Common brand names: Cipro, Floxin
Related drug: Ofloxacin
Description: Ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin are members of the quinolone class of antibiotics and are used in medicine to treat infections of the urinary, intestinal and lower respiratory tracts, plus infections of the skin, bones and joints.
Dental uses: Ciprofloxacin is not commonly employed to treat dental infections, although its use among dentists is rising, especially among periodontists for various periodontal infections. Rare dental infections caused by the Pseudomonas species of bacteria are effectively treated by ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin.
Dosages for dental purposes: The typical adult dose of ciprofloxacin is 500 milligrams to 750 milligrams every 12 hours for seven to 10 days. Ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin (like tetracyclines) should not be ingested with dairy products (milk, yogurt), antacids (Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta, Pepto-Bismol), or iron and zinc supplements, because these products greatly inhibit the absorption of the drugs from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream.
Concerns and possible side effects: Nausea occurs more frequently with ciprofloxacin than penicillin VK. Other side effects include occasional diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness and rash. Also severe sunburn (photosensitivity) can occur in up to 1 percent of patients prescribed this drug (or any quinolone) if adequate measures of sun protection, including avoiding prolonged sun exposure and using sunscreens, are not undertaken. In patients taking the asthma drug theophylline (Theodur), ciprofloxacin and other quinolones may increase theophylline blood levels and toxicity. This interaction is potentially serious and life threatening. It is imperative to inform your dentist of all medications you are currently taking to avoid serious drug interactions.