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Ciprodex Prescribing Information

Ciprodex is a brand name for a prescription medication that contains two active ingredients: ciprofloxacin and dexamethasone. It is primarily used as a treatment for ear infections. Ciprodex is typically available in the form of eardrops.

Ciprodex ear drops

Uses of Ciprodex

Ciprodex is primarily used for the treatment of ear infections, specifically in cases where the infection is bacterial in nature. Here are the main uses:

  • Acute Otitis Media: This refers to a middle ear infection, often seen in children. Medicament can be prescribed when the infection is caused by bacteria and is not improving on its own.
  • Otitis Externa (Swimmer's Ear): This is an infection of the outer ear and ear canal, often caused by moisture accumulation. Ciprodex can help treat bacterial infections in the ear canal.

Ciprodex contains both an antibiotic (ciprofloxacin) and a corticosteroid (dexamethasone), which work together to address the infection and reduce inflammation, respectively. The antibiotic component kills or inhibits the growth of bacteria causing the infection, while the corticosteroid component helps reduce pain, swelling, and discomfort associated with the infection.


The dosage of Ciprodex can vary based on the specific type and severity of the ear infection, the age of the patient, and the prescribing doctor's recommendations. It's important to follow your doctor's instructions exactly and use the medication as prescribed. Below are general guidelines for the dosage of Ciprodex ear drops:

For Acute Otitis Media (Middle Ear Infection) Dosage:

  • Adults and children 6 months of age and older: The usual dosage is 4 drops of Ciprodex into the affected ear(s) twice a day for 7 days.

For Otitis Externa (Outer Ear Infection or Swimmer's Ear) Dosage:

  • Adults and children 6 months of age and older: The usual dosage is 4 drops of remedy into the affected ear(s) twice a day for 7 days.

It's important to note that the dosage may differ for certain individuals or situations. Always use the medication for the entire prescribed duration, even if your symptoms improve before the treatment period is over. If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember, unless it's close to the time for the next dose. Do not double up on doses to make up for a missed one.

Side Effects of Ciprodex

Ciprodex can have potential side effects. Not everyone who uses ear drops will experience these side effects, and some individuals may experience them to varying degrees of severity. Common side effects of this ear drops may include:

  • Ear Discomfort: Some individuals may experience temporary discomfort, burning, or itching in the ear after using the drops.
  • Headache: Headaches can occasionally occur as a side effect.
  • Ear Irritation: Redness, swelling, or irritation of the ear can sometimes occur.
  • Taste Changes: Some people may notice a metallic taste in the mouth after using the ear drops due to the medication reaching the mouth through the ear canal.
  • Rash: Skin reactions, such as a rash, can occur in rare cases, especially if the medication comes into contact with the skin.
  • Nausea: Nausea is a potential side effect, although it is less common.
  • Dizziness: Some individuals may experience dizziness or a feeling of unsteadiness.
  • Allergic Reactions: While rare, severe allergic reactions to Ciprodex can occur. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience symptoms such as swelling of the face, lips, or tongue, severe itching, difficulty breathing, or a rash accompanied by fever.
  • Hearing Changes: Though rare, there have been reports of changes in hearing, including hearing loss, associated with the use of ear drops containing antibiotics. If you notice any changes in your hearing, inform your doctor.

It's important to note that corticosteroids like dexamethasone, which is present in Ciprodex, can have their own set of potential side effects, particularly if used for prolonged periods or in higher doses. These can include increased risk of infections, changes in mood, increased blood pressure, and more.

