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What should I know about ciprofloxacin HCl before taking it?

Oral ciprofloxacin should be taken two hours before or six hours after taking any antacid that has magnesium, aluminum or calcium. It can be taken two hours before or six hours after sucralfate, didanosine or any vitamins and supplements that contain iron, zinc or calcium. Some of these may bind to ciprofloxacin and prevent absorption, thus reducing its effectiveness. Ciprofloxacin tablets should be taken whole and never crushed or chewed. Do not stop taking it until all tablets are taken even if you begin feeling better. Stopping your medication early can result in your infection not being cured. Also, missing doses can also decrease the effectiveness of the treatment and make the bacteria more resistant in the future. However, do not take more than two doses per day, even if you miss a dose.
Make sure that your doctor knows if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding, since the risks are not known to women or to a fetus or nursing child. If you have ever had a seizure disorder, asthma, liver problems or kidney problems, tell your doctor before taking this medication. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. This drug may make your skin more sensitive to light and prone to sunburn. This drug has been linked to a nerve condition called peripheral neuropathy. If you develop any nerve symptoms, such as numbness or weakness, tell your doctor right away. Convulsions and other central nervous system side effects have also been reported with this drug. Because of these and other side effects, the FDA recommends that ciprofloxacin and similar antibiotics be used for common infections (like sinusitis, bronchitis and uncomplicated urinary tract infections) only when there are no other treatment options. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.