Drug Information

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Brand Name
Common Name
ciprofloxacin ointment and solution
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic that belongs to the family of medications known as quinolonesCiprofloxacin ointment or solution is used for the treatment of eye infections caused by certain types of bacteria.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use this medication?

Ointment: Apply a 1.25 cm (half-inch) ribbon of ointment into the inside of the lower eyelid as directed by your doctor. (The directions will vary according to the condition being treated.) Avoid touching the tip of the tube to anything, as this can cause contamination.

Drops: Use 1 or 2 drops in the affected eye(s) as directed by your doctor for conjunctivitis or corneal ulcer. Avoid touching the tip of the bottle to anything, as this can cause contamination.

Use this medication for the full length of time prescribed by your doctor, even if you start to feel better. Stopping the medication early can cause the infection to return and be harder to treat.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as age, body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to apply this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each gram of ophthalmic ointment contains 3 mg of ciprofloxacin. Nonmedicinal ingredients: mineral oil and white petrolatum.

Each mL of ophthalmic solution contains 3 mg of ciprofloxacin. It also contains benzalkonium chloride 0.006% as preservative. Nonmedicinal ingredients: acetic acid, edetate disodium, hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide, mannitol, purified water, and sodium acetate.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use this medication if you:

  • are allergic to ciprofloxacin or any ingredients of the medication
  • are allergic to nalidixic acid or other quinolones (e.g., norfloxacin, levofloxacin, and ofloxacin)
What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people using this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • dry eyes
  • eye pain
  • nasal sinus congestion
  • noticeable taste or change in taste
  • skin irritation
  • stinging, burning, irritation, or redness of the eye
  • watery eyes

Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • crusting at the lid margin
  • decreased eye sensation
  • feeling of something in your eye
  • increased sensitivity of eyes to light
  • staining of the surface of the eye
  • swelling of the eye or eyelid
  • white deposits on the surface of the eye

Stop using the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • allergic reaction (skin rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing)
  • pain or swelling of tendons
  • reduced vision

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are using this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Allergy: Stop using ciprofloxacin at the first sign of allergy (e.g., a skin rash) and contact your doctor.

Blurred vision: This medication may cause a temporary blurring of vision. If your vison becomes blurred, do not drive or operate machinery until your vision has cleared.

Contact lenses: Avoid wearing contact lenses while you have signs and symptoms of an eye infection. The preservative in this medication can also cause discolouration of soft contact lenses.

If you are wearing contact lenses while using this medication, remove the lenses before putting the medication in your eye. Wait at least 15 minutes after using the medication to put the contact lenses back in your eyes.

Overgrowth of organisms: Prolonged use of ciprofloxacin eye solution or ointment may result in overgrowth of organisms not killed by the medication, including fungi.

Pregnancy: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of the use of ciprofloxacin eye solution or ointment by pregnant women. It should be used by pregnant women only if, in the doctor's opinion, the benefit clearly outweighs any potential unknown risks.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if ciprofloxacin eye solution or ointment passes into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children under one year of age.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

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