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Cipro Side Effects

Cipro is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that has the ability to cause widespread devastation to every organ in the body by changing the DNA of your cells. The way this process occurs is due to the fluoride content of the antibiotic allowing penetration deep into cells and the central nervous system. Chelation of important minerals like magnesium and iron from cells occur, thus ensuing toxic aldehyde formation, peroxynitrites, free radical damage, and ultimately cell death. This mitochondrial dysfunction leads to oxidative stress within the organelle, leading to accumulation of mitochondria DNA mutations, increased production of superoxide (free radicals) and a vicious cycle of oxidative stress. The DNA mutations further deteriorate mitochondrial function.

The FDA placed a strong black box warning in 2016 warning the public about the dangers but that has not stopped millions of prescriptions being administered since. These warnings include permanent neuropathy, tendon rupture, and muscle fatigue. They fail to mention the onslaught of countless symptoms experienced by millions across the world over the last 30 years. In a published study, mice treated with Ciprofoxacin had lower grip strengths, reduced balance, and depressive behavior compared with the controls.

Dr. Ghalili has provided lectures around the world regarding the dangers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics with appropriate treatment options. Continue to learn more about cipro side effects that may be experienced, even using the prescribed dosage. 

What Are The Common Side Effects Of Cipro?

Ciprofloxacin and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics can cause serious side effects including permanent nerve damage and antibiotic tendon rupture.

The following warning was released by the FDA against Fluoroquinolones including Ciprofloxacin:


  • Fluoroquinolones, including CIPRO®, have been associated with disabling and potentially irreversible serious adverse reactions that have occurred together including:
  • Tendinitis and tendon rupture
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Central nervous system effects

Discontinue CIPRO immediately and avoid the use of fluoroquinolones, including CIPRO, in patients who experience any of these serious adverse reactions

  • Fluoroquinolones, including CIPRO, may exacerbate muscle weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. Avoid CIPRO in patients with known history of myasthenia gravis.
  • Because fluoroquinolones, including CIPRO, have been associated with serious adverse reactions, reserve CIPRO for use in patients who have no alternative treatment options for the following indications:
    • Acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis
    • Acute uncomplicated cystitis
    • Acute sinusitis 

 The FDA black box warning fails to mention anxiety, brain fog, memory loss, suicidal thoughts, burning neuropathy, inability to walk, and severe muscle atrophy as side effects which are also quite common. Shortly after consuming fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Cipro, patients may feel more fatigue and tightness in their muscles. It is imperative not to exercise for at least 30 days after consuming Cipro. There is a period of up to one year where tendon rupture can occur. It is more common with steroids or ibuprofen exposure after the initial toxicity occurs. Here are additional side effects of Cipro:

Most Commonly Experienced Side Effects: 

  • Brain Fog
  • Muscle weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, Vomiting, and abdominal cramps

More side effects of ciprofloxacin include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Palpitations
  • Syncope
  • Nightmares
  • Manic reaction
  • Hallucinations
  • Depersonalization
  • Oral candidiasis
  • Arthralgia
  • Back pain 
  • Joint stiffness
  • Neck pain
  • Renal failure
  • Photosensitivity
  • Flushing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Blurry vision
  • Tinnitus
  • Restlessness
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Steven johnson syndrome
  • Vasculitis

Serious Ciprofloxacin Side Effects:

Ciprofloxacin can cause serious side effects. If you experience muscle atrophy, tendon weakness, depersonalization, memory loss, neuropathy, suicidal thoughts, diffuse pain, inability to walk, seeking help from a medical professional is recommended. The common administration of medications such as ibuprofen, steroids, or MRIs with gadolinium contrast may worsen your condition. Contact Regenerative Medicine LA to further explore less harmful treatment options.

A common side effect to watch for can be muscle tightness and feeling overall fatigue with tinnitus (ringing in the ear).

Stop taking ciprofloxacin immediately, if you are experiencing these adverse side effects:

  • Tendinitis or tendon rupture
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Palpitations
  • Syncope
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Oral candidiasis
  • Arthralgia
  • Effects to your nervous system
  • Joint stiffness
  • Renal failure
  • Blurry vision
  • Tinnitus
  • Steven johnson syndrome
  • Vasculitis

The FDA recommends patients discontinue Cipro at the first sign of skin rash, jaundice or any sign of hypersensitivity.

Cipro Dosage

Fluoroquinolones carry a Black Box Warning that is often ignored by the majority of medical professionals. The most frequently reported side effects with all dosages are muscle aches, brain fog, fatigue, achilles pain, nausea, diarrhea, and anxiety. 

Adult Dosage

Ciprofloxacin dosing for adults (black box warning recommends not taking this medication at all) is 500mg twice daily, ranging anywhere from 3 days for traveler’s diarrhea to 6 weeks for prostatitis.

