Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat certain kinds of bacterial infections. The drug comes as a tablet and a liquid suspension.

If you have a bacterial infection, your doctor might suggest Cipro as a treatment option for you. It’s a type of antibiotic called a fluoroquinolone.

Cipro comes in two forms that you swallow: a tablet and a liquid suspension (a type of liquid mixture).

Cipro is used in adults to treat certain bacterial infections, including:

Doctors may prescribe Cipro to some children as a treatment for a complicated UTI or kidney infection. It may also be used to treat plague and anthrax in children.

This article describes the dosages of Cipro, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Cipro, see this in-depth article.

Note: This article covers Cipro’s usual dosages, which are provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But when taking Cipro, always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.

Cipro Images


This section describes the usual dosages of Cipro. Keep reading to learn more.

What are the forms of Cipro?

Cipro comes in two forms, and both are swallowed:

  • tablet
  • liquid suspension (a type of liquid mixture)

What strengths does Cipro come in?

Cipro tablets come in two strengths:

  • 250 milligrams (mg)
  • 500 mg

The liquid suspension comes as microcapsules that your pharmacist will mix with a liquid. When mixed, the strengths are:

  • 250 milligrams (mg) per 5 milliliters (mL)
  • 500 mg per 5 mL

What are the usual dosages of Cipro?

The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. Depending on the kind of infection you have, your dosage will vary. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Note: Cipro only treats infections caused by certain kinds of bacteria. Your doctor may stop Cipro and change your prescription to a different antibiotic if they think your infection isn’t responding to Cipro.

Dosage for UTI

To treat a urinary tract infection (UTI) in adults, the typical dosage of Cipro is 250 mg to 500 mg every 12 hours. This is continued for a total of 7 to 14 days.

UTIs in females* are sometimes treated differently. If the infection is in the bladder and is caused by a certain kind of bacteria, you may be prescribed a dosage of 250 mg every 12 hours for only 3 days. But it’s important to note that Cipro is only used in uncomplicated† bladder infections when no other treatment options are available. To learn more, see the “Boxed warnings” section above.

* In this article, we use the term “female” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.
† “Uncomplicated” in this case refers to a bladder infection in an otherwise healthy female who isn’t at high risk of having a UTI.

Dosage for other infections

The dosage of Cipro taken for other infections in adults depends on the type of infection. The table below lists the dosages and lengths of treatments for various infections.

Type of infectionDosageLength of treatment
abdominal infection500 mg every 12 hours7 to 14 days
anthrax500 mg every 12 hours60 days
bone or joint infection500 mg to 750 mg every 12 hours4 to 8 weeks
gonorrhea250 mg single dose
infectious diarrhea500 mg every 12 hours5 to 7 days
lower respiratory infection such as pneumonia or bronchitis500 mg to 750 mg every 12 hours7 to 14 days
plague500 mg to 750 mg every 12 hours14 days
prostate infection500 mg every 12 hours28 days
sinus infection500 mg every 12 hours10 days
skin infection500 mg to 750 mg every 12 hours7 to 14 days
typhoid500 mg every 12 hours10 days

What’s the dosage of Cipro for children?

The dosage of Cipro for children depends on the type of infection being treated and the child’s weight. The following table lists the dosages of Cipro used in children to treat specific infections. Dosages are listed in mg of Cipro per kilogram (kg)* of body weight.

Type of infectionDosageLength of treatmentMaximum dose
anthrax15 mg/kg every 12 hours60 days500 mg
complicated UTI10 mg/kg to 20 mg/kg every 12 hours10 to 21 days750 mg
kidney infection10 mg/kg to 20 mg/kg every 12 hours10 to 21 days750 mg
plague15 mg/kg every 8 to 12 hours14 days500 mg

* One kilogram is approximately 2.2 pounds (lb).

Is Cipro used long term?

No, Cipro is usually a short-term treatment. Depending on the type of infection you’re taking Cipro to treat, you may take it for up to 60 days.

