Ciprofloxacin 500mg Tablets
Images for illustration purposes only. Brands may vary.
Fastest delivery available: 06/12/2023
For more information on our delivery times, please click here
Ciprofloxacin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that belongs to the fluoroquinolone family. Ciprofloxacin is most commonly used to treat bacterial traveller’s diarrhoea, but can also be used to treat other bacterial infections of the respiratory tract, ears, sinuses, urinary tract, genital tract, gastrointestinal tract, skin and soft tissue, and bones and joints.
Please note that Azithromycin is also available for Traveller's Diarrhoea.
What Is Ciprofloxacin?
Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic treatment for traveller’s diarrhoea and other types of bacterial infections. It belongs in the fluoroquinolone antibiotic class of medications and comes in 250 mg, 500 mg and 750 mg tablets.
The active ingredient in ciprofloxacin tablets is ciprofloxacin hydrochloride, and there are several inactive ingredients contained in the medication too, including microcrystalline cellulose, maize starch and sodium starch glycolate.
What Is Ciprofloxacin Used For?
As well as traveller’s diarrhoea, Ciprofloxacin is also used to treat a range of other bacterial infections, including:
- Chest infections (such as pneumonia)
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Skin and bone infections
- Ear infections
- Eye infections
Ciprofloxacin has become a treatment of choice for traveller’s diarrhoea, due to its excellent performance in combatting enteropathogenic (the ability to cause disease in the intestinal tract) bacteria.
How Does Ciprofloxacin Work?
Ciprofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic which works by inhibiting the type II DNA topoisomerases (gyrase enzymes) that are needed for bacterial synthesis – this kills the bacteria that cause traveller’s diarrhoea and other infections.
Ciprofloxacin and Alcohol
You can drink alcohol while taking ciprofloxacin, as it won’t make the medication less effective. However, you should remember that drinking alcohol while you are taking ciprofloxacin may increase the risk of side effects or worsen side effects. Among the side effects that you could intensify by drinking alcohol while taking ciprofloxacin are:
- A bad stomach
Ciprofloxacin in Pregnancy
Ciprofloxacin tablets are not usually recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Studies have shown that while ciprofloxacin does not show an increased risk of congenital malformations or miscarriage; however, this drug should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks for the mother and the foetus.
Therefore, before taking ciprofloxacin you should inform your doctor if you are pregnant, trying for a baby, or breastfeeding. You may also be unsuitable for ciprofloxacin if you:
- Are over the age of 60
- Have had a brain disorder
- Have had a nervous system disorder
- Have had an organ transplant
- Have kidney problems
- Are currently taking corticosteroids
Ciprofloxacin vs Ofloxacin
Ofloxacin – also sold under the brand name Tarivid - is another fluoroquinolone antibiotic that treats bacterial infections. Ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin work in the same way; preventing the growth of bacteria by stopping the reproduction of genetic material. Like ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin can be used to treat chest infections, STIs and other bacterial infections.
The two medications also share some of the same potential side effects, including nausea, diarrhoea and dizziness. Like ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin is not available over the counter in the UK. To buy ofloxacin, your suitability for the medication will need to be assessed before a prescription can be issued. Ofloxacin is available in 200 mg and 400 mg tablets.
While both ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin are fluoroquinolone antibiotics with similar characteristics, ofloxacin may be more effective in treating staph infections (usually minor skin conditions).
Ciprofloxacin vs Doxycycline
Ciprofloxacin and doxycycline – also sold under the brand names Vibramycin-D, Periostat and Efracea – are both antibiotics which are used to treat bacterial infections. Doxycycline is a different type of antibiotic from ciprofloxacin. It is a tetracycline antibiotic, which works by interfering with protein synthesis to inhibit bacterial growth. Like ciprofloxacin, doxycycline can treat STIs and chest infections. It is also a treatment for cholera, typhus, anthrax, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin are currently the treatment of choice for traveller’s diarrhoea. Doxycycline is not usually prescribed for traveller’s diarrhoea, as resistance to the medication is currently high.
Ciprofloxacin has been given overwhelmingly positive reviews by those taking the medication to treat traveller’s diarrhoea. Users have reported that their diarrhoea stopped within two to three days of starting to take ciprofloxacin tablets. Other reviewers online observed that their traveller’s diarrhoea symptoms had cleared up in as little as 24 hours after starting to take ciprofloxacin. Among the commonly reported side effects is slight constipation.
