If you think you might have a urinary tract infection (UTI), you’re probably wondering about possible treatments. One drug your doctor may recommend for your UTI is called Cipro. It’s an antibiotic, which means it’s used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Cipro is often used to treat UTIs. With this article, we’ll tell you what to expect from treatment with Cipro.

If your doctor prescribes Cipro for your UTI, you’ll likely take the drug at home. You’ll take it by mouth as either a tablet or liquid suspension. Typically, treatment lasts 3 to 14 days.

As with all antibiotics, you should take Cipro exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Be sure to take the entire course of treatment, even if you start to feel better. Never stop treatment early. If you do, the infection could return, and it could get worse. Also, be sure to drink plenty of fluids during your treatment. This can help flush bacteria out of your urinary tract.

Cipro is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s also available as the generic drug ciprofloxacin. Cipro belongs to a group of drugs called fluoroquinolones, which are antibiotics.

Cipro comes in several forms, including the oral tablet and liquid suspension. It works by damaging bacterial cells that are commonly found in the urinary tract. Cipro blocks the enzymes needed for the growth and repair of these cells.

Side effects

The more common side effects of Cipro can include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • changes in the results of liver function tests (can be a sign of liver damage)
  • rash

In some cases, Cipro can cause serious side effects. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

  • Tendon rupture (tear) or swelling of the tendon. Tendons are cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Symptoms of these tendon problems often occur in the ankle, knee, or elbow and can include:
    • pain
    • swelling
  • Serious allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:
    • hives or rash
    • trouble breathing
    • trouble swallowing
    • swelling of your lips, tongue, or face
    • throat tightness
    • rapid heart rate
  • Liver damage. Symptoms can include:
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • pain in your abdomen
    • fever
    • dark urine
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
  • Changes in your mood or behavior. Symptoms can include:
    • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real)
    • restlessness
    • trouble sleeping
    • feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Intestinal infection. Symptoms can include:
    • diarrhea that’s watery or that doesn’t go away
    • bloody stools
    • stomach cramps
    • fever
  • Changes in sensation (feeling). Symptoms can occur in areas such as your arms, hands, legs, or feet and can include:
    • pain
    • burning
    • tingling
    • numbness
    • weakness
  • Seizures or tremors

Drug interactions

An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. To help your doctor prevent interactions, be sure to tell them about all medications, vitamins, and herbs you’re taking.

Many drugs can interact with Cipro. Be sure to ask your doctor for a full list. Examples of drugs that can interact with Cipro include:

  • tizanidine
  • theophylline
  • tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and imipramine
  • antiarrhythmic drugs such as quinidine, procainamide, amiodarone, and sotalol
  • drugs that prolong the QT interval
  • duloxetine
  • warfarin
  • diabetes drugs such as glyburide and glimepiride
  • phenytoin
  • methotrexate
  • cyclosporine
  • ropinirole
  • clozapine

Conditions of concern

Cipro may not be a safe choice if you have certain health conditions. These conditions include:

  • myasthenia gravis
  • history or risk of seizures

If you have either of these conditions, talk with your doctor about whether Cipro is a good option for you. Always review your full health history with your doctor before you receive any treatment.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Cipro is a category C pregnancy drug. If you’re pregnant, talk with your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you.

Cipro can be passed to a child through breast milk. If you’re breastfeeding, talk with your doctor about whether you should stop breastfeeding or if you should take a different drug for your UTI.

Most often, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria. A UTI can occur anywhere in your urinary tract. This includes your kidneys, bladder, or urethra (the tube that carries urine from your bladder out of your body).

The bacteria that cause a UTI can come from your skin or your rectum. These germs travel into your body through your urethra. If they move into your bladder, the infection is called cystitis. Women are at higher risk of UTIs than men are. This is because a woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s, which makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder.

UTI symptoms

The more common symptoms of a UTI can include:

  • frequent urination
  • pain or burning during urination
  • feeling the urge to urinate even if your bladder is empty
  • cloudy or bloody urine
  • a low fever between 98.7°F and 101°F (37.05°C and 38.3°C)
  • pressure or cramping in your lower abdomen

In some cases, the bacteria move from the bladder into the kidneys. This causes a much more serious infection called pyelonephritis (kidney infection). Symptoms of a kidney infection include:

  • pain in your lower back or flank (side of your body)
  • fever higher than 101°F (38.3°C)
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • severe confusion
  • chills

Call your doctor if you notice any symptoms of a UTI. If you have symptoms of a kidney infection, be sure to call your doctor right away.

When you see your doctor, they will likely order a urine test before treating you. This is because UTI symptoms can mimic symptoms caused by other problems. If the test results confirm that you have a UTI, your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic, such as Cipro.

Several antibiotics are available today that can be used to treat UTIs. Your doctor will prescribe one that’s a good fit for you based on several factors. These factors can include your health history and any other drugs you’re taking.

To find out more about Cipro, review this article with your doctor. Be sure to ask any questions you have. The more you know about Cipro and other drug options, the more comfortable you may feel about your treatment.