Ciprofloxacin (Cipro®) is an antibiotic in the drug family fluoroquinolones. Cipro gained fame as a treatment for inhalation anthrax during the anthrax attacks in 2001 (it is also effective as a preventative in case of exposure to anthrax). This antibiotic, however, is used to treat many other types of infections, including E. coli and gonorrhea. Cipro is available as pills and in an oral suspension (liquid form), and can also be given through a vein (Cipro IV).
Cipro and Sore Throat
A sore throat is not a recognized side effect of Cipro. However, Cipro can cause several symptoms in the throat. If you develop the following throat symptoms while taking Cipro, seek immediate attention. They indicate a severe reaction to the medicine: feeling of tightening in the throat, trouble swallowing and hoarseness.
Other Signs of Severe Reaction to Cipro
In addition to the throat symptoms listed above, other signs of severe reaction to Cipro include (but are not limited to): yellowing of the skin and eyes; hives or skin rash; trouble breathing; seizures; feeling paranoid (as if everyone is out to get you), hearing voices, or thinking of suicide; and changes in heartbeat.
Other Side Effects of Cipro
Other side effects of Cipro can include nausea, headache, diarrhea, stomachache, vaginal yeast infection and dizziness.
Important: If you are taking a muscle relaxant called tizanidine (Zanaflex®) you should not take Cipro. This combination of drugs can cause severe side effects. Other drug interactions with Cipro include: Cipro reduces the clearing of caffeine from the body, so you should avoid or reduce caffeinated beverages and foods while taking Cipro. Cipro also reduces the clearing of theophylline (an asthma medication) from the body, so your doctor might adjust your dose while you are taking Cipro. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen, but not aspirin) might cause seizures in patients taking Cipro. This list is not complete. Refer to the patient information on Cipro for other possible interactions.
Black Box Warning
Fluoroquinolones, including Cipro, carry a “black box warning,” the strongest warning on a prescription medicine the FDA could order. The warning on fluoroquinolones has to do with a danger of tendon inflammation (swelling) or tearing while taking this medicine, and for several months afterward. The risk of developing these problems is higher in patients over 60, patients taking corticosteroid medications, patients who have had joint or tendon problems in the past, and patients who have had a kidney, heart or lung transplant. However, tendon-swelling or tearing has occurred in patients without the above risk factors, as well. If you develop pain or swelling at a joint, rest the joint and call your doctor right away.