Dosage adjustments

Cipro is primarily removed from your body by your kidneys. If you have kidney disease, your doctor may lower your dose or increase the amount of time between doses.

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Cipro’s dosage.

How many days will I take my Cipro dose for a UTI? Is there a 3-day dosing schedule?

Cipro is usually prescribed for 7 to 14 days to treat a urinary tract infection (UTI).

For some adult females* who have an uncomplicated† bladder infection caused by certain bacteria, Cipro may be prescribed for only 3 days. But Cipro is prescribed for bladder infections only when no other treatment options are available. See the “Boxed warnings” section above for details.

When deciding how long you should take Cipro to treat your UTI, your doctor will consider:

  • the severity of your infection
  • the infection’s location
  • the type of bacteria causing the UTI
  • your sex assigned at birth

Children with a kidney infection or complicated UTI will take Cipro for 10 to 21 days.

* In this article, we use the term “female” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.
† “Uncomplicated” in this case refers to a bladder infection in an otherwise healthy female who isn’t at high risk of having a UTI.

Is the pediatric dosage of Cipro based on body weight?

Yes, the dosage of Cipro for children is based on body weight up to a maximum dosage. The dosage also depends on the kind of infection being treated.

Your child’s doctor will calculate their dose. If the calculated dose is higher than the maximum dose, your child’s doctor will prescribe the maximum dose.

If you have questions about your child’s Cipro dosage, talk with their doctor.

The dosage of Cipro you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the infection you’re taking the drug to treat
  • the type of bacteria causing the infection, if known
  • your age and weight
  • how well your kidneys work (see “Dosage adjustments” just above)

Cipro tablets and liquid suspension (a type of liquid mixture) are both swallowed.

You can take either form with or without food. However, you should not take Cipro with dairy products (such as milk or yogurt) or calcium-fortified juices, unless those foods are part of a larger meal. Taking Cipro with foods high in calcium decreases the amount of Cipro released into your body.

If you’re taking Cipro tablets, you may split them in half. But do not crush or chew the tablets. If you have trouble swallowing tablets, you can see this article for tips on how to take them. You can also talk with your doctor to check whether another form of Cipro might be an option for you.

If you’re prescribed the liquid suspension, your pharmacist will prepare it for you at the pharmacy. It consists of Cipro microcapsules in a liquid.

Before taking each dose of Cipro liquid suspension, shake the container well for approximately 15 seconds. Use the teaspoon provided to measure your dose. You should swallow the Cipro liquid suspension whole. Do not chew on the microcapsules, as this may release the medication too quickly and increase your risk of side effects.

For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Cipro, see this article.

Accessible drug containers and labels

If you find it hard to read the prescription label on your medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:

  • have large print or use braille
  • feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio

Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.

If you have trouble opening medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to supply Cipro in an easy-open container. They may also have tips to help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.

If you miss a dose of Cipro, take it as soon as you remember. But you should not take the missed dose if you’re within 6 hours of your next scheduled dose.

If your next scheduled dose is within 6 hours, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at its regularly scheduled time. Then continue taking Cipro as prescribed by your doctor. You should not take a double dose of Cipro to make up for a missed dose. Doing so may increase your risk of side effects.

You can talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re unsure when to take Cipro after missing a dose or have other questions. And if you need help remembering to take your dose of Cipro on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.

Do not take more Cipro than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to serious side effects, such as kidney failure.

What to do in case you take too much Cipro

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Cipro. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.

The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Cipro for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. They’ll also specify the form of Cipro that’s most appropriate.

Remember, you should not change your dosage of Cipro without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Cipro exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.

Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Should my dosage change if I have taken Cipro recently for another infection?
  • How do I measure the correct amount of Cipro liquid suspension for my child?
  • If I still have symptoms from my infection, should I increase my dosage?

To learn more about Cipro, see these articles:

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.