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What you need to know about Cipro
Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic specially designed for the treatment of bacterial infections. It works by slowing down the growth of bacteria making possible for your body to fight off the infection. In cases you are allergic to ofloxacin, norfloxacin, levofloxacin, lomefloxacin, moxifloxacin, taking this medicine is not recommended as it’s very close in action to the drugs mentioned and you may get an allergic reaction again. If you take Cipro in spite of a history of an allergic reaction, the following symptoms are possible: hives, swelling of your face, trouble breathing and swallowing and hives. Any cases of an allergic reaction need to be reported directly to your local emergency center, as they tend to get worse with time and are unlikely to improve on their own. People with heart rhythm disorder, especially those being treated with such medications as bretylium, sotalol, disopyramide, procainamide, amiodarone, and quinidine are not supposed to be taking Cipro either – as dangerous interactions are possible that not only will make Cipro less efficient, but can also affect your health and wellbeing. You can still drink milk and consume dairy products when taking Cipro, just make sure you don’t use such products alone with Cipro. Otherwise your medicine may become less effective. Cipro is FDA pregnancy category C. This medicine passes into breast milk, but it is not known for sure whether it can harm an unborn baby. Pregnant and breastfeeding women can take this drug only if their health care provider thinks it’s okay – but this is unlikely, as there are other alternatives for those patients. Cipro is usually well tolerated and only a few mild side effects are possible. While mild side effects you may get are likely to go away and do not need to be reported to your health care provider, more serious side effects are also possible, and your doctor is supposed to know about them as soon as they are detected. Cipro is supposed to be taken for as long as prescribed even if you feel better, as otherwise a relapse of infection is possible. Never share Cipro with other people and make sure to store it in some place where it will not be accessed by others.
Things to consider before taking Cipro
Any health conditions you have or used to have are supposed to be reported directly to your health care provider. Make sure you mention the fact of having been diagnosed with any of the following: joint problems, myasthenia gravis, low levels of blood potassium, diabetes, history of seizures, kidney or liver disease, personal or family history of Long QT syndrome, and any other ones you think may be important. The conditions mentioned can affect the success of your treatment, and your health care provider needs to be notified of them first thing during your visit. You may need a lower or higher dose of Cipro, your health care provider may ask you to have some additional tests done to see if taking Cipro will be safe for you, or your condition will be monitored very carefully throughout the entire period of the treatment. Tell your health care provider if you are using any medications that have been reported to interfere with the effects of Cipro. The following ones are especially important to report: oral diabetes medication, phenytoin, clozapine, metoclopramide, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, blood thinners, cyclosporine, oral steroid medications, probenecid, methotrexate, theophylline, ropinirole, and tacrine. This list is not complete and there are many other drugs that may potentially interact with Cipro. However, they are not prescribed as often as the ones mentioned and the chances you will be taking them are pretty low. Nevertheless, it’s useful to ask your doctor or your pharmacist if the medicine you are about to use and combine with Cipro is safe and is unlikely to cause interactions. Taking Cipro is not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or in case you have a history of an allergic reaction to this medicine. This medicine can pass into breast milk and may or may not affect the health of an unborn baby. Since there is not enough information on the effects of Cipro in unborn babies, you will most probably be recommended to find some alternative to Cipro. The use of this drug in pregnant and breastfeeding women is justified very rarely and needs to be discussed with a qualified health care professional. Before you start taking this medicine, you need to know that taking Cipro regularly is the only way to benefit from this medicine. If you skip doses and can’t keep track of how much of this medicine you have already taken – it’s best not to start the treatment at all. You will be required to take the entire amount of Cipro prescribed – even if you feel better soon after taking this drug. Improved symptoms do not necessarily mean you have managed to overcome the infection. If you stop taking Cipro before it’s time, a relapse of infection is possible, and Cipro is not going to help you get it under control anymore because of resistance the bacteria will have developed by that time. Therefore, it’s important that you realize taking Cipro is a responsibility and you will need to do everything possible to follow the recommendations provided by your doctor.
