The People's Perspective on Medicine



Ciprofloxacin belongs to a class of potent antibiotics called quinolones or fluoroquinolones. These drugs are quite popular with prescribers because they can help cure a wide variety of infections. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox) and norfloxacin (Noroxin) are used for a wide range of infections including bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, urinary tract infections, prostatitis and skin infections.

We used to think side effects were uncommon but we have changed our tune (see side effects below and please take time to read some of the comments below this post. They will give you a more accurate picture of what happens in the real word.) Bacteria appear slower to develop resistance to such medications.

This antibiotic also works against traveler’s diarrhea and other bugs that invade the digestive tract.

Side Effects and Interactions

Ciprofloxacin may cause lightheadedness. Do not drive or attempt any activity that requires coordination and judgment if you become impaired.

Some people report restlessness, insomnia, nightmares, dizziness, tremor, headache, or irritability while taking this medicine.

This list hardly does the complications of ciprofloxacin justice. Some people experience hallucinations while taking the drug. And the nightmares can be horrifying. An athlete reported that both she and her husband suffered with “strange thoughts, muscle pain, tingling, and shooting pains in our arms and legs.”

The diarrhea can be severe and requires medical intervention if it does not resolve promptly. A C. diff infection can sometimes result from antibiotic treatment. Such GI infections are extremely challenging and can be hard to eradicate.

Finally, this entire class of drugs can cause unexpected damage to soft tissue. The FDA has received reports of retinal detachment with these antibiotics. Problems with tendinitis and tendon rupture are so serious that the FDA has warned doctors about them in a special “black box” in the prescribing information. It took the agency quite a long time to discover this devastating complication.

Here are a few stories from visitors to this website to reinforce these complications:

“I suddenly got floaters and went to my ophthomologist. He cautioned me to come in right away if I suddenly had a curtain over my right eye. He was concerned about retinal detachment. Yes, I had taken Cipro for diverticulitis before that.”

“After years of taking Levaquin or Cipro (cousin drugs), I took Cipro on August 2, 2010, and have been wearing an air cast for tendinitis in my foot since August 28, over two months. I also have tendinitis in my elbow. Both my podiatrist, who is treating my foot, and my acupuncturist, told me that ciprofloxacin is known for causing tendinitis.

“The saddest thing about it is that I told the doctor who prescribed, that I had read older persons (I am 75) should not take ciprofloxacin. He said it would be fine. Hah!”

“Last Dec. I had a UTI & my Dr. prescribed Cipro. Within a week I developed tendinitis in my left elbow. A month later, I developed a tendonitis in my left hand & a month later I had a tear in my right rotator cuff.

“It took me five months of physical therapy to get over these.”

“Since I have taken both Levaquin and Cipro… I have had both calf muscles to tear in half just walking… I have a tendon that has hardened and balled up in the middle of my right foot.”



Such symptoms can be made worse by coffee or the asthma medicine theophyline.

Cipro affects the liver and may allow caffeine and theophylline to build up to toxic levels in the body.

Because Cipro may cause digestive tract upset, nausea, pain or diarrhea, you may be tempted to use an antacid. That could be a big mistake.

Aluminum or calcium-based products, including Di-Gel, Gaviscon, Maalox, Mylanta, and Tums, can dramatically interfere with the absorption of Cipro. Wait at least two hours after taking Cipro before swallowing an antacid.

Vitamin and mineral formulas can also cause problems, so they should not be taken at the same time either.

Other side effects are rare, but be alert for changes in vision, rash, sores in the mouth, joint pain or stiffness, chest pain or heart palpitations, urinary changes, or breathing difficulty.

Report any symptoms or suspected side effects to your physician promptly.

Special Precautions

Pregnant women and children should not take Cipro. Others may be allergic to this medication.

If you experience symptoms such as breathing difficulty, wheezing, sneezing, hives, or itching, obtain emergency medical attention.

Life-threatening anaphylactic shock is rare, but it demands instant treatment.

People with kidney disease should take Cipro only under careful medical supervision, as special dosage modifications may have to be made.

Liver enzyme elevations have also been noted, so periodic blood tests will be necessary if you have to take this medicine for any length of time.

Taking the Medicine

Cipro is absorbed more efficiently when it is taken on an empty stomach. The manufacturer recommends that it be swallowed two hours after a meal.

If this medicine upsets your stomach, though, it can be swallowed with food without losing potency.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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I took two 500mg Cipro on May 5 and on May 9 had major surgery for my back. When I woke up on May 6, to my surprise, I had a lump near my ankle bone on the outside of each foot, identical. Each one had a burst of a small amount of blood under the skin on the top of each foot.

Since then, the lumps are larger. They cause pain they seem to drain in different areas my feet fall asleep more color appears under the skin now it’s brownish in color. I have seen two doctors they are perplexed. I am 70 and years past had no trouble with this drug. As of now I see no end to this pain. I have no idea where to go from here.

i took cipro intravenously for colitis. my liver enzymes went up and i developed thrombocytepenia. my forearms are full of purpura.

I took 500mg twice daily of Cipro for a sinus infection. I was told on day 2 or 3, by my son’s pediatrician, that she would never recommend Cipro for a teenage athlete as it is associated with tendon ruptures and tears. I called my doc to ask if I should be on something else since I already have tendon problems. They said no, it would be fine. Silly me, I kept taking the Cipro. With the exception of a sharp pain in my arm one night and then some very mild pains in my legs, I had no real issues while taking the Cipro. However, a day or two after finishing the medicine, I woke up and felt like I had been hit by a Mac Truck – everything in my body hurt, and I had tingling in my hands and feet. I have been to a neurologist and am waiting to do a nerve study of some sort to see if I have peripheral neuropathy. Why a doctor would give anyone with a mild sinus infection this drug I have no idea. I think it needs to be taken off the market. I have been dealing with pain in my legs and sometimes all the way up to my lower back and butt for over a month now. They gave me a muscle relaxer and pain killer, which I have yet to take as I now fear taking anything. I am wondering if I will be messed up for life. I have shown some improvement in the last week or so, but am very limited in how much I can do in a day. I am 46 years old and now feel like I am at least 10 years older. My calf muscles got so tight tonight I wanted to cry and so I put Icy Hot on them. Basically it seems like I have swelling in my legs, knees and ankles that just won’t go away and at times causes tingling and burning as well as pain. At first it felt as if my circulation to my legs was being cut off, and my feet felt like they were getting no blood at all. At least for now I have better circulation in the feet, but the calves and tendons in my butt/hips are bothersome. I am wondering if it will ever go away. I swim every other day as it seems to help. I also take B12, Magnesium, Daily vitamins and Collagen. I think these things are helping some. This will definitely be the last time I ever take any drug in this drug class.

I have taken multiple courses of flouroquinalone antibiotics over the years. I recently arrested a fall with my stiffened left arm. Not a hard fall, just a stumble from a bent position. The resultant damage to my shoulder included tears to two different rotator cuff muscles and a dislocated biceps tendon requiring surgery to repair.

My orthopedist thinks my previous exposure to the antibiotic may have contributed to the extent of the damage. I don’t think I will take any flouroquinalone in the future unless no other alternative antibiotic therapy is available.

I had three kidney stones – one very large in left kidney and two smaller in right kidney. First time in operating room doctor couldn’t crush stones on right side because they were too hard. So he placed a stent in each kidney and sent me home with Cipro prescription (plus was on IV Cipro before surgery).

Went back to hospital a week later so he could do laser surgery on right kidney stone. Too much blood and cloudiness and he couldn’t see the stones so he put the stent back in and sent me home for two weeks. Found out he had accidentally punctured two holes in urether with guide wire trying to place stent the first time in hospital – therefore the blood and cloudiness. Was on Cipro IV (again) before surgery and went home with prescription. By this time, after taking two rounds of Cipro and on IV’s both times, my legs from the knee down to ankles in both legs were really hurting.

Went back a week later and he did laser surgery on the large stone in left kidney (Cipro IV and prescription again). Leg pain increased a little more. Three weeks later back to hospital to have two stones in right kidney lasered – got the bigger one but the other fell out of reach of his equipment. Another Cipro IV in hospital and another prescription. Last time was April 6, 2016 (Wednesday) and by Sunday both legs were killing me and the right one was somewhat swollen with reddish skin at the ankle.

Starting wrapping Ace bandages around both lower legs and taking pain pills to be able to hobble around my house. Left leg started easing up a bit, but right leg got worse and last night (Thursday) ankle was so swollen it was bulging over the top of my shoe. Had my husband take me to ER today (Friday). They did ultrasound to check for blood clot – negative. Determined it was tendonitis. Told me to continue with pain meds (from all the kidney surgeries) and an NSAID to help with the inflammation and swelling. White cell count up somewhat but they didn’t want to give me an antibiotic since I had taken Cipro off and on for a period of six weeks.

