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Ciprofloxacin is a generic antibiotic indicated for various types of bacterial infection. It is only issued for UTIs in cases where the preferred treatments, Trimethoprim and MacroBID, are contraindicated.

We do not provide cystitis treatment online. Speak to your GP if you think you may have cystitis.

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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.

This content was reviewed by a clinician on

05 January 2021
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 05 January 2021
Product information

Ciprofloxacin is a form of antibiotic called a quinolone. They are known as broad-spectrum antibiotics, as they have a wide range of application in medicine. It is only indicated for UTIs in cases where the preferred antibiotics, Trimethoprim and MacroBID, are not suitable. If you are looking to order UTI treatment from our site and have not consulted with our doctor about the first-line treatment previously, you should do so by ordering from our Trimethoprim page.

  1. Generic version of a popular brand
  2. Alternative offered for cystitis
  3. One- or two-tablet a day treatment

Cystitis is caused by a bacterial infection of the bladder, and is usually initiated by the presence of harmful bacteria in urine. It is thought to affect most women at some point in their lives, and a small number of men too. Those experiencing the condition may notice that they need to go to the toilet more often, and feel pain when they do so. They may also find that their urine has adopted a discolored, cloudy consistency.

Infection can spread in a number of ways. Women who wipe ‘back to front’ (or anus to vagina) when visiting the toilet may get bacteria from their anus in their urethra, and this can be one cause. Other causes might be the use of a tampon or a cervical barrier contraceptive such as a diaphragm. Infection can also be brought on by frequent sexual intercourse.

The body will take care of the infection itself in many cases. Some people may find that their symptoms go away after a few days, if they drink plenty of fluids and use mild painkillers. However those instances which involve more severe symptoms will usually require treatment. In certain cases, infection can escalate and spread to the kidneys, leading to serious illness.

Ciprofloxacin is an alternative treatment for UTIs, used in cases where the first-line antibiotics (Trimethoprim and MacroBID) cannot be taken by the patient.

Ciprofloxacin treats infections by tackling the bacteria responsible. To multiply and grow, bacteria requires the production of DNA-gyrase. This enzyme is crucial in maintaining the well-being of bacterial cells, and allows it to repair itself when it becomes damaged. Ciprofloxacin stunts the production of this enzyme, and this leaves the bacteria open to attack from the body’s immune system, which kills the bacteria and subsequently clears the infection.

We do not sell treatments for cystitis through our online clinic service.

If you think you have cystitis or are experiencing the symptoms described above, we recommend you make an appointment with your GP. They will examine your symptoms and discuss the most suitable medication options with you, and issue a prescription antibiotic if necessary.

Active Ingredient

The functioning component of this drug is ciprofloxacin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic which is applied to the treatment of various forms of bacterial infection, including cystitis. This ingredient was originally marketed by Bayer under the name Ciproxin. The version available here is a generic edition of this medicine. Generic versions are made when the original patent which a company might hold on a medication runs out. This usually occurs after 15 years. Once the patent on a drug becomes available, other manufacturers are free to make and sell it under a different name.

The job of an antibiotic is to attack the bacteria responsible and nullify its growth. Ciprofloxacin does this by preventing the bacteria from producing an enzyme it needs to stay alive. Some bacteria make DNA-gyrase in order to protect itself from antibodies and repair any damage they sustain. By disabling the bacteria’s capacity to generate this enzyme, the antibiotic leaves it open to attack from the immune system, which then fights the infection off.

Page last reviewed:  05/01/2021


To get the most out of your treatment and reduce the risk of side effects, it is important to administer it in the correct manner. This means following the directions issued by your doctor and adhering to the guidelines set out in the patient information leaflet.