Can You Ciprofloxacin Over the Counter?
In the UK, you are not able to purchase ciprofloxacin tablets over the counter. A medical professional will need to assess your suitability for ciprofloxacin before issuing a prescription for the medication. After you have your prescription, you can buy ciprofloxacin tablets from your local or online pharmacy.
When buying ciprofloxacin, you can benefit from the convenience of Cloud Pharmacy’s online service. You’ll just need to complete a simple consultation with one of our online pharmacists. Once your prescription has been issued, we can dispense your tablets and send them to you via our next-day delivery service.
There are several medicines that may interact with ciprofloxacin, potentially affecting the way the medication works and increasing the risk of side effects.
If you are taking antacids for acid reflux or heartburn, you should wait at least two hours before taking a ciprofloxacin tablet. Once you have taken ciprofloxacin, you shouldn’t take another antacid for at least another four hours.
Before your take ciprofloxacin, you should tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following: steroids, methotrexate, theophylline, aminophylline, phenytoin, warfarin, tizanidine, iron tablets or supplements, or zinc supplements.
Ciprofloxacin comes in 250 mg, 500 mg and 750 mg tablets. The standard adult dosage of ciprofloxacin for traveller’s diarrhoea is 250 mg to 750 mg, twice per day. Some infections may only require you to take a single dose. The dosage and length of the treatment course will vary according to your medical condition, and your response to treatment.
Depending on the type of infection you have, your doctor may recommend a higher dose in order to rapidly and effectively decrease the bacterial population’s size. Doses are typically lower for people with kidney problems, and children.
Should you forget to take a dose of ciprofloxacin, take it as soon as you remember. If you don’t realise it until the next day, skip the dose you missed and take the next day’s doses at the normal time. You should never take two doses in order to compensate for a missed dose.
How Long Does Ciprofloxacin Take To Work?
After you start taking ciprofloxacin tablets, your traveller’s diarrhoea symptoms should improve within a few days. The time it takes to feel better can depend on the type of infection you have. Some infections – e.g. osteomyelitis (a bone infection) – take longer to clear and you may not see an improvement in symptoms until a week or more after starting to take ciprofloxacin.
If you have been taking ciprofloxacin tablets for two to three days and have not begun to feel better, or feel worse, you should tell your doctor.
How to Take Ciprofloxacin
Ciprofloxacin tablets are swallowed whole with water. You should not break, crush or chew ciprofloxacin tablets. If your dosage requires you to take the tablets twice per day, you should aim to space the daily doses out by 12 hours. You can take ciprofloxacin tablets with or without food. Try to avoid food or beverages that contain high iron or calcium levels – such as red meat and dairy products – for at least two hours before and after taking ciprofloxacin tablets.
Always complete your course of ciprofloxacin tablets, unless advised otherwise by a doctor. It is best to begin taking ciprofloxacin tablets from the onset of your traveller’s diarrhoea symptoms.
Ciprofloxacin Side Effects
Not everyone will experience side effects from ciprofloxacin. Among the common potential side effects of ciprofloxacin tablets, which occur in more than one in 100 people, are:
Serious side effects from ciprofloxacin are rare. If you experience any of the following serious side effects, which occur in less than one in 100 people, you should stop taking the medication and inform your doctor immediately:
- Muscle pain
- Muscle weakness
- Swelling in the joints or tendons
- Severe fatigue
- A burning sensation
- Pins and needles
- Sleeping difficulty
- Severe diarrhoea (lasting for at least four days)
- Diarrhoea containing blood or mucus
- Sudden breathlessness
If you suffer from any of these severe side effects, you should call 999 or contact a medical professional immediately:
- Seizure or fit
- Skin rash
- Tightness in the chest
- Tightness in the throat
- Breathing difficulty
- You have trouble talking
- Swelling around the face or inside the mouth
Patient Information Leaflet
Ciprofloxacin Tablets Patient Information Leaflet
For more information on Ciprofloxacin medication, take a look at the Patient Information Leaflet below:
Confirm Ciprofloxacin 500mg Tablets treatment selection