Ciprofloxacin drops for infection
This leaflet is for parents and carers about how to use this medicine in children. Our information may differ from that provided by the manufacturers, because their information usually relates to adults. Read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.
Ciprofloxacin drops are often used for the eye, but it is safe to be used in the ears as well. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Name of medicine
Ciprofloxacin drops (sip-roh-flox-ass-in)
Common brand: Ciloxan
Why is it important for my child to take Ciprofloxacin drops?
Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic. By giving it regularly in the way that your doctor has told you to, it should kill the bacteria causing the infection.
What is Ciprofloxacin drops available as?
- Ciprofloxacin 0.3% drops (supplied in a 5 mL dropper bottle)
When should I give Ciprofloxacin drops
Ciprofloxacin drops is usually given two or three times each day. Your doctor will tell you how often to give the drops to your child.
- Twice a day: Give the drops once in the morning and once in the evening. Ideally, these times are 10–12 hours apart, for example some time between 7am and 8am, and between 7pm and 8pm.
- Three times a day: Give the drops once in the morning, once in the early afternoon (e.g. straight after school) and once in the evening. Space these times out as evenly as possible. Give the drops at about the same times each day.
How much should I give?
Your doctor will work out the amount of Ciprofloxacin drops (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.
It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.
How should I give Ciprofloxacin drops?
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water.
- Shake the bottle.
- Your child needs to have their head tilted to one side. (They could rest their head on a pillow.)
- Put the tip of the dropper just inside the ear hole. Try to avoid touching the nozzle on to the ear. Gently squeeze the drop(s) into the ear.
- Your child should keep their head tilted to one side for a minute or so.
- Wipe the nozzle with a clean tissue after each use.
- Repeat the above steps for the other ear if necessary.
When should the medicine start working?
The medicine will start to work straight away but it may take 2–3 days before your child starts to feel better.
It is important that you give the whole course of Ciprofloxacin drops that your doctor has prescribed, even when your child feels better. This is to make sure that all the bacteria are killed and the infection doesn’t come back.
What if my child is sick (vomits)?
You do not need to worry if your child is sick, as the medicine will still work.
What if I forget to give it?
If you usually give it twice a day: If you remember up to 4 hours after you should have given a dose, give your child the missed dose. For example, if you usually give a dose at about 7am, you can give the missed dose at any time up to 11am. If you remember after that time, do not give the missed dose. Give the next dose as usual.
If you usually give it three times a day: Do not give the missed dose. Just give the next dose as usual.
What if I give too much?
You are unlikely to cause harm if you give an extra dose of Ciprofloxacin drops by mistake. If you are concerned that you may have given too much, contact your doctor or local NHS services (details at end of leaflet). Have the medicine or packaging with you if you telephone for advice.
Are there any possible side effects?
We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side effects).
Side effects you must do something about
If your child is short of breath or is wheezing, or their face, lips or tongue start to swell, or they develop a rash, they may be allergic to Ciprofloxacin drops. Take your child to hospital or phone for an ambulance straight away.
Other side-effects you need to know about
Your child may develop a rash or itching in the ear(s) while using the Ciprofloxacin drops. This will stop when the course of treatment is finished. If it is a problem, contact your doctor for advice.
There may sometimes be other side effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned, contact your doctor. You can report any suspected side effects to a UK safety scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard
Can other medicines be given at the same time as Ciprofloxacin drops?
- You can give your child medicines that contain paracetamol or ibuprofen, unless your doctor has told you not to.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal and complementary medicines.
Is there anything else I need to know about this medicine?
- Do not put cotton wool (or anything else) into the ears during the course of treatment.
- Once opened, ciprofloxacin drops should not be kept for longer than 4 weeks.
- Ciprofloxacin is widely available in the UK in other formulations, including as eye drops. Ciprofloxacin eye drops (Ciloxan 0.3%) are the most commonly used preparation in the UK for ear infection. It is safe for ciprofloxacin eye drops to be used in the ears as well. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
General advice about antibiotics
- It is important that your child completes the course of antibiotic. This means that they must take the medicine for the number of days that the doctor has told you to, or until all of the medicine has been taken. If you stop giving the antibiotic too soon, the bacteria that are left will start to multiply again, and may cause another infection. There is also a risk that these bacteria will be ‘resistant’ to the first antibiotic. This means that it might not work next time, and your child might need a different antibiotic, which might not work as well or cause more side-effects.
- Try to give the medicine at about the same times each day, to help you remember, and to make sure that there is the right amount of medicine in your child’s body to kill the bacteria.
- Only give this medicine to your child for their current infection.
- Never save medicine for future illnesses. Give old or unused antibiotics to your pharmacist to dispose of.
- Antibiotics only kill bacteria; they do not kill viruses. This means that they do not work against colds, sore throats, flu or other infections that are caused by viruses. Your doctor will not prescribe antibiotics for these illnesses.
If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor for advice.
Where should I keep this medicine?
- Keep the medicine in a cupboard, away from heat and direct sunlight.
- It does not need to be kept in the fridge.
- Make sure that children cannot see or reach the medicine.
- Keep the medicine in the container it came in.
Who to contact for more information?
Your child’s doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about Ciprofloxacin drops and about other medicines used to treat infections.
Version . © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild, all rights reserved. Review by July 2018.
The primary source for the information in this leaflet is the British National Formulary for Children. For details on any other sources used for this leaflet, please contact us through our website, www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk.
We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.