Just hoping the pain and swelling stop and I don’t rupture a tendon which I am really worried about. This had been the first time in my life I had ever taken Cipro and it will DEFINITELY be the last. I am a 65 year old female who was in pretty good health and was able to do what I wanted/needed to do before this mess started.

Ciprofloxacin was prescribed to treat a urinary tract infection. Poor circulation to lower extremities occurred, tendons in the left leg & foot have effectively crippled me, as well as a nasty red color with a cold foot have set in. I experience signs of improvement followed by setbacks which are debilitating. Being afflicted with Diabetes Type II, I am keenly aware that foot ailments of this sort can & do result in disaster. How long does this torture nag me?

I have a testicular infection and am currently taking Cipro. I’ve been on it for 10 days now, with 11 more days to go. My experience has been pleasant with this drug. I read a lot of Cipro horror stories online, and it put a lot of doubt in my head prior to me taking this antiobiotic. It ended up knocking out my testicular pain and swelling after a few days. The only minor side effect I experienced is muscle aches in my legs, but it’s not that bad. Everyone’s body reacts different to antiobiotics. For example, I was prescribed doxycycline prior to me taking Cipro and had to stop it after a few days, because I developed severe side effects. Cipro has been wonderful in helping me knock out this infection with little side effects in the process. :)

Oh…My….God! Cipro was prescribed to me for a UTI and I have taken 500 mgs twice a day for five days…Never Again!..I’m 44 years old and I’m having such incredibly terrible side hands shake..anxiety..terrible bowl and kidney pain…hot flashes..insomnia..just terrible…please…please be careful…always…always ask your doctor…I’m laying here in bed and it feels like I have been hit by a truck!..and yes my UTI is all cleared up…but at what cost?

I am 42 and have exactly the same symptoms. Please tell me this doesn’t last long.

I have neuropathy in my ankles and feet. I have arthritis in the shoulders. It seems that prior to cipro both conditions were under control. I had bladder problems including a scraping for cancer and cipro was prescribed. I presently have problems with the neuropathy and the shoulders ache so I am hoping now that I am finished with the cipro I can return to the original condition of my body which at 87 I really have to pay attention. Any similar conditions?

After taking a 250mg dose twice a day for three days my stomach started to tighten and my abdomen was so hard and tight it hurt so bad. The inside of my stomach felt like it was burning and I was shaking and could not walk. In past doses I have stomach problems of aching and my shins and back area of my foot and ankle felt soar to the point I did not want to walk on my feet. After reading about the tendinitis complaints I kept asking my doctors not to prescribe me cipro. The nice person I am kept taking. But no more. This medicine is not worth it to me.

Was given Cipro for a UTI. On 3rd day developed severe tremors in both legs. Violent out of control shaking . tremors have persisted for six month . Intensity of tremors has gradually eased with therapy but continue and at times flare up. If you have any sensitivity to meds or have neurological problems see if your doctor can give you a different medication

I took ciprofloxacin for about 7 days…I had flu like symptoms cough and catarrh.. had sudden pains at my leg, arm, shoulder, neck, tingling,… please I need advice on how to remedy this situation…

My 10 year old son was given CIPRO ear drops for swimmer’s ear. He seemed to get sicker as we started the protocol. His body became very weak, he wouldn’t eat, he moved like he was 100 years old and slept all the time. The worst part was a spasmodic cough that began with the medication. After four days, I decided to take him off of it because he coughed through the entire night. It’s now day 13 since he was diagnosed with swimmer’s ear and he’s still moving slowly and has a bad headache. I can’t help but feel he had a bad reaction to this medication.

Taking Cipro for 2-1/2 days for a UTI and feeling awful from this drug. I don’t think I can finish it because my stomach is hurting badly, so bloated and gassy and a little nauseous. My neck feels so stiff with a dull headache and my upper lip feels a little swollen. My heart has been racing and pounding increasing my anxieties terribly. I haven’t sleep good for three nights. I had TMJ surgery years ago and now my jaw muscles feel so stiff I could hardly eat. I hate meds period because of all the bad side effects. I hope my UTI cleared up because I am done with this pill.

Went to ER with bad pains in my stomach. They did a bunch of test and they said it was a lot of gas in my digestive tract. It hurts pretty bad. Went home with some pain meds and told to stop the antibiotics. I was originally give it for a kidney infection. I will never take this antibiotic again it was not worth the pain I am in now. Bad drug.!!!! Ugh

Can you tell me how long it took for the bloating and pain to go away? I am miserable. I hope it’s just from the medicine and not another issue.


I’m currently on cipro 500 MG my nipples are so tender I can’t hardly stand it. I have extreme heartburn and standing long feels like I’m standing on coals. My heart is palpitating like it’s dancing. I was given it at the ER for a uti. I’m so done with this med..

Hope you stopped taking it? Fluoroquinolones Toxicity Syndrome or “floxed”.

Also have extreme gas ugh. This med is horrible

Took 1 pill of Cipro for UTI, about an hour after my left nipple and right side of my vulva started to itch intensely. I developed a round rash that half intersects my aereola. My right labia is severely itchy and raw. I remember this happening once before, and it was the last time I took Cipro about a year ago. Anybody else have itch/rash issues as a result?

I also had achilles tendonitis last year, which may or may not have been a result of taking the Cipro.

I took Cipro last week for a UTI. Within a few hours of taking the first pill, I had bad abdominal pain. But, since that is also a symptom of UTI, I didn’t think much of it. Well, as the day went on and after spending half an hour on the toilet, I realized the pain was gastrointestinal and not from the UTI. I took two pills a day for 2 more days before I gave up because the pain was too bad. It’s now a week later and my stomach is still bloated and painful. I’m extremely gassy. My stomach is distended. I’m hoping this goes away but now I’m starting to worry it won’t.

In June of 2010 I had a burst appendix which of course required emergency surgery. Post surgical meds were IV doses of Cipro for days. I was quite out of it as the infection was extensive. Since then I have experienced a gradual numbing in the distal area of both feet. It then began in my right hand affecting my thumb, index and middle fingers. I have been tested for diabetes which was negative. There were thoughts of vitamin B-12 deficiency being the root cause. That followed with B-12 injections followed by daily oral doses all to no avail. As numbness is a side effect of Cipro I am curious as to the long term affects. So far there has not been a successful diagnosis of the problem.

I took cipro for a UTI and then a kidney infection – one week of 500 mg and then a few weeks later 250 mg for seven days followed by 500 mg for another 7 days. About a week before the last pill my ears started to itch but I did not make the connection. I took my last pill on December 17th and the next day I developed an itchy rash on the calves of my legs. Then I started to have severe abdominal pain and went to the doctor who ordered a CT scan and ultrasound. The tests showed nothing significant. The abdominal pain continued for 6 weeks and finally stopped after I took probiotics 3 times a day and lots of yogurt and Kefir. During this time I developed hives, swelling and blisters all over my body in addition to the rash. I am currently being seen by an allergist who is certain that this was a severe reaction to Cipro based on blood test and skin biopsies. I am on my second round of steroids because last week my eyes and face swelled up. This has been going on for over two months. I think that this drug should be taken off the market.

I have been taking ciprofloxacin now for 4 days and I must stop. I have a bladder infection but these side effects are soooooo dangerous. Old shoulder injuries are killing with pain. Crazy nightmares, and heart palpitations and heart spasms. I bet people die from this stuff. I’m done. I’ll have to find a much safer way to treat my infect. I’m terrified these symptoms may not go away. Bad. Bad. Drug!!!!

I was recently prescribed Cipro for bronchitis. 500 mgs twice a day. I had severe stomach pain. It was like a severe stabbing pain with bloating and gas. I was also constipated. I had to stop taking it after three days do to the severity of the stomach pain. The pain lasted for a week after. I still have the gas. When does that stop?

I’ve had the same exact issues – bloating and gas. A lot of gas. I also developed a sharp pain in my lower back, and I thought my UTI had spread to my kidney. I went back to the doctor and all results are negative for kidney issues, and/or stones. Reading all of these reviews, I’m now thinking it might be a side effect of this medication, maybe part of the gas/bloating. I was only prescribed 3 days (6 pills), and I’m finally done with it. Hopefully the symptoms start to subside.

