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What is ciprofloxacin-ophthalmic drops, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections. Ciprofloxacin belongs to the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics which includes levofloxacin (Levaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), gatifloxacin (Tequin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), and others. Ciprofloxacin interferes with bacterial DNA uncoiling and replication, which ultimately leads to bacterial cell death. Ciprofloxacin, like other fluoroquinolone antibiotics, targets a wide range of bacteria. Targeted organisms include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Serratia marcescens, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and the viridans group of Streptococcus. Ciprofloxacin ophthalmic solution was approved in March 1998.

What brand names are available for ciprofloxacin-ophthalmic drops?


Is ciprofloxacin-ophthalmic drops available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for ciprofloxacin-ophthalmic drops?


What are the side effects of ciprofloxacin-ophthalmic drops?

It is common to have white crust or crystals (precipitate) into the eye or on the eyelid during treatment; they dissolve in a few weeks. Other common side effects include:

  • unpleasant taste in the mouth immediately after instilling the drop,
  • redness,
  • burning,
  • numbness,
  • itching,
  • discomfort of the eye,
  • the sensation that something is in the eye.

The eye can also appear tired, stained, or swollen.

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What is the dosage for ciprofloxacin-ophthalmic drops?

The dose for bacterial eye infections in adults and children 1 year old or greater is 1 to 2 drops every 2 hours in the infected eye for 2 days, followed by 1-2 drops every 4 hours for 5 days. For corneal ulcers in this population, instill 2 drops into the eye every 15 minutes for 6 hours, followed by 2 drops every 30 minutes for the rest of day 1. On day 2, 2 drops should be used every hour, followed by 2 drops every 4 hours on days 3 to 14.

Which drugs or supplements interact with ciprofloxacin-ophthalmic drops?

There are no known significant drug interactions with ciprofloxacin ophthalmic solution.

Is ciprofloxacin-ophthalmic drops safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Use during pregnancy has not been adequately evaluated. Ophthalmic use may lead to some systemic absorption, so caution should be used.

Oral and IV ciprofloxacin passes into breast milk. Ophthalmic use may lead to some absorption into the body, so caution should be used in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about ciprofloxacin-ophthalmic drops?

What preparations of ciprofloxacin-ophthalmic drops are available?

Ophthalmic Solution 0.3%

How should I keep ciprofloxacin-ophthalmic drops stored?

Ciprofloxacin solution should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F), or may be refrigerated and stored between 2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F). Protect from light.

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

Last Editorial Review: 9/28/2015
Symptoms of Mono: Infectious Mononucleosis Treatment

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

See more info: ciprofloxacin-ophthalmic drops on RxList

Reviewed on 9/28/2015


REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

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