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Cipro dosage and use
Unless told otherwise by your health care provider, you are supposed to be taking this medicine with a full glass of water and drink several glasses of liquid during the day to provide for maximum efficiency of your treatment. The liquid form of Cipro is supposed to be shaken very well before you start using it, and you need to have a special measuring device to make sure you never overdose. Do not use a regular spoon to take the liquid form of Cipro, as there is possibility you will take more or less than prescribed. Taking less then necessary may be actually more dangerous than taking more. If you take more of Cipro than prescribed you will just get worsened side effects, while using less of this medicine is going to be inefficient and the bacteria in your body may develop resistance to this medicine. As a result of that, your treatment will be inefficient and you will be unable to keep the bacteria under control. If your doctor prescribed extended-release tablets of Cipro, make sure to swallow the pill whole. Do not break or crush the tablet, as it has been specially designed to dissolve only once inside your body. If you break the pill, this will result in too much of this medicine being released. Cipro is supposed to be stored at room temperature and you must never allow it to freeze. Never take more of Cipro to avoid an overdose. The following are most probable symptoms of an overdose that you will need to report to your local emergency center: pale skin, seizures, urination problems, weakness, and blue lips. Any cases of an overdose are supposed to be reported directly to your local emergency center. Do not try to treat the symptoms of an overdose yourself – you will need medical attention and probably some procedures performed in the hospital to prevent the situation from getting worse. Some drugs are not supposed to be combined with Cipro, as interactions are possible. Make sure you tell your health care provider if you are taking any of the following: products with calcium, iron, or zinc, vitamins or mineral supplements, antacids that contain calcium, aluminum, magnesium etc, ulcer medicines, and didanosine. You are not supposed to use any of the products mentioned within 6 hours before taking your dose of Cipro or 2 hours after it. If you are taking some medications at the moment and need to be taking them – talk to your doctor about a treatment schedule that would include all the drugs you require but taken at evenly spaced intervals without any chances they will interact with each other. So, you will need to plan your treatment ahead if you need to take any of the products mentioned along with Cipro, as otherwise interactions are possible that can affect the effectiveness of Cipro. If you happened to miss your dose of Cipro by accident – make sure you take it as soon as you remember. However, if you need to take your next dose very soon – you can skip the one you missed and go back to the regular treatment schedule. Do not take two doses too close together in time, as this is not going to bring you anything but side effects. Try to take Cipro at the same time every day to remember about the next dose. You can have someone remind you of taking Cipro or come up with your own way to make sure the levels of this medicine in your bloodstream is the same.
Side effects of Cipro you should be aware of
In very rare cases Cipro can cause tearing of the tendon – this is considered to be a serious side effect that requires immediate medical attention. A tendon is a specific fiber that connects muscles to the bones. The tearing of the tendon is more likely to take place if you are older than 60, use steroid medications or have any transplants (or the heart, kidney etc). The following symptoms may indicate you are suffering a tearing of the tendon: movement problems in the joint, swelling, tenderness, sudden pain, and stiffness. You will need to call your doctor at once if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned and make sure you do not move around too much. Some rest is recommended until your doctor tells you exactly what you are supposed to do about this problem. The effects of caffeine can be intensified if Cipro is used. Make sure you avoid drinking coffee and consuming other products that contain caffeine to avoid serious health effects. Try to avoid staying in the sun for too long, as Cipro can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Even tanning beds can be more harmful during the treatment, so avoid them as well. Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you have itching, severe burning, redness, swelling, or rash, as these may be the signs of an allergic reaction to Cipro. In that case do not take any more of this medicine until told otherwise by your doctor. An allergic reaction to Cipro can make it impossible for you to carry on with the treatment, as Cipro is unlikely to help you treat your condition and can only cause more severe allergic reactions. If you notice bloody or watery diarrhea, do not be in a hurry to treat this symptoms using other medicines. Diarrhea may be a sign of new infection and needs to be reported to your health care provider. Some side effects of this medicine can impair your thinking and reactions. Make sure you always know for sure how Cipro affects your reactions and vision and do not get engaged into any activities unless you know they way you are likely to react to Cipro. Serious side effects of Cipro that will need to be reported to your health care provider include fainting, dark colored urine, depression, easy bruising or bleeding, confusion, seizure, unusual thoughts, hallucinations, any skin rash, unusual pain, weakness, pounding heartbeat, numbness, dizziness, pale or yellowed skin, watery or bloody diarrhea, urinating less than usual, and tingling. Mild side effects are a lot more likely, although they are not expected to last for too long. Mild side effects of Cipro include nervousness, sleep problems, blurred vision, drowsiness, increased sensitivity to sunlight, anxiousness, vomiting, nausea, and dizziness. There is no need for you to report any of the mild side effects mentioned to your health are provider, as they tend to be short-lived and do not require special attention. However, if the mild side effects you originally developed start to get bothersome and interfere with your everyday activities – it’s best to let your doctor know about them. In case you develop any side effects that were not mentioned anywhere in this paragraph, call your doctor and try to describe your experience in as much detail as possible to make sure there is nothing to worry about and this is just a normal reaction of your body to the dose prescribed. In some cases a dose adjustment may help you deal with the side effects that persist and change in intensity, but make sure you do not adjust the dose yourself.