I am 66, took Cipro for approximately four weeks to prevent infection from a kidney stent after removal of a kidney stone simultaneous with TURP (prostate tissue reduction procedure). Prior to surgery I had to be catheterized four times while alternatives to surgery were explored with no effect. I have been off the drug for about four weeks, have residual muscle weakness that I am hoping will go away eventually. Pain is not debilitating, only kicks in when I try to lift things, use a screwdriver or otherwise create tension/torque in my joints. I have no known health issues, take no other drugs, have been doing a lot of daily walking to rebuild strength throughout my body. I am wary of working out in other ways given Cipro’s history of causing tendonitis, rigidity in tendons that can break/tear.

I must say, however, I am extremely thankful for Cipro (no infections, was given the ‘all clear’ just a month after surgery). My advice to everyone is to do everything you can to be healthy in every way including eating right. I stopped eating meat a decade ago when I started having allergic reactions caused, I suspect, by chemicals/hormones fed to feedlot livestock. I have had two emergency surgeries this past year (broke an ankle in March, 2014), was given ‘EZ-pass’ to both operations because I am healthy, have excellent vitals. Best wishes to everyone. – M

I am a 24 year old female with perfect health until I got a UTI and was prescribed this drug 500MG 2x a day. I have been off of the drug for 9 days now and I have severe pain in my hands, arms, shoulder, legs, knees and feet, and headaches. Typing this causes me distress. I have been to two doctors already and a pharmacist and they all tell me that Cipro would not cause this. They act like this is minor, but it’s killing me. Please someone tell me you were the same, but got better. Please tell me how long it took and anything you did to help. I cry myself to sleep every night since because of the pain.

The Doctors and pharmacists are lying. I took cipro and 5 days later my Achilles started hurting so bad I could hardly walk. I called my Dr, he told me I had cipro tendinitis. Next stop Orthapedic. I had to wear a cast and the a boot for 5 months. It was agonizing pain. It’s now been 10 months and the Achilles is much better but now my rotator cuff is acting up. You need to take magnisium, you can look it up on the Internet.

I’m having the EXACT same symptoms, I’ve only taken it for about four or five days but I’m stopping immediately. These stories are scaring me so much. Please let me know if you’ve recovered.

I’m a flight attendant and I travel to South America I picked up some kind of intestinal bug. I got a prescription for Cipro when I came back. I had heard there was some issues with it but was reassured by the doctor that is the only thing that they can give you for intestinal problem/Bacterial issues. I have been having leg cramps at night and during the day and I think it has something to do with taking the Cipro.

I took cipro for about 3 1/2 weeks now my heart flutters and I haven’t took any for 2 days , I will never take that again. That drug is dangerous, I can’t walk very far my heart about jumps out of my chest. I just wonder how long it will last.

Well I’m taking ciprofloxacin. 500mg for UTI for bacteria in my kidney.
Im taking the first day, I take the whole pill just give me side effects like my bones hurts, my elbow, and I have nightmares. Actually I see my grandpa beside me. By the way, he is dead. It was weird. I Was scared about it but now I’m taking the half of the pill. It still hurts my bones and I have nightmares, but the doctor checked me again about my UTI test she told me I just have many infections. So still take the pills. Hope this finishes fast I can’t handle it any more.

I took cipro for uti’s two times the first time it affected my feet Legs the second time it caused the valves in my legs to stop working, my ekg and ecg to be abnormal. My doctor doesn’t believe me, My heart is enlarged and I am still having problems with my legs and feet.

I have terrible pain in the soft tissue in my neck, shoulders, and feet. I took Cipro for UTIs for many years. I can not stand for more then ten minutes without feeling like I’m walking on broken bones and hot coals.. Thanks to an mcu device at my chiropractors my neck and shoulder pain had decreased quite a bit. I had been off Cipro for three years approximately. One week on Cipro and my soft tissue is on fire, and I woke up with my right arm asleep. I wish I had known before I took it about the side effects. I was told previously that I have fibromyalgia. Could this condition have been caused by the years of taking Cipro? It occurred at the time I was taking Cipro for chronic bladder infections?

I was given Cipro for a uti, I had swelling in my feet and ankles. My legs and feet were so stiff I could barely walk. Now I have severe pain in my left hand, I am having tests done on my heart and leg veins, to see what the problem is. I know it was the Cipro, because I never had this problem before.

I was prescribed this for a uti. I’m 50 and take no other medication, active and in shape. By day 3 my upper thighs were so sore I had trouble walking, thought it was just a result of great round of tennis. Day 5 I’m walking like I’m 90. 3 more pills left- after reading this i am not taking anymore. Will call the doctor on Monday.

I had very bad sinus infection. Was given ciprofloxacin for a week. I took the first couple of days 250mg twice a day. My sinus infection got worse. I felt foggy headed and not right.
As the time went on to day four and five my sinus infection was almost bursting my head. I did not take the last two tablets because I felt so bad. The day after stopping the ciprofloxacin my head felt a bit better but I felt as though I was taking UTI.
I am never taking ciprofloxacin again, I am trying to get rid of the UTI without antibiotics but the ciprofloxacin definitely caused the UTI.
It also made my hair feel like steel wool.

I have been on this for a few days and now I have gas so bad that I don’t want to go to work because I fart every 10 min.

I am experiencing the same issue. Did you have bloating and stomach pain? I feel extra sore after working out as well.

I have been on this for a few days and now I have gas so bad that I don’t want to go to work because I fart every 10 min.

I am 18 months past taking Ciprofloxacin. I recommend everyone to avoid this and related medicines at all cost. I was unable to walk for 3 months and then walked with a limp for 8 months. I worked very hard to detox, clean up my diet, and stop taking any medication of any kind along with visiting an NAET practitioner which specializes in using an alternative technique combined with acupuncture to deal with allergic reactions. It has been a long slow road but after 18 months I have finally returned to the same level of activity I had prior to the medicine- I am an avid road cyclist who rode my bike 4500 miles the year prior to taking this horrendous medicine.

PLEASE tell me more about your treatments. I am only 25 and I took this medication and I am in severe pain. I’m scared.

I was prescribed 5 days of cipro 500mg 2x daily for uti. Started to feel nauseous on Day 1, and on Day 2 developed severe nausea and headache. By Day 3, my head felt like it would explode and the severe nausea caused lack of appetite. Felt terrible and a bit foggy, hard to interact with people and get things done. While I felt badly on Day 2, I wanted to get through Day 3 as I had seen that mild UTI’s were sometimes treated with a three day dose. I stopped taking Cipro after Day 3 (yesterday morning dose).
This morning would have marked the end of day 4 and tonight the beginning of the dosage for Day 5, so I started improving within 24 to 36 hours of discontinuing the medication. Had a headache all day today, not as severe as yesterday, and tonight, the headache is finally gone. No more nausea. The UTI infection appears to be gone as well. I would not take this drug again.

I was prescribed cipro 250g for a week due to epididymitis. After three days I was in A and E and forced to stay the night due to an unusual ECG.
The consultant told me to continue taking cipro and to take iburprofen and co codomal due to my whole chest becoming flared. The pain continued and the next day I went back where they did countless blood tests to find nothing wrong. I continued taking cipro for two more days and rang my gp about my symptoms.
He had got my report from the hospital and told me I had an allergic reaction and to stop taking it. It’s been 5 days sunset last dose and I have been stuck taking painkillers since. I’ve developed extreme tendon pain on my feet. Also the occasional pain in my chest. I still struggle with bowel movements which worries me.
I went to see my gp who gave me a deep freeze gel to help. My epididymitis has healed but I am still in considerable pain. After reading these comments I am shocked that the consultant told me to carry on taking cipro and to take iburprofen as well.
Is there anyone here who knows how long it takes to actually feel better? Thank you

Over the years, I have occasionally suffered with UTI’s. Until now, Cipro always worked with no side effects. This time, however, I’m having extreme lower back pain. I took 500 mg. of Cipro 2 times a day for four days (they were left over pills from a previous UTI from over a year ago from my doctor who has since moved away.) The pain started as a dull ache after my fourth dose. As it continued and became more intense. I began to worry and went to see a new doctor. She checked my urine and said it is clear and that she believes the pain is a side effect from Cipro (which I had stopped taking the night before). She believes it should ease up after 7 days. After reading all of these posts, I am terrified that this pain may be permanent. I never had this happen with Cipro before and now I am really worried! Has anyone ever had the pains go away?

I was on cipro for 7 day 500mg twice a day. Had no problems. I have been off for two days. My question is how many days does it take to clear out of your system?

