1. What is Cipro?
Cipro (ciprofloxacin hydrochloride) is an antibiotic used to
treat bacterial infections in many different parts of the body. It
does not work for viral infections (for example, the common
2. Is Cipro approved for anthrax?
Cipro is approved for use in patients who have been exposed to
the inhaled form of anthrax.
3. Is Cipro the only product approved to treat
No. There are a number of antibiotics that are currently
indicated to treat anthrax infections including doxycycline and
penicillin. These older antibiotics are readily available. FDA is
stressing that any antibiotic should only be used by those who
really need it because unnecessary antibiotic use exposes patients
to the risks of a drug without any potential benefit.
4. If I know someone who was exposed to anthrax
should I be treated with Cipro?
Direct person-to-person spread of anthrax is extremely unlikely,
if it occurs at all. Therefore, there is no need to treat contacts
of persons ill with anthrax, such as household contacts, friends,
or coworkers, unless they also were also exposed to the same source
5. Should I ask my doctor to write a prescription for
Cipro in case it's needed?
No. Although FDA does not regulate the practice of medicine, the
agency is strongly recommending that physicians not prescribe Cipro
for individual patients to have on hand for possible use against
inhaled anthrax. Any needed antibiotics from the current stockpile
will be made available if they are needed. In the meantime, Cipro
should not be prescribed unless there is a clear need, so that the
drug will be available when it is needed to treat other more common
6. Why is FDA discouraging widespread use of
Random prescribing and extensive use of Cipro could speed up the
development of drug-resistant organisms, and the usefulness of
Cipro as an antibiotic may be lost.
7. What are some possible side effects of Cipro?
This list is NOT a complete list of side effects reported
with Cipro. Your health care provider can discuss with you a more
complete list of side effects.
Some possible side effects of Cipro include:
- Central nervous system (CNS) side effects including: dizziness,
confusion, tremors, hallucinations, depression, increased risk of
- An allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the
throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives)
- Pain, inflammation, or rupture of a tendon
- Severe tissue inflammation of the colon
- Increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
8. What else should I know about Cipro treatment?
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine
must be weighed against the good it will do. If a person is exposed
to anthrax the risk of adverse events caused by Cipro treatment may
be acceptable because of the seriousness of the disease. However,
if a person is not exposed to anthrax these risks may outweigh the
Some things to consider:
- The safety and effectiveness of Cipro in individuals less than
18 years of age is not established, except for post-exposure in
inhalational anthrax. Cipro has been shown to cause bone
development problems in young animals.
- There have been no formal clinical studies of the safety and
effectiveness of Cipro in pregnancy. However, based on available
information, TERIS (The Teratogen Information System) has concluded
that Cipro used during pregnancy is unlikely to cause physical
defects to an unborn baby. But, there is not enough information to
say there is no risk. Guidelines for treating pregnant women with
Cipro are limited. An expert panel, The Working Group on Civilian
Biodefense, recommends that Cipro be used at usual adult doses to
treat pregnant women exposed to anthrax. Pregnant women should
always consult their health care provider before taking any
Before taking Cipro review ALL medications that you are taking
with your health care provider, including those that you take
without a prescription. Cipro can interact with other medicines,
9. Is it safe to purchase Cipro online?
There are online pharmacies that provide legitimate prescription
services. Unfortunately, there are also questionable sites that
make purchasing medicines online risky. Purchasing a medication
from an illegal Web site puts you at risk. You may receive a
contaminated or counterfeit product, the wrong product, an
incorrect dose, or no product at all.
for additional tips on buying medicines online.