquids while taking Cipro, unless their doctor tells them something different. The number of days that a patient will need to take this antibiotic depends on the type and severity of the infection. All medication should be consumed, even after the patient feels well again.
Patients who take ciprofloxacin should know that it may interact with other medications. These medications include corticosteroids, blood thinners, ibuprofen, naproxen, cyclosporine, and some drugs prescribed for diabetes, such as insulin and glyburide. Patients should also minimize drinking caffeinated beverages and eating chocolate while taking this antibiotic. These drug and food combinations can cause unpleasant or serious side effects, and prevent the cure of the patient’s conditions and diseases.
Ciprofloxacin is not recommended as a treatment for children under the age of eighteen. Pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant should not take this medication. Studies have not been done to determine if this antibiotic is safe for young children or a developing fetus.
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