I had a high fever and chills following a UTI, so I was proscribed Cipro. Randomly, it was free from my grocery store, and I was too sick to think that was anything but awesome. I took my pill the second I got into my car in the parking lot, and went home to take a nap. When I woke up, I had a horrible headache, and my fever had spiked to 103. My ears felt full, as did my chest, and I assumed that it was time to go to the ER for fluids. Instead, I took a cold shower, determined to try anything I could to avoid possible further infection in a hospital. Luckily, my fever did come down. The headache didn’t go away, but I attributed that to dehydration and, as the label says, continued to drink as much water as I could stomach.
In the morning I felt better. Each time I took the pill, however, my fever spiked, and my chest became tight, producing a cough over the next few days. The second night, I had the worst nightmares of my life. At the time, I assumed it was because my fever had spiked so high before going to sleep that I really thought I was going to die. At one point, I woke up from a nightmare, and saw a vague outline rippling, and pointing to the gallon jug of water sitting on my nightstand. Again, I just assumed it was my fever overwhelming me, and that maybe I was going a little crazy. Little did I know, hallucination is a common side-effect.
On the morning I was supposed to take my last pill, I forgot about the no-dairy rule, and I ate a yogurt. I was feeling almost 100% again, so I decided to wait a few hours to take it. Then I really wanted some macaroni and cheese, and since I had hardly eaten in days, I decided that I deserved this and pushed back taking my pill again. Finally, I decided that I better take the pill to make sure I didn’t get sick again. Within an hour, the headache, fever, and chest tightness were back. I was coughing worse than before and finally realized what had been happening the past three days.
Granted, Cipro did get rid of my infection and the fever it induced alone was not as life threatening as the fever that I had because of my infection. However, the combination nearly sent me to the ER for fluids. Then there were all the mental stresses caused by taking a drug that caused me to think I was going to die. I truly thought that infection was too strong and that it had moved into lungs and heart. I took my pulse in the middle of the night because I didn’t know whether my heart was actually in distress, or if it was another nightmare. It seems unethical to prescribe medications of this kind and now I know why it was free! It’s unbelievable that my grocery store is encouraging its use, knowing all the risks involved.

Dears, after I experienced the terrible side effects a specialist diagnosed me as toxic neuropathy because I didn’t listen to my body from beginning and took it for 9 days as described for me. It has been 3 months since I stopped it, I’m much better thanks god I’m getting recovered and the pain almost gone, my advise is to stop it immediately if you felt these side effects and the consult your doctor for a safer option, always read about the side effects of a medicine before you taking it, write down what you were having before the medicine and what u started feeling immediately after and compare, don’t hesitate stop it immediately once you observe something wrong before it cause a damage in neuropathy and suffer as this take long time until ur body recover

I am on my 4th day of Cipro, it is my last day, I had colitis diagnosed on Friday, The dr said Cipro and Flagyl, The colitis wasn’t half as bad as the side effects from the Cipro. Yesterday 2 episodes of rigors and shaking followed by total sweats. Last night nausea, no sleep, sweat all night, dry mouth, the shakes about scared my wife to death.
To be fair the drugs did a pretty good job on the Colitis, but I’m done with the Cipro. I’ll finish the Flagyl. After reading this board I can’t believe they still give out this drug.

My husband has been prescribed cipro 500 mg 2x a day 6 times over the past 18 months. He had bladder cancer and has cystoscopies every 3-6 months. After the scope the uro always prescribes cipro to PREVENT a UTI. Well, last week he had a cystoscopy and took 6 tablets of cipro…just 3 days… and for the first time experienced side effects. On day 3 he had a horrid headache( never gets headaches), dry mouth, feeling of throat swelling, loss of appetite, constipation, and weird nightmares. He also had extreme fatigue. He was feeling 100% fine before the cipro.. He has been off the cipro 3 days and is feeling slightly better, but not himself. I don’t want him to ever take this drug again.
Wondering when and if these side effects will resolve. Very scary. Can anyone post how long it took before they felt well again?

I had started taking this for Prostatitus. I was supposed to take it for 20 days, 500mg twice a day. After about 7 days in I had extreme anxiety, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, etc. I had to stop taking it. Almost passed out twice during the day after a full nights sleep. A very scary and serious medication. I would never ever take this again under any circumstances. And, do not drink coffee or drink alcohol while using it. I have not felt like myself in months.

Prescribed Cipro for epidiymitis. 2 week course 2 x 500mg per day. Stopped on 3rd day after 5 doses. Diarrhea, nausea, insomnia, cramps, bloating, gas, dizziness, kidney pain and general feeling of confusion and fogginess.
I searched for Cipro side effects and have been absolutely horrified at what I have read. Never again will I take a med without thoroughly researching it first.

It’s hard to tell how long it will take until all the symptoms go away. For me it took about ten months before I started to feel like myself. The only advice I can give is to stay from meds for a while. If you get sick and need antibiotics, try safer options. If you’re allergic to all types of antibiotics, try NP doctors.
Magnesium/calcium rich foods will help. Try eating whole foods diet and vegetable juice that helps clean out the liver and detox the body. Think positive and avoid reading many of the sad comments on different websites. It will slow down the recovery process. Also seeing a good Acupuncturist will definitely help with many of the symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, muscle/joint pain, dry mouth, etc. You will recover and feel better. It just takes time and lots of patience.

Dear All,
All stories in here is so depressing, its only telling us what happened after taking Cipro, but almost no one is telling that finally these symptoms (muscles pain, headache, pain in chest, heartbeat, fatigue, weakness, etc) left his/her system, and how much time e.g. 3 months, 1 year, less or more it took to leave your system, because such stories of recovery will bring hope to all of us who has been suffering from this antibiotic. Also by mention what helped you to re-boost your body and get back your health like vitamins, minerals, honey, oil, garlic, other kind of treatment will help so much.
Those who got recovered please share us your story, and tell us how and after when you have been healed completely and what did you do for that.
Thanks all,

UCSD Fluoroquinolone Effects Study
Have you taken an antibiotic such as Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Levaquin (levofloxacin), or Avelox (moxifloxacin)? Would you be willing to help in a survey-based medical research study?
Dr. Beatrice A. Golomb and her colleagues at the University of California, San Diego are conducting a new study to identify and describe side effects and risk factors for good and bad outcomes involving antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone class. Other example fluoroquinolones include Zymar (gatifloxacin), Floxin (ofloxacin), Zagam (sparfloxacin), Trovan (trovafloxacin), Tavanic, and Vigamox.
Whether you believe you have experienced side effects or you believe you have tolerated them, you are invited to participate in this voluntary study. Participants possessing English language fluency from all countries are accepted.
Study participants will be asked to complete questionnaire(s). By participating in these surveys, you can help us further understand the effects of fluoroquinolones and report findings to the medical community (including prescribing physicians) and the general public. Surveys will cover your overall health, well-being, fluoroquinolones taken, and symptoms; impacts on your life and career; and your personal story.
For those without side effects, there is currently just one survey taking 20-30 minutes to complete.
For those having adverse effects, there are currently 3 (voluntary) questionnaires that can be done separately, each taking approximately 40-90 minutes (time varies per individual). Each survey addresses a different set of concerns related to fluoroquinolone effects. More voluntary surveys may be available in the future. Compensation for taking the surveys is not available.
If there is a chance you are interested in participating, please visit our website at:
for further information on this important study.
If you know of anyone else who might consider participating, then please pass on our website address. We truly appreciate your participation and referrals.
-The UCSD Fluoroquinolone Effects Study

Sherry, listen to your body and stop taking it before you get even more adverse side effects!!! Get a different antibiotic!!

Started taking Cipro because I was allergic to the first antibiotic given to me. Using it to treat pneumonia. I was supposed to be on it for a week, but stopped taking it after four days. Makes me extremely nauseous for hours–& gassy, lol. I’m also afraid of a tendon rupture. The last thing I’d ever want to happen. I have pain in my teeth when I eat.
I feel better as far as the pneumonia goes but I’m just not finishing this prescription. I wish I looked this up earlier but I was too sick. My fever is gone & although I still have leftover coughing, I think I can do just well without these things. Terrible effects, I’m reading here. Terrifying.

Sherry, tell your doctor exactly what you’ve just said here! Sometimes you just have to stand up for what you know to be true. It’s YOUR body, and you know it best!
Did they try anything else first? I take Bactrim for UTI’s and it always works for me; seems to have fewer side effects.

I was given Cipro after a urologist tried to remove a kidney stone. After one week on Cipro and a stent removal I ended up in the ER with severe pain from passing stone fragments. I was given an IV antibiotic and sent home the next day with no prescriptions-nadda. The culture they did came back negative. Yay! 10 days later I had severe pain again and back to the ER I go. Same thing – antibiotics, stayed 2 days while they tested my kidney. I went home with a prescription of Levaquin for 10 days.
Got the thing filled and read the warnings and about FLIPPED OUT! First warning said do not take if you have tendon problems. I had tendon surgeries listed as past medical problems when I went to the hospital both times. I listed ALL THREE surgeries for torn tendons, both shoulders and my foot.
As of TODAY I’ve had ONE MORE surgery for a torn meniscus and I have another tear in my rotator cuff still needing to be fixed. I wouldn’t take this class of antibiotics for NOTHING! Why give a hospital all of my past medical information/surgeries and then they give me something that causes the very thing I had surgery for? why why why…….
There’s other antibiotics to take or a combo of them that have far less side effects. Is it a breach of the standard of care to prescribe Levaquin/Cipro for someone that has a history of tendon injuries ?

