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Ciprofloxacin and alcohol consumption

by CHAD BJORKLUND Last Updated: Jul 18, 2017

author image Chad Bjorklund

Chris Bjorklund has been writing professionally since 2004 and has been primarily featured in peer-reviewed scientific journals such as "Nucleic Acids Research" and "Biochemistry." He has also been anonymously published as a content freelancer for several websites. He completed his doctoral degree in biochemistry at Washington State University in 2006.

Ciprofloxacin, also known as Cipro, is a powerful antibiotic drug that is used to treat dangerous bacterial infections. Ciprofloxacin is best known for its intended use to treat anthrax infections from a bioterror attack. However, ciprofloxacin is also used for other types of infections including those of the skin, bone and urinary tract. When taking ciprofloxacin, you will want to be mindful of what you eat and drink as there may be harmful consequences when some are mixed with this drug.

You should avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks when taking ciprofloxacin. Additionally, you should avoid caffeinated foods like those containing chocolate. According to Medline Plus, the stimulatory effects of caffeine may be exacerbated by ciprofloxacin, which can increase restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, heart arrhythmias and anxiety.

You may want to avoid alcoholic beverages while taking ciprofloxacin for a bacterial infection. While you are not required to completely abstain from alcohol, the side effects of ciprofloxacin may increase the effects of alcohol ciprofloxacin and alcohol consumption consumption. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should avoid alcoholic beverages if taking ciprofloxacin makes you dizzy.

When you take ciprofloxacin, you will not want to take it at the same time that you are digesting foods that are high in calcium, a list that includes dairy products and calcium-fortified foods. According to, calcium disrupts the intestinal absorption of ciprofloxacin, which then diminishes the antibacterial effects of the drug. As a rule of thumb, you should not consume calcium-rich foods for two to six hours before you take ciprofloxacin.

Ciprofloxacin may also negatively interact with other nutritional items like minerals and multivitamins. According to, food and vitamin preparations that contain significant levels of zinc, magnesium, aluminum and iron should be avoided prior to taking ciprofloxacin. Similar to the effects of calcium, these minerals block the absorption of the drug into the body and reduce its antimicrobial effects. Do not take these types of vitamins or mineral-enriched foods for two to six hours prior to taking ciprofloxacin. If you need to take ciprofloxacin, tell your doctor about any medications and nutritional supplements you take.

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