  1. Take the medication as prescribed. This may typically be one or two tablets a day for a specified period.
  2. Swallow the tablets whole with plenty of water.
  3. The tablets can be taken with or between meals, but must not be taken alongside dairy products such as milk or yoghurt, as high levels of calcium can affect the uptake of the medicine. Dairy should only be consumed two hours after or four hours before a dose of treatment. Small amounts of calcium found in meals should not affect it.
  4. Take Ciprofloxacin at the same time every day.
  5. Do not exceed the amount prescribed for you.

The information here is only supplied as a guide. Always follow the instructions provided with the product, or by your physician.

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Page last reviewed:  05/01/2021
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Ciprofloxacin 250mg

Ciprofloxacin 500mg

Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

Only a minority of people may experience side effects when using medicines such as this one. However, it is always vital to be aware of the potential side effects a treatment might cause, so that you can seek medical attention if they begin to occur.

Common (1 in 10 people or less):

Nausea or diarrhoea.

Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):

Loss of appetite, fungal superinfections, agitation, dizziness, headache, difficulty sleeping, rash, skin irritation, fever, muscular pain.

Rare (1 in 1000 people or less):

Bowel inflammation, increased blood sugar, confusion, tinnitus, increased heartbeat, breathlessness, increased perspiration, blood or crystals in the urine.

The listed side effects above are not a comprehensive account of those associated with this product. A more detailed list can be found in the patient information leaflet. If you notice any of the above or anything at all unusual, seek medical advice immediately.

Taking it with other medicines

It is important when going through consultation for this drug to inform your prescriber of any medications you are currently using or have used in the recent past. The following may interact with this drug and make it unsuitable for you to use: vitamin K antagonists, anti-coagulants, theophylline, phenytoin, ropinirole, phenytoin, cyclosporin, probenecid, metoclopramide, ropinirole, methotrexate, tizanidine, clozapine, olanzapine, anti-arrhythmics, antidepressants, antimicrobials, pentoxifylline, duloxetine, lidocaine, sildenafil, antacids, omeprazole, sucralfate,n polymeric phosphate binders or any drugs or supplements containing calcium, iron, aluminium or magnesium.

Never take more than one form of antibiotic or cystitis treatment at a time unless you are told to by a doctor.

Conditions to look out for

Tell your doctor if you have a history of any conditions which may affect your capacity to use this treatment, including: any neurological conditions such as epilepsy; kidney problems; tendon problems when you have used this medicine before; diabetes; glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency; or heart problems.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Treatment with Ciprofloxacin is not recommended during pregnancy. Ciprofloxacin must not be used during breastfeeding.

If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding, ask your doctor for advice.

Driving and using machinery

If you notice any side effects which could hinder your concentration or vision, do not drive or operate machines or tools, and contact your doctor.

Food and drink

Do not consume dairy products within 1-2 hours prior to or within 4 hours after taking this medication, as it may slow down the effect of the drug.


If you have surgery, tell your surgical team if you are using this medicine, as it may interact with some types of sedatives.

Page last reviewed:  05/01/2021
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Ciprofloxacin 250mg

Ciprofloxacin 500mg


Can I still drink alcohol?

Alcohol can affect the function of certain types of antibiotics. It is not recommended that you drink alcohol while taking this type of medicine.

Will I still be able to drive?

Before you drive, you should determine how your body reacts to the medicine first. This is because it could slow your judgment and motor skills.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

Taking Ciprofloxacin is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Only use it in these cases if your doctor deems it absolutely necessary.

How should I store it?

Ensure you store the medicine at room temperature, out of the reach of children. Keep the tablets in the original packaging so that you can correctly identify them.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

This product contains ciprofloxacin hydrochloride, croscarmellose sodium, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, macrogol 4000, sodium citrate and the colouring agent titanium dioxide (E171). Do not use the treatment if you are allergic to any of the above.

Is it available over-the-counter?

No. You can only buy Ciprofloxacin in the UK with a prescription from a doctor. Make an appointment with your GP if you think you may have an infection.

Is it right for me?

Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of the cystitis-symptoms described here. They will assess your condition and issue a prescription if appropriate.

Page last reviewed:  05/01/2021
Product review

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