Information on Cipro for Consumers: Questions and Answers
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 cold).
Cipro is approved for use in patients who have been exposed to the inhaled form of anthrax.
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.
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 of infection. (From http://www.bt.cdc.gov/DocumentsApp/FactsAbout/FactsAbout.asp)
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 infections. (Excerpts from http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2001pres/20011010a.html)
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. (Excerpts from http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2001pres/20011010a.html and http://www.bt.cdc.gov/)
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:
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 benefits.
Some things to consider:
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 Website puts you at risk. You may receive a contaminated or counterfeit product, the wrong product, an incorrect dose, or no product at all. Go to: http://www.fda.gov/oc/buyonline/default.htm for additional tips on buying medicines online.