Cipro - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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About this Medication
  • Brand Name: Cipro® (U.S. and Canada)
  • Chemical Name: ciprofloxacin (sip-roe-flox-a-sin) combination
  • Usage in MS: Urinary Tract Infections
  • Generic Available: No


Ciprofloxacin is one of a group of antibiotics (fluoroquinolones) used to kill bacterial infection in many parts of the body. It is used in multiple sclerosis primarily to treat urinary tract infections.

Proper Usage

This medication is best taken with a full glass (eight ounces) of water. Additional water should be taken each day to help prevent some unwanted effects.

Ciprofloxacin may be taken with meals or on an empty stomach.

Finish the full course of treatment prescribed by your physician. Even if your symptoms disappear after a few days, stopping this medication prematurely may result in a return of the symptoms.

This medication works most effectively when it is maintained at a constant level in your blood or urine. To help keep the amount constant, do not miss a dose. It is best to take the doses at evenly spaced times during the day and night.


This medication may cause some people to become dizzy, lightheaded, drowsy or less alert.

If you are taking antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium, be sure to take them at least two hours before or after you take ciprofloxacin. These antacids may prevent the ciprofloxacin from working properly.

Ciprofloxacin should not be used in combination with tizanidine (Zanaflex® -- medication used to treat spastsicity) because a sudden and significant drop in blood pressure can occur.

This medication may cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight. Stay out of direct sunlight during the midday hours, wear protective clothing, and apply a sun block product that has a skin protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.

Studies of birth defects have not been done in humans. This medication is not recommended during pregnancy since antibiotics of this type have been reported to cause bone development problems in young animals.

Some of the antibiotics in this group are known to pass into human breast milk. Since they have been reported to cause bone development problems in young animals, breast-feeding is not recommended during treatment with this medication.

Possible Side Effects

Side effects that may go away as your body adjusts to the medication and do not require medical attention unless they continue or are bothersome: abdominal or stomach pain; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness*; headache; lightheadedness; nausea or vomiting; nervousness; trouble sleeping.

Rare side effects that should be reported to your physician immediately: agitation; confusion; fever; hallucinations; peeling of the skin; shakiness or tremors*; shortness of breath; skin rash; itching; swelling of face or neck.

*Since it may be difficult to distinguish between certain common symptoms of MS and some side effects of ciprofloxacin, be sure to consult your health care professional if an abrupt change of this type occurs.