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Effects of Ciprofloxacin

author image Adam Cloe
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.
Effects of Ciprofloxacin
Woman feeling nauseous in bed. Photo Credit Samo Trebizan/iStock/Getty Images


Ciprofloxacin is a commonly prescribed antibiotic that can be used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. It can come as a pill or a liquid suspensions which can either be consumed orally or as eye drops. Ciprofloxacin can also be used to treat people who may have been exposed to anthrax.

Bacterial Overgrowth

One risk of taking antibiotics is the fact that antibiotics kill bacteria throughout the body, including in the intestinal tract. The intestines are filled with a variety of bacteria that do not cause any infections and can aid in digestion. Antibiotics can kill off these bacteria (also known as commensal bacteria), which then can allow other bacteria to overgrow the intestines (since there are no other bacteria to compete for the intestine's resources). This can lead to abdominal pain and cramping, as well as gas, bloating and diarrhea (especially watery diarrhea).

Common Side Effects

Ciprofloxacin can also also cause certain side effects. The most common of these are mild. These include stomach problems, which can manifest themselves as stomach pain, vomiting and nausea. They can also cause acid reflux and heartburn, which is caused by the contents of the stomach escaping into the esophagus. Cirpofloxacin can also cause a headache as well as problems with the urinary system. This can cause patients to feel like they need to urinate all the time and to experience a burning sensation upon urination. Women may also experience a discharge from the vagina combined with vaginal itching.

Serious Side Effects

Ciprofloxacin can also cause very serious complications. These can include an allergic reaction, which can cause a rash and hives, swelling of the limbs and face, as well as swelling of the throat (which can lead to trouble swallowing and breathing, and hoarseness). Ciprofloxacin can also cause a fever, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, as well as joint and muscle pain. Ciprofloxacin can also cause liver damage which can lead to abdominal pain and problems with bleeding and bruising easily, as well as jaundice (yellowing of the skin as well as the whites of the eyes). It can also cause inflammation of the tendons which can lead to the tendons rupturing.

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