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What Is a Ciprofloxacin Allergy?

Andrew Kirmayer
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Ciprofloxacin is a common medication used to treat bacterial infections. Many bacteria, causing conditions ranging from urinary infections to Anthrax can be killed using the antibiotic. The drug itself can be dangerous for anyone who has a ciprofloxacin allergy. There are a number of signs that somebody might have an allergy to it, including a rash and a number of possibly life-threatening ailments that could be fatal if not treated quickly. Any one of the drug’s side effects can be exacerbated by the presence of an allergy or treatment with other medications.

Allergies to antibiotics should be considered a reason to avoid taking this drug, as the associated risks and possible ciprofloxacin drug interactions could be magnified. A common sign of a ciprofloxacin allergy is if the user sees hives or swelling. Effects such as this usually occur on the face or throat, possibly interfering with breathing, and severe diarrhea and difficulty urinating also can indicate a severe reaction. The side effects of ciprofloxacin that are considered less dangerous may not be caused by an allergy. Nausea or vomiting, dizziness, nervousness, or blurriness in the eyes should still be reported to a doctor.

A true ciprofloxacin allergy can include itching, rashes and blisters on the skin. It can also affect the joints in painful ways and it might be impossible to move certain joints as a result of the allergy and side effects. Fainting, hallucinations, depression, and even seizures can result from a ciprofloxacin allergy as well.

To avoid allergic reactions to the antibiotic, it is important for patients to let a physician know information including known allergies to other medications. Allergies to other similar medicines could be a good indication that taking ciprofloxacin is not a good idea, and current medications should also be considered, including those given to treat heart rhythm disorders.

It is also important for a ciprofloxacin user to know the proper dosage prior to starting treatment. If the correct amount is taken and reactions occur, then it is considered to be an allergy and not an overdose, which can be highly dangerous and needs to be treated differently. Any ciprofloxacin allergy can progress very rapidly so patients who start to have reactions are advised to contact a doctor immediately. Physicians often conduct tests on patients prior to prescribing this medication, in order to see if any serious reaction could occur before the antibiotic is taken.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Andrew Kirmayer
By Andrew Kirmayer
Andrew Kirmayer, a freelance writer with his own online writing business, creates engaging content across various industries and disciplines. With a degree in Creative Writing, he is skilled at writing compelling articles, blogs, press releases, website content, web copy, and more, all with the goal of making the web a more informative and engaging place for all audiences.
Discussion Comments
By anon1004296 — On Jan 11, 2021

I took just one tablet in the moring at 10:00 am. I was supposed to take for three days. It was a business day I was driving and swet more and more, and took a liter of water to make my self cooler. My body rash - face, neck, arms from head to my knees in a splotchy red and within 30 minutes, my eyes started to burn and were becoming itchy.

Almost an hour after my first treatment i went back to the doctor, checked my blood pressure was drpoed so much, he tried to give injecton to correct the blodd pressure; but it went down too much whihc I couldn't control my self, and fented. fortuantely I took my face picture, which is in bad shape befroe I lost my self.

I heard they took me to bed, gave me glucose and some medecine in it. After an hour I become ok and left the hospital.


By anon995755 — On May 22, 2016

I am experiencing a prickly body rash - face, neck, torso back, arms from head to my knees in a splotchy red and spotted rash after completing my 10 days of cipro for diverticulitis.

Got to a Minute Clinic on Sunday and they gave me pill form of prednisone. I've been on it for two days and Benedryl every six hours. The rash has worsened during this time. I'm on a work trip, so leaving for home tomorrow to see my doctor. No other side effects for now..

By anon965813 — On Aug 14, 2014

I finished a 10 day course of Cipro for diverticulitis. Two days later I was covered in hives and itching from head to toe. It also has affected my breathing ( I do have asthma ) I have muscle and joint pain. This is week two and no end in sight. What to do?

I am now on my eighth day of Prednisone, which is helping, but I'm still experiencing some itching and hives and lots of breathing difficulties and pain. I was fine before the Cipro except, of course, for the diverticulitis. My asthma had been under great control before the Cipro.

By anon338435 — On Jun 13, 2013

I took just one tablet this afternoon and within 30 minutes, my eyes started to burn and were becoming itchy. I went to bed but was feeling uneasy, so I went to the bathroom, only to find out when I looked in the mirror that I had swollen eyes. I had baggy eyes all day and still am very itchy. I am now scared to take the second dose. Is this a severe allergy or a common side effect?

By SteamLouis — On May 03, 2013

I'm allergic to ciprofloxacin. I found out when I was prescribed it for an ear infection last summer. I broke out in hives soon after I took it.

By ddljohn — On May 03, 2013

@burcinc-- Is diarrhea the only symptom you're experiencing?

If so, I wouldn't worry about it. I get diarrhea from antibiotics all the time. It's considered a common symptom unless it's so severe that you're getting dehydrated and if you have additional symptoms like vomiting, rash, itching, difficulty breathing and so forth.

Antibiotics cause diarrhea and other gastro-intestinal side effects because it upsets the bacterial flora in the stomach and intestines. I suggest taking a probiotic supplement (or eating lots of yogurt) while on antibiotics to prevent this.

Usually diarrhea, vomiting and nausea are signs of sensitivity or intolerance to medications. An allergy will cause hives, itching and difficulty breathing.

I'm not an expert though, so if you're not sure, please call a pharmacist to double check.

By burcinc — On May 02, 2013

I'm on a seven day course of ciprofloxacin. After the second day, I started getting diarrhea and I'm on the fourth day now.

Is this an allergy? I can't reach my doctor and he told me to finish the entire course. I don't know what to do.

Andrew Kirmayer
Andrew Kirmayer
Andrew Kirmayer, a freelance writer with his own online writing business, creates engaging content across various...
Learn more
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