During clinical investigations with oral and parenteral ciprofloxacin, 49,038 patients received courses of the drug.
The most frequently reported adverse reactions, from clinical trials of all formulations, all dosages, all drug-therapy durations, and for all indications of ciprofloxacin therapy were nausea (2.5%), diarrhea (1.6%), liver function tests abnormal (1.3%), vomiting (1%), and rash (1%).
|System Organ Class||Adverse Reactions|
Body as a Whole
Central Nervous System
Seizures (including Status Epilepticus)
Depression (potentially culminating in self-injurious behavior
(such as suicidal ideations/thoughts and attempted or completed suicide)
Anaphylactic Reactions including life-threatening anaphylactic shock
Erythema Multiforme/Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis
Disturbed Vision (chromatopsia and photopsia)
Decreased Visual Acuity
In randomized, double-blind controlled clinical trials comparing ciprofloxacin tablets [500 mg two times daily (BID)] to cefuroxime axetil (250 mg–500 mg BID) and to clarithromycin (500 mg BID) in patients with respiratory tract infections, ciprofloxacin demonstrated a CNS adverse reaction profile comparable to the control drugs.
Short (6 weeks) and long term (1 year) musculoskeletal and neurological safety of oral/intravenous ciprofloxacin, was compared to a cephalosporin for treatment of cUTI or pyelonephritis in pediatric patients 1 to 17 years of age (mean age of 6 ± 4 years) in an international multicenter trial. The duration of therapy was 10 to 21 days (mean duration of treatment was 11 days with a range of 1 to 88 days). A total of 335 ciprofloxacin- and 349 comparator-treated patients were enrolled.
An Independent Pediatric Safety Committee (IPSC) reviewed all cases of musculoskeletal adverse reactions including abnormal gait or abnormal joint exam (baseline or treatment-emergent). Within 6 weeks of treatment initiation, the rates of musculoskeletal adverse reactions were 9.3% (31/335) in the ciprofloxacin-treated group versus 6% (21/349) in comparator-treated patients. All musculoskeletal adverse reactions occurring by 6 weeks resolved (clinical resolution of signs and symptoms), usually within 30 days of end of treatment. Radiological evaluations were not routinely used to confirm resolution of the adverse reactions. Ciprofloxacin-treated patients were more likely to report more than one adverse reaction and on more than one occasion compared to control patients. The rate of musculoskeletal adverse reactions was consistently higher in the ciprofloxacin group compared to the control group across all age subgroups. At the end of 1 year, the rate of these adverse reactions reported at any time during that period was 13.7% (46/335) in the ciprofloxacin-treated group versus 9.5% (33/349) in the comparator-treated patients (Table 6).
|All Patients (within 6 weeks)||31/335 (9.3%)||21/349 (6%)|
|95% Confidence Interval 2||(-0.8%, +7.2%)|
|12 months < 24 months||1/36 (2.8%)||0/41|
|2 years < 6 years||5/124 (4%)||3/118 (2.5%)|
|6 years < 12 years||18/143 (12.6%)||12/153 (7.8%)|
|12 years to 17 years||7/32 (21.9%)||6/37 (16.2 %)|
|All Patients (within 1 year)||46/335 (13.7%)||33/349 (9.5%)|
|95% Confidence Interval 1||(-0.6%, + 9.1%)|
1. Included: arthralgia, abnormal gait, abnormal joint exam, joint sprains, leg pain, back pain, arthrosis, bone pain, pain, myalgia, arm pain, and decreased range of motion in a joint (knee, elbow, ankle, hip, wrist, and shoulder)
2. The study was designed to demonstrate that the arthropathy rate for the ciprofloxacin group did not exceed that of the control group by more than + 6%. At both the 6 week and 1 year evaluations, the 95% confidence interval indicated that it could not be concluded that the ciprofloxacin group had findings comparable to the control group.
The incidence rates of neurological adverse reactions within 6 weeks of treatment initiation were 3% (9/335) in the ciprofloxacin group versus 2% (7/349) in the comparator group and included dizziness, nervousness, insomnia, and somnolence.
In this trial, the overall incidence rates of adverse reactions within 6 weeks of treatment initiation were 41% (138/335) in the ciprofloxacin group versus 31% (109/349) in the comparator group. The most frequent adverse reactions were gastrointestinal: 15% (50/335) of ciprofloxacin patients compared to 9% (31/349) of comparator patients. Serious adverse reactions were seen in 7.5% (25/335) of ciprofloxacin-treated patients compared to 5.7% (20/349) of control patients. Discontinuation of drug due to an adverse reaction was observed in 3% (10/335) of ciprofloxacin -treated patients versus 1.4% (5/349) of comparator patients. Other adverse reactions that occurred in at least 1% of ciprofloxacin patients were diarrhea 4.8%, vomiting 4.8%, abdominal pain 3.3%, dyspepsia 2.7%, nausea 2.7%, fever 2.1%, asthma 1.8% and rash 1.8%.
Short-term safety data for ciprofloxacin was also collected in a randomized, double-blind clinical trial for the treatment of acute pulmonary exacerbations in cystic fibrosis patients (ages 5–17 years). Sixty seven patients received CIPRO IV 10 mg/kg/dose every 8 hours for one week followed by ciprofloxacin tablets 20 mg/kg/dose every 12 hours to complete 10–21 days treatment and 62 patients received the combination of ceftazidime intravenous 50 mg/kg/dose every 8 hours and tobramycin intravenous 3 mg/kg/dose every 8 hours for a total of 10–21 days. Periodic musculoskeletal assessments were conducted by treatment-blinded examiners. Patients were followed for an average of 23 days after completing treatment (range 0–93 days). Musculoskeletal adverse reactions were reported in 22% of the patients in the ciprofloxacin group and 21% in the comparison group. Decreased range of motion was reported in 12% of the subjects in the ciprofloxacin group and 16% in the comparison group. Arthralgia was reported in 10% of the patients in the ciprofloxacin group and 11% in the comparison group. Other adverse reactions were similar in nature and frequency between treatment arms. The efficacy of ciprofloxacin for the treatment of acute pulmonary exacerbations in pediatric cystic fibrosis patients has not been established.
In addition to the adverse reactions reported in pediatric patients in clinical trials, it should be expected that adverse reactions reported in adults during clinical trials or postmarketing experience may also occur in pediatric patients.
The following adverse reactions have been reported from worldwide marketing experience with fluoroquinolones, including ciprofloxacin. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure (Table 7).
System Organ Class
Torsade de Pointes
Vasculitis and ventricular arrhythmia
Central Nervous System
Exacerbation of myasthenia gravis
Pancytopenia (life threatening or fatal outcome)
Hepatic failure (including fatal cases)
Infections and Infestations
Candidiasis (oral, gastrointestinal, vaginal)
Prothrombin time prolongation or decrease
Cholesterol elevation (serum)
Potassium elevation (serum)
Acute generalize exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP)
Serum sickness-like reaction
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