This was well said!! As awful as my reaction to ciproflacxin, I never ever looked at it from this angle! Your post was absolutely on point! You’ve definitely enlightened me!

I have a UTI. My Dr. gave me 5 days worth of cipro. Two a day. 500 MG twice a day. I went back after the medicine was gone. She said I still had a UTI. And gave me LEVOFLOXACIN 1 tablet per day. I took 2 of them. One each day. and I thought I was going to die. I was puking sick. My stomach hurt so bad I had to take two hydrocco/acetamin for the stomach ache. It was so bad.
So I called the Dr. told her what the pills were doing to me. So they gave me more cipro. This time 20 500 mgs two a day. I have taken 4 days of this cipro. I hurt all over. I get the chills. Then I get extremely hot and sweat. I walk like a crippled person. My head hurts. I do not know what to do?? I hope someone can help. I still have the UTI. Is there anything safe I can take to get over it? I am afraid the Dr. is going to get mad if I tell her my symptom’s. She is going to say you took it for 5 days (cipro) last time with no problems. I am at the point where I do not know what to do to get well!

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic, one of the fluoroquinolone class. These antibiotics are considered one of the most dangerous classes of drugs on the market today. It is not in the same league as those that are usually considered benign, such as penicillin. Instead it is classed as a chemotherapeutic agent, & is only meant to be prescribed in life threatening infections when all other antibiotics have been tried first & the only other alternative is death.
The severe adverse reactions known to occur with Ciprofloxacin & all fluoroquinolone antibiotics have been known by the pharmaceutical industry for around 30 years, There is a place for them as has been described above. but instead they are being given out for simple infections or even suspected infections, I had no infection & I like countless others am now severely disabled for life, as among many other serious health effects I now have CKD because of them, my life was devastated for no reason whatsoever.
Ciprofloxacin carries what is known as a boxed warning, In fact at present they carry two. One for the risk of tendon damage & rupture, & the second for the risk of such serious adverse reactions in a condition known as myanthsesia gravis, it can lead to the patients death.
A boxed warning is the last most serious warning that is placed on a drug before it it pulled from the market
In august 2013, the warning of peripheral neuropathy was enhanced & updated, as it has finally been admitted that this possibly can be permanent. I can vouch that for many many people including myself, this looks like this may be the case.
One of the most insidious ways Ciprofloxacin does its damage is that a lot of the time, the severe ADRs (adverse drug reactions) can often be delayed, sometimes for many months, so no one connects the symptoms to the drug, You can often take several courses of Ciprofloxacin, & not notice any adverse reactions whatsoever, your infection goes away & you are better, BUT PLEASE DO NOT BE FOOLED. The damage begins at a cellular level from the very first dose you take, it is just not visible/noticeable to you yet it is happening ” under the radar,” so to speak. Everybody seems to have their own tolerance level to Ciprofloxacin, & once enough harm has been done to your body/ you exceed this, whether this be from one pill, (some have died from One pill) or many courses you WILL be hit. And at present there is no way to undo the damage.
Taking these antibiotics is playing Russian roulette with your life, as mentioned above, you can often take them several times, but as is the case in Russian roulette, there is always one bullet in the gun, & it does have your name on It
It is of course everybody’s individual choice whether they want to take these drugs, but if you decide to do so please make sure that it is an informed choice. Drs are unaware of the serious toxic profile of these drugs, & they will tell you “these drugs do not do this,” they could not be more wrong.
Research them thoroughly, & I MEAN thoroughly. Google Fluoroquinolone toxicity, at the very least, Also consider visiting the many support groups/ forums that exist, BEFORE you begin the course. THESE SEVERE ADVERSE REACTION to Ciprofloxacin, are not “side effects ” as is usually thought, as you cannot have side effects once you have stopped taking a drug. Ciprofloxacin & all fluoroquinolone antibiotics can cause direct damage, & if you take enough, for you to exceed your own tolerance level, they can possibly change your life forever.

I have very mixed feelings about this drug, the comments, and even whether to take it or not. But a few days ago I found myself in the ER with cellulitis at the site of a breast biopsy incision from a couple of weeks earlier. I know this infection can quickly become very dangerous indeed; it can lead the way to necrotizing fasciitis, and is very painful. One of the drugs they thought about using is closely related to penicillin, to which I am allergic. It was important to me to have confidence that whatever I took would really knock this out. The pain was indescribable.
I do have some digestive tract issues, but the area of red, painful, swollen and peeling skin is down to almost nothing, and I’ve had no fever since the first day. Two more pills to go, and I’ll be done.
While I would never choose this drug if something less intense was appropriate (i.e., for UTI, I’d ask for Bactrim), neither would I refuse it if again faced with cellulitis.
I also took its cousin, Levaquin, last spring for a really frightening, severe case of bronchitis. I was so sick it was just frightening; I think I’d have been in hospital the next day if I hadn’t started it that day. I find most antibiotics take about three doses to begin to see real relief; both of these took noticeable effect after one or two.
I will mention that a few months after the Levaquin, I had a rupture of a sagittal band (keeps those big tendons on the back of your hand in place on top of the knuckle) on my left hand. I asked the hand surgeon about whether the Levaquin could have caused it, and he said it was unlikely; usually that is seen in people taking massive doses, or taking it over a long period of time. In addition, this particular tendon has always slipped off the knuckle just from bending the finger. The hand doc said that is most likely the result of a congenital defect. I did have to wear a brace for a few weeks, but the band is stronger now than it has ever been before.
So I think it’s necessary to consider things carefully, but there are (and will be more and more) instances where (barring a known, serious reaction as so many have described) it will be a necessary risk. As a group, we’ve forgotten how often people used to die of infections that are now very treatable, back before there were any antibiotics. Resistance continues to grow to many, if not most, such drugs. I would be very averse to taking it long-term, and would insist on something else for “ordinary” infections, but I’m grateful these drugs were there for me during these very difficult, painful, and potentially dangerous episodes.
I am the last person to defend Big Pharma; adverse drug reactions MUST be accurately reported and that information made clear to physicians. But I don’t know that I can agree with calling a drug “bad” on the basis of individual reactions, depending of course upon how common and severe they are; I have had hives from one drug that I know has greatly helped many people. So it’s a bad drug for ME, one I can never take again (and I would, if I could, because it was VERY effective until the allergy surfaced after some months). But has saved other people’s lives.
This is all complicated. I’m no doctor, but I can’t see why any doctor would prescribe this drug for a one-off UTI. For intractable, repeating, severe episodes, it might make sense to take the risk. But many infections can be life-threatening. In such cases I’d take either of them again, because for me the side-effects, while quite unpleasant, are minor and temporary. If you’ve had a terrible reaction, of course you should not take it again. But that doesn’t mean it’s evil. I can’t take penicillin, but it’s saved many millions of lives since its development.

I took one 1000 mg dose in October 2011 for a suspected mild uti. I want to spread the word to all to avoid this med if other options are available. The cramps I can deal with but I started getting nervous feelings and anxiety the next day.
Taking an antacid was a bad idea as I read somewhere it is a bad mix. For the next month I had severe anxiety and depression and almost committed suicide by jumping off the subway platform. I was sleeping maybe 3 hours a night. Had an ultra low fever and just felt detached from reality. Just a pervasive feeling off dread.
I’m usually a well dressed person at work and try to look sharp, but co-workers noticed my state of uncaring. I could not eat or watch tv, even my beloved toronto maple leafs could not provide any interest. Felt like crying all the time.
I went back to the doc and he said to hang on there. At the time I could not see the end of the tunnel but eventually it passed. I would not wish what I went through on anyone. Although that major episode has passed it seems to have triggered mild depression from time to time when I have never been susceptible to depression before. I’m not sure if it’s directly the cipro causing long term damage or whether I am now prone to depression after the cipro-induced episode.