Pediatric Dosage

Ciprofloxacin in children will more than likely cause permanent developmental damage. The Cipro dosage for children is not applicable, due to a black box warning issues by the FDA strongly advising against pediatric prescription. 

Elderly Dosage

The Black Box Warning states to not prescribe fluoroquinolones for those over the age of 65. The dosage amount remains in the range of 250mg-750mg, typically prescribed at 500mg. However, ciprofloxacin in the elderly is very likely to lead to serious adverse cipro side effects.   


In the event of a ciprofloxacin overdose occurs, side effects can include death, neuropathy, brain fog, muscle atrophy, suicidal thoughts, tendon pain, and widespread body damage. If you overdose on ciprofloxacin, immediately call a poison control center, use high doses of magnesium and Vitamin E to help prevent toxicity. 

Any dosage of Ciprofloxacin can be overdosage and potentially lead to lethal side effects as these drugs have a cumulative effect on the body. For some the toxicity occurs immediately and for others it may require multiple pills.

When Should I Stop Taking Cipro?

You should stop taking Cipro immediately, as many prescriptions for ciprofloxacin are written without documented evidence of a bacterial infection. Speak with your doctor about alternatives prior to starting Cipro and only use Cipro in life or death situations. 

If you are experiencing negative symptoms, consider stopping Ciprofloxacin immediately and speaking to your doctor about alternative methods to Cipro.  

Stop taking Cipro and call a doctor well-versed on treating Cipro side effects if you have:

  • Neurological disturbances: suicidal thoughts, brain fog, memory loss, burning pain, neuropathy, anxiety, panic attacks, ringing in the ears.
  • Musculoskeletal pain: inability to walk or contract leg muscles, fasciculations, tight muscles, tearing of muscles, severe weakness. 

Cipro Side Effects In Ederly: Risk of Aortic Dissection and Retinal Detachment

Epidemiologic studies report a significantly increased risk of aortic dissection within 60 days of fluoroquinolone exposure, especially in the elderly population. The same way fluoroquinolones degrade collagen, the wall of the aorta can easily rupture as well. 

Retinal Detachment is also common in the elderly after Cipro exposure due to the same mechanism leading to permanent blindness. 

How to Avoid Cipro Toxicity

Cipro Toxicity Syndrome has been successfully in thousands of patients through a functional medicine approach. Patients must have their whole body assessed with a detailed history and physical examination performed. Cipro Toxicity treatment includes a customized approach based on labs, genetic data, and the amount of Cipro ingested. Very commonly, dual toxicities occur with other medications like steroids or ibuprofen which must be taken into account. Nutritional IV therapies, lifestyle changes, and supplement recommendations may be beneficial to healing Cipro Toxicity.

Cipro Side Effects: The Recovery Process

Fluoroquinolone toxicity treatment requires a customized approach unique to each individual. We must remember that fluoroquinolones chelate magnesium and iron out of cells leading to epigenetic changes within the mitochondria. Magnesium is very important in the early phases of the toxicity. Patients will need to avoid meat at all costs because any exposure to steroids, hormones, or antibiotics may cause a severe relapse. All fluoridated compounds must be avoided at all costs due to severe worsening of the toxicity. Treatment all boils down to correcting free radical damage, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial DNA damage.

If you think you may have fluoroquinolone toxicity, we are the world’s leading center for treatment and have been featured on The Doctors TV Show where we treated the host Dr. Andrew Ordon helping him make a full recovery from Levaquin toxicity

Cipro Side Effects FAQ

How does one recover from cipro side effects?

The toxicity is very complex in many patients but requires an in depth history and physical exam with a functional medicine doctor, lab & hormonal testing, Many times nutrient deficiencies like magnesium exist which need to be repleted safely on an intracellular level. Treatment is customized towards rebuilding mitochondrial health which is damaged by free radicals and oxidative stress.

How long do cipro side effects last?

Cipro side effects can last anywhere from weeks, months, to years. There are thousands of documented reported cases that are permanent. Sometimes the effects are mild, but they can linger for years. Many symptoms are never associated with using cipro such as chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia which can last permanently.

When do cipro side effects start to appear?

Cipro side effects can appear immediately upon the first dose or up to 90 days after discontinuation of cipro.

Is lower back pain a side effect from cipro toxicity? Should I be worried?

Lower back pain is a symptom of cipro toxicity. Technically, any muscle or tendon can be involved. The legs are affected more frequently, however if a patient has an underlying back injury, cipro toxicity can re-exacerbate symptoms.

Is there a certain dosage that causes cipro side effects? How much is too much?

Cipro side effects are not dose dependent, patients may experience severe side effects with just one 500mg pill. Any amount of Cipro is too much because doctor’s don’t prescribe it for the correct reason. Make sure your doctor performs a bacterial culture for your condition prior to beginning Cipro.