Medicines

Ciprofloxacin for bacterial 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.

If your child has ever had a reaction to any medicine, tell your doctor before giving Ciprofloxacin.

Name of medicine

Ciprofloxacin (sip-row-flox-ah-sin)

Brand names: Ciproxin

Why is it important for my child to take Ciprofloxacin?

It is important that your child takes this medicine in the way that your doctor has told you to so that it kills the bacteria and gets rid of the infection.

What is Ciprofloxacin available as?

  • Tablets: 100 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg, 750 mg
  • Liquid medicine (suspension): 250 mg in 5 mL

When should I give Ciprofloxacin

The Ciprofloxacin is usually given twice each day. Give one dose in the morning and one in the evening. Ideally these times are 10–12 hours apart. For example, this could be between 7am and 8am and between 7pm and 8pm.

Give the medicine at about the same time(s) each day so that this becomes part of your child’s daily routine, which will help you to remember.

How much should I give?

Your doctor will work out the amount of Ciprofloxacin (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?

Tablets

  • Tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water, squash or juice. Your child should not chew the tablet.

Liquid medicine

  • Shake the medicine well. Measure out the right amount using an oral syringe or a medicine spoon. You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount.

Your child should not have milk or other milky products 1-2 hours before taking Ciprofloxacin, or for 4 hours afterwards

When should the medicine start working?

Your child should start to get better after taking the medicine for 2-3 days. It is important that they take the whole course of the medicine that has been prescribed. Do not stop early.

What if my child is sick (vomits)?

  • If your child is sick less than 30 minutes after having a dose of Ciprofloxacin, give them the same dose again.
  • If your child is sick more than 30 minutes after having a dose of Ciprofloxacin, do not give them another dose. Wait until the next normal dose.

If your child is sick again, seek advice from your family doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or hospital. They will decide what to do based on your child’s condition and the specific medicine involved.

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.

What if I give too much?

You are unlikely to cause harm if you give an extra dose of Ciprofloxacin 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. Take your child to hospital or phone for an ambulance straight away.

Very rarely,  Ciprofloxacin can cause long-term problems in the joints and nerves. Contact your doctor immediately if your child has any pain or swelling in their tendons, especially in the ankle or calf, pain or swelling in their joints, any numbness or unusual pain or sensation (e.g. tingling), weakness, severe tiredness, changes to their mood, difficulty sleeping, or changes to vision, taste, smell or hearing. Your child should rest any affected parts until you have talked to your doctor.

Other side-effects you need to know about

  • Contact your doctor or local NHS services (details at end of leaflet) or take your child to hospital if your child:
    • has diarrhoea that lasts for more than 4 days or it is severe, watery or contains blood.
    • is drowsy, floppy or does not respond
  • Some children get diarrhoea, stomach pains and may feel sick or be sick (vomit) when they first start taking Ciprofloxacin. See the information on antibiotics below for advice on what to do.

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?

  • Tell your doctor if your child is taking corticosteroids (e.g. hydrocortisone and prednisolone) or theophylline, as these should not be taken with ciprofloxacin.
  • Ciprofloxacin should not be taken with some other medicines that you get on prescription. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about any other medicines your child is taking before giving ciprofloxacin
  • You can give your child medicines that contain paracetamol, unless your doctor has told you not to.
  • Your child should not have ibuprofen while they are taking ciprofloxacin, as there is a low risk of causing a seizure (fit).
  • Do not give your child any medicines that contain calcium, magnesium or aluminium (e.g. indigestion remedies / antacids) at the same time as giving ciprofloxacin. Ciprofloxacin should be given 1-2 hours before or 4 hours after giving your child these other medicines.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal or complementary medicines.

Is there anything else I need to know about this medicine?

If your child has ever had a reaction to any antibiotic, tell your doctor or pharmacist before giving Ciprofloxacin.

  • Ciprofloxacin can affect the ability to do skilled tasks such as riding a bicycle, playing sports or driving. Your child should take care when doing tasks that require co-ordination until they get used to the medicine.
  • It is important that your child does not become dehydrated (lack of water). If you think your child may be dehydrated, give them water to drink and contact your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for advice.
  • Your child’s skin may be more sensitive to sunlight while they are taking Ciprofloxacin. Keep them out of strong sun. When outdoors, they should wear a long-sleeved top, trousers and a hat and should use a high-factor sun screen (at least SPF 30).

General advice about medicines

If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor straight away.

General advice about antibiotics

  • It is vital 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, or until all the tablets or capsules have been taken.
  • Your child will probably start to feel better soon after starting to take the antibiotic. However, it takes a few days for the antibiotic to kill all the bacteria.
  • 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.
  • Children are sometimes sick (vomit) or get diarrhoea when taking antibiotics. Encourage them to drink water to replace the fluid they have lost. You can also buy oral rehydration fluid from your pharmacist.
  • Do not give your child any medicine to stop the diarrhoea unless your doctor has told you to.
  • Try to give the antibiotic at about the same time(s) 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.
  • Only give the antibiotic to the child it was prescribed for. Never give it to anyone else, even if their condition appears to be the same, as it could do harm.
  • 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.
  • Liquid medicine 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 and about other medicines used to treat infections.

England: NHS 111

Tel 111

www.nhs.uk

Scotland: NHS 24

Northern Ireland: NI Direct

Wales: NHS Direct

Tel 111 (free) or 0845 46 47 (2p per minute)

111.wales.nhs.uk/

Copyright disclaimer

Version [2]. © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild, all rights reserved. Review by February 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.