I am a 65 year old male. Had pain in my scrotum. Doc gave me cipro. I ended up taking 3 500 mg tablets before going to the emergency room for severe kidney pain. I was immediately put on intravenous saline drip. Admitted to the hospital over Christmas. My docs said that Cipro may have been the culprit. My creatitine level was through the roof.
After days of saline drip cret level came down and I was released. The docs said no more supplements, no more Motrin, change my diet, tons of water, no more aspirin, no more anti depressants (I’m still coming down from Celexia) and no more antibiotics. And I’m not out of the woods. Have to return to the outpatient clinic for continued blood and urine analysis.
Hoping that my kidneys and liver are still OK. I believe that this CIPRO is dangerous. There are too many stories out there where people are being hurt from this drug. No not take. If your doc does not agree get another doc.

I was prescribed Cipro after my doctor took a urine sample, and discovered I had a kidney infection. I had also strained my back from lifting.
I’ve been taking 500 mg 2xday for three days. The intense pain has gone, but I feel so bloated, gaseous, nauseated, and anxious I can barely function. I”m also having severe insomnia.
I called my doctor and asked for a substitute, and she said to just take a half a tablet 4x a day. That is no solution! Why don’t doctors take our complaints seriously?
I cannot continue this drug for another 11d ays. And yet, I’m terrified that if I don’t treat the kidney infection I’ll have more problems.
What on earth are we to do?
I only know that I can’t take Cipro any longer, I am respecting what my body is trying to tell me.
IS THERE AN ANTIBIOTIC ALTERNATIVE TO CIPRO? I don’t recall ever having this problem with anti’s before.

I have pain in the from right tooth, that came on after my cipro prescription. I finished my course 4 months ago. It’s not that common anymore, but some days it does act up. It hasn’t rotted or fallen out or anything, thank god. I have perfect teeth otherwise.

I took ten days worth of Cipro for a urinary tract infection, which did clear up. However, I am having awful pain in my teeth. It feels like an electric shock or something in all of the nerves in my teeth. I know this is minor compared to many other problems I have read on here, but has anyone else had this problem?

Are you feeling any better??? My symptoms are very similar. I too was given a steroid injection and then prescribed cipro! Ugh. This has been awful. It started in October. I’m just praying it doesn’t get worse.

The anger I feel about this drug is unreal. I am having strong upper spine pain and pressure that leads to the base of my skull all the way up through my head. I feel ill and week and just flat out sick all over, low grade fever, strong stomach cramps every night. Anger issue’s that scare me. My spine hurt’s the worse. I feel a lose for hope. This has been going on since the end of Sept 2013.. God I pray that I feel normal again soon. My dr does not listen to me, and only tells me that everything is fine and all of my test’s are normal. I am not crazy, this pain that I feel is real and I feel that it is driving me crazy. Will I get better??????????????????????

I was prescribed Cipro for Epididymitis was told from the start to increase my water intake. I’m on day 6 of 10 taking the Cipro and I’ve experienced some of the side effects. Dizziness, nausea (no vomiting), headaches, temporary fever spikes. I also had some pressure build up in the right side of my chest making it somewhat difficult to swallow. Lasted about an hour. Didn’t hurt but was just uncomfortable. I skipped my next dose after to get it checked out by my doctor. He checked my heart as a precaution with and EKG and chest ex-rays. The EKG was normal and I’m still waiting to hear back about the x-rays. The doctor said it was a possible narrowing of the esophagus. He told me that it wasn’t a likely side effect from the Cipro and that it was possibly stomach acid that caused it and that it wasn’t life-threatening.
Anyway I got back on the Cipro just today and felt an increase in nausea, dizziness and anxiety. Different from before. I was able to force some food down but it wasn’t helping. Then I realized that I hadn’t been drinking as much water as I was before. I chugged glasses of water after that and immediately started to feel better. Just want everyone to know to really increase your water intake if you can while on Cipro. Otherwise the pill just sits there inside of you longer making you feel sick. Hope this helps! God Bless!

I have had a UTI for several months and finally went to the doctor a week ago, actually on October 18th. He prescribed Ciprofloxacin HCI 250 mg. Now being a little over a week I woke up very dizzy this morning upon getting out of bed and felt like I was going to fall. I have had the same reaction more than several times today when getting out of bed and it scared me.
I have some blurred vision. My left hand felt like I had pain in the hand like I had been using it to much and I did put Ben Gay on it and wrapped the hand with an Ace bandage. It does feel better. I was prescribed 10 days of this medication with a tablet in the morning and evening twelve hours apart. I was prescribed 20 tablets and have 7 left. I must have missed a dose but took the medication today.
After feeling as I do I am not taking the medication any longer and after reading these comments I will not take again ever. I am going to call my regular doctor as soon as his office opens. Also I am planning on have eye surgery on the 13th of November and will also speak to my eye doctor regarding these happenings.

In January of 2013, I was prescribed 250mg of Cipro 2x day for 14 days for a UTI. One week after completing the course, my body began to break down. It began with horrible diarrhea, then heart palpitations, neurological symptoms such as tremors, shakiness, restlessness, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. In February, I ended up in the ER. My husband had to help me get from point A to point B. All tests came back normal. I was referred to my Primary Physician.
After much lab work and seeing an Endocrinologist, Gastroenterologist, and Neurologist, the only thing they found was a toxic level of B6 and low vitamin D. The neurologist said that usually you can get toxic levels by over supplementation. He told me to halt all supplementation of B6. I informed him that the only B6 I was getting was from a simple multivitamin (5mg) and what I was drinking from Powerade (which has only 15% of your RDA) and the 10mg I would get from Emergen-C. (I felt like I needed to replace a lot of the nutrients I was losing from the diarrhea.) B6 is a water soluble vitamin and the neurologist was stumped by why my system wasn’t releasing the B6.
I’m not a doctor but I believe the Cipro was doing the same thing with the B6 that it does does with caffeine. After two months of no supplementation of any kind, my B6 levels returned to normal and my neurological symptoms improved. They didn’t go away completely but they improved a good deal. The Cipro has ravaged my body and has stolen many months of my life and I am slowly recovering. Relapses do occur. For several months I could not drive. In the beginning, I barely would make it out of bed.
After the Cipro, I would not take any medicine unless I could get a clear diagnosis for something. I still have GI and CNS issues and I don’t know if I will ever fully recover but I feel blessed to be alive and have the ability do some of the things I used to do. Like others here, I can not describe the “hell” that I believe I have experienced with this drug.

I took 5, 500 mg Cipro pills total a week ago. I stopped because I woke up one night and I could not move. During the past week my arms have started to ache, my Achilles tendon area is aching, I have constant leg cramping (I am worry that I will be unable to drive, and I live alone). My fingers are cramping up – and I feel very sad – which came out of no where. I can hardly move. This is getting worse, not better. I have received NO advice from doctors or pharmacists. This is terrifying.

I took intravenous ciproflaxine for three days three months ago for uti. I have since the developed serious tachicardia and arrhythmia. Please can anyone out there tell me when this effect will wear off?

Was given Cipro for minor UTI. Cipro gave me extreme anxiety and panic attacks with only 4 doses. Not enough warning about extreme side effects. No one reads the labels, doctors need to disclose the very real risks of horrifying side effects with patients before casually prescribing this drug.

RXd Cipro 500mg bid x 7 days in mid-July for e coli kidney infection. Cleared infection. However, broke out in major seborrheic dermatitis all over face, head, and groin while taking. Also noticed anxiety ramping up while taking with decreasing appetitie and gastric upset/loose stools.
I was already suffering from knee pain and plantar fasciitis, but have since developed more widespread muscle pain and more joint pain elsewhere, especially left elbow and hips, and the knee and heel feel worse than ever. No physical reason for this, and my achilles are more sore than ever as well.
I lost 26 pounds since the day I started Cipro course for no other explainable reason, and my weight was stable before taking it for months. My anxiety is now intolerable if I don’t take Xanax XR .5 at least once per day, but that’s all I take. I am diabetic and was taking the Cipro concurrently with 800mg of Ibuprofen 2-3x day. I also suffered several episodes of hypoglycemia while taking it and afterwards. Gastric issues continue now almost 50 days later. Anxiety is still very high. Pain in joints and muscles is still very high. I have regained about 6 pounds. Still, I can’t help but point at the Cipro as being the cause since all of this started at the exact same time as being prescribed the Cipro.

In 2011, when I was 32 years old, I suffered from a severe adverse reaction to Cipro. I lost my ability to run, or even walk very far, my ability to think, my memory, my reading comprehension, my flexibility, etc. To sum up the damage that Cipro caused, it led to destruction of all of the connective tissues in my body, my tendons, ligaments, etc. and it led to damage to my Central, Peripheral and Autonomic nervous systems.
Cipro, and other fluoroquinolones, Levaquin, Avelox, etc., are DANGEROUS drugs that should only be used in life-or-death situations. Sadly, they are used to treat infections that could have been treated with more benign antibiotics and thus people end up being crippled when they get a treatment for a urinary tract infection. It’s absurd and it’s wrong.
I write about fluoroquinolones and post stories of people who have recovered from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome on
There is also a Fluoroquinolones 101 article here –
Thank you!

