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AIDSinfo Drug Database

AIDSinfo Drug Database

Drugs by class



Ciprofloxacin  Audio icon

Other Names: Cipro, Cipro IV, Cipro XR, ciprofloxacin HCl [tablet], ciprofloxacin extended release
Drug Class: Opportunistic Infections and Coinfections

Chemical Images:
Click image to enlarge
Molecular Weight: 331.3452
ciprofloxacin hydrochloride
ciprofloxacin hydrochloride
Molecular Weight: 385.821

What is ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin is an antibacterial prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment and prevention of certain bacterial infections, including:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Skin infections
  • Bone and joint infections
  • Intra-abdominal infections
  • Kidney infections in children
  • Acute sinus infections
  • Infectious diarrhea
  • Typhoid fever
  • Gonorrhea
  • Plague
  • Anthrax

Ciprofloxacin comes in several formulations, including tablets, extended-release (XR) tablets, oral suspension (a mixture of a medicine and a liquid that can be taken by mouth), and intravenous (IV) infusion solution. The different formulations of ciprofloxacin are approved for different uses and specific populations. Some bacterial infections are opportunistic infections. An opportunistic infection is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems—such as those infected with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about opportunistic infections, read the AIDSinfo What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet.

Ciprofloxacin can also be used “off-label” to prevent and treat other opportunistic infections of HIV infection. “Off-label” use refers to use of an FDA-approved medicine in a manner different from that described on the medicine label. Good medical practice and the best interests of a patient sometimes require that a medicine be used “off-label.”

What HIV-related opportunistic infections is ciprofloxacin used for?

The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents, prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA-HIVMA), includes recommendations on the HIV-related uses of ciprofloxacin to:

  • Prevent:
    • Isosporiasis (also known as Isospora belli infection) from recurring (called secondary prophylaxis or maintenance therapy). (This is an “off-label” use.)
  • Treat:

The above list may not include all of the HIV-related uses of ciprofloxacin recommended in the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents. Some recommended uses, such as uses in certain rare circumstances, may have been omitted.

What should I tell my health care provider before taking ciprofloxacin?

Before taking ciprofloxacin, tell your health care provider:

  • If you are allergic to ciprofloxacin or any other medicines.
  • About any medical conditions you have or have had, for example, diabetes or liver problems.
  • About anything that could affect your ability to take medicines, such as difficulty swallowing pills, difficulty remembering to take pills, or any health conditions that may prevent your use of intravenous medicines.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Whether ciprofloxacin can harm an unborn baby is unknown. Talk to your health care provider about possible risks with taking ciprofloxacin when pregnant.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you are infected with HIV.
  • About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Ciprofloxacin may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how ciprofloxacin works. Ask your health care provider if there are interactions between ciprofloxacin and the other medicines you take.

Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from ciprofloxacin. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.

How should I take ciprofloxacin?

Take ciprofloxacin according to your health care provider’s instructions. Your health care provider will tell you how much ciprofloxacin to take and when to take it. Before you start ciprofloxacin and each time you get a refill, read any printed information that comes with your medicine.

How should ciprofloxacin be stored?

  • Store ciprofloxacin tablets at 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Store ciprofloxacin oral suspension below 77°F (25°C) for up to 14 days. Do not freeze.
  • Store ciprofloxacin XR tablets at 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C ).
  • Store ciprofloxacin intravenous (IV) infusion solution at 41°F to 77°F (5°C to 25°C). Protect the IV infusion solution from light and excessive heat. Do not freeze.
  • Do not use ciprofloxacin if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.
  • Throw away ciprofloxacin that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
  • Keep ciprofloxacin and all medicines out of reach of children.

Where can I find more information about ciprofloxacin?

More information about ciprofloxacin is available:

The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Oral suspension kit, tablet (film coated); Solution (concentrate); Tablet (film coated, extended release).

Last Reviewed: January 4, 2017

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