Interaction with other drugs

Ciprodex ear drops can interact with other medications, supplements, or substances. Here are a few examples of potential interactions:

  • Other Ear Drops: Using multiple types of ear drops at the same time can dilute the effect of each medication and potentially reduce their effectiveness. If you are using other ear medications, discuss this with your doctor before starting Ciprodex.
  • Oral Corticosteroids: Using oral corticosteroids while using Ciprodex could increase the risk of corticosteroid-related side effects. Your doctor will consider this when prescribing medications.
  • Other Medications That Affect Hearing or Balance: Certain medications that affect hearing or balance might interact with Ciprodex, potentially increasing the risk of hearing-related side effects.
  • Warfarin: Warfarin is an anticoagulant (blood thinner). There is a theoretical risk of increased bleeding if taken with corticosteroids like dexamethasone. Your doctor might monitor your blood clotting more closely if you are on both medications.
  • Medications That Affect Liver Enzymes: Ciprofloxacin can affect liver enzymes that metabolize other drugs. If you are taking medications that are metabolized by these enzymes, such as certain blood pressure medications, anticoagulants, or anti-arrhythmics, your doctor might need to adjust the dosages.
  • Antacids and Multivitamins: Taking antacids or multivitamins containing aluminum, calcium, or magnesium can interfere with the absorption of ciprofloxacin. If you are taking any of these, your doctor might recommend taking them at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after using Ciprodex.

What to avoid while on Ciprodex

While using Ciprodex ear drops, there are certain things you should avoid or be cautious about to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the medication. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Other Ear Medications: Avoid using other ear drops or medications in the same ear without consulting your doctor. Using multiple ear medications simultaneously can affect their effectiveness and increase the risk of side effects.
  • Alcohol: While there isn't a known direct interaction between alcohol and Ciprodex ear drops, it's generally a good idea to avoid excessive alcohol consumption, especially if you're dealing with an ear infection. Alcohol can suppress the immune system and may interfere with your body's ability to fight off the infection.
  • Ear Hygiene: While using Ciprodex, it's important to maintain good ear hygiene. Avoid inserting objects into the ear canal, as this can potentially worsen the infection or damage the delicate structures of the ear.
  • Contact with Eyes and Mouth: Medicine is formulated for use in the ears only. Avoid getting the medication in your eyes, mouth, or any other mucous membranes. If contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Antacids and Multivitamins: If you're taking antacids or multivitamins containing aluminum, calcium, or magnesium, try to take them at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after using Ciprodex. These substances can interfere with the absorption of ciprofloxacin.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: While Ciprodex is applied to the ears and not expected to cause systemic effects like drowsiness, if you experience dizziness or other unusual symptoms after using the ear drops, it's best to avoid activities that require focus, such as driving or operating machinery, until you feel comfortable.

Contraindications of Ciprodex

Contraindications are specific situations or conditions in which a medication should not be used due to the potential risks outweighing the benefits. While ear drops are generally safe and effective for treating certain ear infections, there are some contraindications and precautions to consider. Here are a few situations in which Ciprodex should be avoided:

  • Hypersensitivity or Allergic Reaction: If you have a known hypersensitivity or allergy to ciprofloxacin, dexamethasone, or any other ingredients in Ciprodex, you should not use this medication.
  • Viral Infections: Medicine is specifically designed to treat bacterial infections. It should not be used to treat viral infections of the ear, as it will not be effective against viruses.
  • Tympanic Membrane Perforation: If the eardrum (tympanic membrane) is perforated (has a hole or tear), the use of Ciprodex may not be appropriate. The medication could potentially flow into the middle ear, leading to adverse effects.
  • Tuberculosis: Ciprodex should not be used in cases of tuberculosis (TB) of the ear.
  • Fungal Infections: Fungal infections of the ear require specific antifungal treatments and should not be treated with Ciprodex.
  • Underlying Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or immunodeficiency disorders, might require extra caution when using Ciprodex.
  • Children: While Ciprodex is generally considered safe for use in children, dosage adjustments and special considerations might be necessary. Follow your pediatrician's guidance.

Pregnancy and Ciprodex

The use of Ciprodex ear drops during pregnancy should be approached with caution. Here are a few considerations:

  • Local Treatment: One advantage of Ciprodex is that it's administered as ear drops, which means it's applied directly to the ear and doesn't enter the bloodstream at the same levels as oral medications. This localized application might reduce the systemic exposure to the medication, potentially lowering the risk to the developing fetus.
  • Breastfeeding Considerations: If you are breastfeeding, it's important to discuss the use of Ciprofloxacin and Dexamethasone with your doctor. While the systemic absorption of the medication through ear drops is likely low, it's still important to ensure the safety of your baby.
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