RXd Cipro 500mg bid x 7 days in mid-July for e coli kidney infection. Cleared infection. However, broke out in major seborrheic dermatitis all over face, head, and groin while taking. Also noticed anxiety ramping up while taking with decreasing appetite and gastric upset/loose stools. I was already suffering from knee pain and plantar fasciitis, but have since developed more widespread muscle pain and more joint pain elsewhere, especially left elbow and hips, and the knee and heel feel worse than ever. No physical reason for this, and my achilles are more sore than ever as well.
I lost 26 pounds since the day I started Cipro course for no other explainable reason, and my weight was stable before taking it for months. My anxiety is now intolerable if I don’t take Xanax XR .5 at least once per day, but that’s all I take. I am diabetic and was taking the Cipro concurrently with 800mg of Ibuprofen 2-3x day. I also suffered several episodes of hypoglycemia while taking it and afterwards. Gastric issues continue now almost 50 days later. Anxiety is still very high. Pain in joints and muscles is still very high. I have regained about 6 pounds. Still, I can’t help but point at the Cipro as being the cause since all of this started at the exact same time as being prescribed the Cipro. I am also allergic to Ziac and beta-blockers, which they knew. I can’t believe these effects are still going on a month and a half after finishing the Cipro. Is this possible?

Hi, I used to have frequent UTI’s about 2 years ago. About a month ago I was thinking to my self “wow I haven’t had one in 2 years, this is great”! Yeah definitely jinxed myself there. Woke up a few days later and I instantly knew I had a UTI. Went to a urgent care walk in clinic, and of course had a UTI.
Got prescribed Bactrim for 1 week. Symptoms went away, so I thought I was good. 3 days after my last dose symptoms came back. Went to a CVS min clinic, but since I was taking azo at the time for the symptoms, the doctor could not test my urine, so she just prescribed me cipro 250 2x a day for 1week.
3 days in, started getting pain where my kidneys are, so FINALLY made an appt. with my actual primary doctor. Made sure azo was not in my body, so she could test me. She said my urine culture came out perfectly normal. But I was still feeling the burning, pressure, urgency symptoms of a UTI. She told me to stop taking the cipro, cause my urine was fine. So I resorted to just taking azo everyday to relieve the burning sensation.
I made a appt about 2 weeks later to see my gyno. everything came out normal, no STD’S or anything. Doc said that urine test can be deceiving at times, so he prescribed me just 3 days of 500mg of cipro once a day. The symptoms I have are night sweats, chills, cannot sleep, tingling and itching in my arms, legs, feet, scalp, face, and blurry vision.
Websites I have read all say if u experience itching, or tingling to seek emergency care. But every time I have gone to an ER for something similar to this, they can never find anything wrong, and just send me home. Not everyone can afford an ER bill like that. Don’t know what to do.

5 weeks ago, I was prescribed 500mg 2x daily for 3 days – only 6 pills, for a non-existent stomach bug. I’m 28, vegetarian and in shape. My initial side effects were feeling disconnected from my body, confusion and anxiety. After a few weeks, I started to “reattach” to my body. Anxiety has subsided for the most part as well. A week after I completed my prescription, I felt fleeting pains all over my body.
Those have went away, but reappear randomly (maybe once a week). I have random muscle soreness in inexplicable places, this occurs once every few weeks but goes away with icing. I have random tendon pains in my legs – usually just in one area that goes away by the next day, but let me be clear that these are pains I’ve never experience before. My forearms get sore much more easily and I’m wearing a brace on my right wrist to avoid complicating anything further. I have very slight pain in left Achilles which alternates with itching. I keep off my feet as much as possible.
I have trouble sleeping through the night now, always waking after about 4 hours, then tossing and turning the rest of the night. I have never had sleep trouble before and for me, this is the most worrisome. Many bouts of crying, but I think that’s because I’m mad at myself for going to the doctor in the first place (should have rode it out like I always do). It has made me distrustful of all doctors, which is unfortunate.
My best advice is to not take pain relievers, you want to listen to your body – pain relievers will only mask the pain while you further damage your tendons. Not only that, but they’re hard on the liver. I’ve stopped drinking alcohol and anything caffeinated. I am taking angstrom magnesium, vitamin C, a daily vitamin, and 30+ supplement of probiotics to help get my gut back to normal. I take daily epsom salt baths, I’ve added homemade green juice to my diet. I’m also avoiding fluoridated water and toothpaste. Whether everything I do is placebo, or not, I can tell you that it makes me feel better emotionally to do these things.
The best thing we can do for ourselves is to not get overwhelmed. Life is not over, and the world will keep spinning whether we decide to check out or not. Keep living. We put a concentrated amount of “poison” into our bodies, and only months of healthy living may help. A leg only takes a moment to be broken, but months to be healed. We will be okay.

please help we are located in australia my 63 year old dad took a full course of cipro due to prostate problems, during course experience extreme pain in all joints felt sick a lot vomiting a lot and just in allot of pain, asked pharmacist about it and was told basically need to try and get thru it as it’s not panadole and obviously will have side effect but try to persevere with it and now after completing the course it has nearly crippled him, he is in constant pain in joints and all over is body. please help can he take anything to help.. please

I use was prescribed cipro for 1 week. after 2 days I started having difficulties in breathing. I went back to see my dr he says I am suffering from allergy. I am confuse for the past two months I haven’t been my self.

Mack..I went here to look for advice as I thought I was dying. I just read your comment and tho its years later. I certainly hope u rock and that u didn’t have to have the liver transplant. If u did, I hope you’ve recovered. My thoughts r with you. What I’ve learned…question everything. You r your own best advocate. Good luck to u.

I’m a 37 year old male who recently drank some bad water which gave me severe diarrhea 7 days later. Taking Cipro 500 mg plus Metronidazole 500 mg to combat cdiff.
My complaints would be slight headaches, waking up in the middle of REM and having some difficulty going back to sleep, a little bit of muscle pain although I have a physical job. My major and only real complaint would be the fact of starting this medication for diarrhea and on the start of my 6th day still having it? I have 4 days left and wonder if I should stop for my area is very sore and maybe my body eradicated this infection already.
I fear having diarrhea for many days to come. I do not want to feel like I did before this medication at all and have started to slowly expand my diet again…slowly. Just when I believe the diarrhea is going away, I get a reminder. Again I’m taking it because of severe, painful diarrhea. My father in law is the prescribing Dr. And after 3 days and reading the side effect, (which state possible diarrhea) I called him. He said stay the course so I have, just hate having diarrhea already, my god. I’m eating yogurt, fruits, drinking water, ect.
I’m convinced this is a result of the meds but need to get better and would hate to prolong this situation as working near a toilet is getting old. Is there something else I should be doing? Or Eating? Hence the reason I read all of these responses….as for any major ill effects, I have none and hopefully that will continue as I do trust my 75 year old Cartiologist.

On holiday in Spain I had an allergic reaction to a wasp sting. I have been prescribed 500mg 2 x a day for 7 days. I am on day 4 and stopping this medication. I am very nauseous and vomiting, excessively tired, bad back pain and in my left leg. Feel really awful and it is ruining my holiday.
I have taken antibiotics in the past that are compatible with my penicillin allergy, but have never experienced such a litany of side effects. I for one will never take this medicine again.

I took cipro 500mg 2 times a day for 7 days and had very little, if any, side effects. I’ve experienced some gastrointestinal changes that weren’t permanent and cipro pretty much cleared my UTI infection. I would take this again if needed.

I have been on it since the 25 I am so cranky have no energy and just to sleep has anyone had this type of issues with taking them?

I am into my third year of living hell after being prescribed cipro for a non existent UTI . This synthetic neurotoxic antibiotic has changed my life forever. I did not stand a chance after being prescribed it with an NSAID which enhances the neurotoxic affects considerably also having been prescribed it twice before The insidious way cipro works includes the fact that you can take it several times and think you are fine, the damage is being done “under the radar ” and when you reach your own tolerance level you will be hit. and experience a cascade of horrific adverse effects that defy description. This fact is the most important thing to remember.
Often when taking cipro you will experience just niggling side effects they will then go away only to later be hit with the severe adverse affects which are often delayed for some considerable time, these can hit you months after you have finished the course.
I have been left with agonising neuropathic pain which sometimes even morphine based pain relief does not even touch.
I have body-wide tendonosis, this is not normal tendonitis which is inflammatory, but degeneration of the tendons which no amount of therapy will heal. I have cognitive difficulties, vision issues, tinnitus, weakness so horrific i sometimes cannot even speak.
I have not slept more than 3 hours a night since 2011 , this resembles a circadian sleep disorder, I do not get to sleep until at least 3 in the morning and without fail I will be awake again at 6am, this is despite trying everything.
Some of the severe adverse affects have improved, the balance/coordination, fasciculations, but that is it.
I have now been diagnosed with chronic kidney failure.
I now wear a medical ID stating that I am severely allergic to the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics.

Male 56, I have taken this a number of times for prostrate problems and kidney infections sometimes have 12 week course (2x500mg per day) while I have noticed some of the side effects I have been lucky in that they have been mild, although this time have noticed left side pain which comes and goes , being worst about 3 hours after taking tablet. It does seem to deal with the infections very well.

took 2 cipro 500 both times started shaking, weak as water, heart rate 95 from normal 73.

After finishing a ten days dose of cipro for typhoid, still feeling bad!

I have had a productive cough for 4 months and , so far, no dr. Can figure out what it is it how to treat. I have been on zpac, tetracycline and a few others. 3 weeks my dr. Have me Avalox. After 1 dose I got tremors in my hands and legs, and I stopped it. The sick thing is, my cough was gone for 24 hrs after that!!! I told the new pulmonologist about this today, and he told me to try Cipro!! Forget that!!! If I had the reaction to Avelox, it seems likely that I’d have it with Cipro! I don’t want to take this poison, even through this cough is ruining my life. I am allergic to penicillin. I just don’t understand why drs. Give these mess when they are so dangerous!!! Am I doing the right thing by not taking Cipro or am I being a “difficult patient”???

Help! My wife took a total of 8 pills in a 4 day period 1 month ago today. She has been in horrific pain since. The same symptoms I’m seeing on this site. Headache, severe joint pains of the lower body I can see her knees turning red & hot, her feet are cold & aching, can’t hardly stand for more than a few min.
I see her veins popping up in her legs & arms etc. we’ve done MRI x-ray blood test urine test. No one has found anything to cause this much less how to treat it. Does anyone know what test to run to find this & a treatment ? 3 doctors & 2 hospitals & nothing as of yet.

My story is similar to yours. Have your symptoms gone away yet?

Hello, Been reading these post about the antibiotic Cipro and I`ve had a similar feeling. I was recently prescribed this Med for my infection with the kidney problem I`ve been having and felt that this Med has cause so many problems that I am facing right now. I`ve been having abdominal pain and a sharp pain in my groin for weeks along with a very sharp left pain in my leg. This problem hasn`t gone away yet.
Now I am wondering if I should stop taking this Med reading all these problems. After writing this I am having more pain in my groin area. I am goin to call my doctor to see if he prescribe me a different Med. Thank god I found this webpage, at least I`m not the only one having problems.

Was prescribed Cipro (500mg 2x day for 7 days) the end of April for a UTI. No problems, that I noticed, while on the Cipro. However, a week or so after taking my last dose I started with mild to moderate lower abdominal cramping and burning that radiated down into groin and lower back and hip pain.
I thought that maybe the Cipro had not worked and requested another U/A. It was clear. No more UTI. I am still having some lower abdominal cramping and lower back pain (6 weeks later), though not as often or as strong. I’m just wondering if the Cipro would have caused this a week after finishing the dosage? Any ideas? Your thoughts/experiences would be greatly appreciated.

5 250 mg doses. I had an anxiety attack on dose 4, went to ER and wad told to continue. I did for 1 more dose. Took 3 days to return to what is hopefully normal. I have tingling in my hand upon waking and one knee is making popping sounds. Going to therapist and another doctor. People who are hopeless ask for the intercession of St. Jude. If you are not catholic, intercession prayer is when we ask for someone in heaven to pray for/with us. I truly believe my anxiety was reduced because of St. JUDES help.

My 80 yr old Dad was prescribed Cipro for a UTI. After only one dose (500mg), he broke out in itching welt-like hives on his arms, trunk, neck & face. He face was beet-red and hot. He said he felt “sun burned” and that the hives hurt & itched. His doctor’s office said to give him a Benedryl and they changed his med to Bactrium.

I have taken Cipro for 5 days now and I feel terrible. My arms and legs ache. I have not slept for the past 3 nights. I was outside 1 day and got sunburn on my shoulders. I normally do not burn this bad but after 3 days of the sunburn my shoulders are still burning and hurting.
I went on this website to see if the Cipro would have anything to do with my sunburn and I see that yes it is possible. I am amazed of all the side effects ppl are having. I will not take another pill after reading all this information.
Now I understand why I have not slept in 3 nights and why my legs have ached for the past few days. I had no idea these issues could be a side effect from this medicine. I was just concerned about the pain from my sunburn.

My son was prescribed Cipro -40 tablets, by an ER DR., at the end of Dec. Having very blurry vision, decreased comprehension of things around him. Pain in several areas including more severe pain in his legs which had been bothering him for several years.30-40 lb. weight loss. Severe constipation. Severe head pain. Drinking fluoride free water but hard to find fluoride free foods. He is suffering and wanting to die.

I have exactly what you explained. I am having hives for four days. Do you remember how long did it last and how you treated the hives? I took Benadril for three days it works as long as keep taking.

I am now 3 weeks 2 days past severe reaction to Cipro. The akathesia, insomnia, nausea, dry mouth all much improved. However, I am still experiencing crushing fatigue and muscle weakness. Also some tachycardia and still NO appetite. I get burning pains in my Achilles but not too I bad thank goodness.
Anyone else get the severe fatigue/weakness after the initial reaction? I am almost completely bedridden from the lack of energy and am getting worried.

I took two rounds of cipro about 8 years ago and have not been the same since. I had headaches while taking it. Afterwards, I started having panic attacks and I had never had them before, nor was I a nervous person. They were almost debilitating. It occurred to me that it could be caffeine, though I had never had a problem with that before. Once I quit my beloved coffee and tea, the panic attacks stopped. I know cipro causes caffeine intolerance while taking it, but I am so sad to see it is still affecting me. Sounds like liver damage. Heaven only knows which of my other health issues are from the cipro…

Thank you for this. Going through the same thing. I believe it is fluoroquinolone toxicity. Doing everything I can to detox. Hope I’m ok in time.

Hi everyone. I’m a 24 year old woman, generally very healthy, and in overall good shape. Two or so weeks ago, I was diagnosed with my very fist UTI. I was then prescribed 500mg Macrobid 2x for 5 days. During this time, I also drank AT LEAST 2 liters of water every day while I was on the antibiotic. The medication did a great job lessening my symptoms and the only urge to pee that I had derived from me really needing to go to the bathroom (because I would drink so much water). I would also drink a cup or so of cranberry juice (though the cocktail kind) every other night. Side effects from the Macrobid for me were mild nausea, fatigue, I had a headache one day that grew in intensity through the night, and liver pain after taking my final dose.
After finishing Macrobid, I continued to drink plenty of water and cranberry juice for an extra day or two. Then yesterday, I noticed that my urine was still cloudy. It was not dark or smelly. It didn’t sting/burn when I urinated. However, I also had some tingly sensitivity just at or below my clitoris. I went to go see a doctor to get my urine rechecked and it turned out that my UTI infection hasn’t completely cleared. In addition, my urinalysis revealed that I had TWO microorganisms infecting my bladder. One of these pathogens was extremely sensitive to Macrobid and the other not so much. So the doctor put me on 500 mg CIPRO 2x a day for at least 7 days.
Today, I’m going to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription but after reading most of these comments, I AM SCARED TO DEATH to take this antibiotic. I am still experiencing some liver pain after taking Macrobid (that I’m praying would go away in time, but I’m probably going back to see a physician soon) and I don’t want the Cipro to cause any other serious complications. I also hate to vomit!! I just had mild nausea with Macrobid and I’m hoping I’ll experience no other gastrointestinal symptom with Cipro.
I’m thinking about taking my first dose around 6 or 7pm tonight. Any words of comfort or encouragement is welcomed and GREATLY appreciated.

I am a healthy, fit 52 year old female. I run 5 times a week and eat a healthy diet. Last week an urgent care doctor prescribed cipro for bacterial diarrhea that I believe I got from food poisoning. I took it three days and will not take it anymore. Since I started taking it, I have experienced nausea and loss of appetite, dizziness and ringing in my ear. I NEVER get headaches, and I awoke with a headache so bad I could barely get out of bed. I have experienced depression and hopelessness, and that disconnected feeling that people are talking about. Also heart palpitations. The headache and dizziness are the worst. i quit taking it last night, but hope these symptoms go away. All this after only 6 pills! I would rather have diarrhea!!!

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