Ciprofloxacin and Hydrocortisone (Otic)

Known as a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone is used to treat bacterial infections of the outer ear canal.


Otitis externa is a common condition and is often referred to as swimmer's ear. When otitis externa occurs, the patient experiences a range of symptoms. Typically categorized by swelling, inflammation and pain, otitis externa affects the outer part of the ear canal. Unlike viral and fungal infections, otitis externa is caused by bacteria.

When abnormal amounts of bacteria builds up in the affected area, an infection can occur. In order to treat the infection, physicians tend to prescribe antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone. By killing the bacteria which is present and preventing it from spreading, ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone ensure that the infection is resolved quickly and that it doesn't worsen.

As a combination medicine, ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone contain two active ingredients and helps to relieve the symptoms associated with otitis externa, as well as resolving the infection itself. Whilst ciprofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, hydrocortisone is actually a corticosteroid. Ciprofloxacin is used to target the bacteria in the outer ear, hydrocortisone is used to reduce swelling, inflammation and redness in the affected area.

Once the bacteria have been killed, the patient's body will be rid of the infection and the symptoms will cease completely. In the meantime, however, hydrocortisone will help to control the symptoms and minimize the pain and discomfort associated with a bacterial ear infection.

As ear infections are fairly common, ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone is prescribed to numerous patients each year. In most cases, the active ingredients take effect quickly and provide fast relief from the symptoms of the infection. As the medication is known to be highly effective in treating otitis externa, it is often the first-choice medicine and is likely to be used in the treatment of bacterial ear infections for the foreseeable future.

Conditions Treated

  • Otits externa (bacterial ear infections)

Type of Medicine

  • Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic
  • Corticosteroid

Side Effects

When patients take any type of medicine, it is possible for side effects to occur. Even over-the-counter medications can cause side effects in some instances. In most cases, however, patients experience minimal or minor side effects when using ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone to treat a bacterial ear infection.

When using this medication, patients may sometimes experience side effects, such as coughing, headaches and/or thinning of the hair. For most patients, however, these side effects are fairly mild and do not usually require medical attention.

There are some side effects which can require medical intervention and patients should consult their physician if they suffer from any of the following whilst using ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone:

  • style="font-weight: 400;">Rash on the skin
  • Swelling
  • Itches
  • Crusting and/or blistering of the skin
  • Welts or hives
  • Scaly, dry and/or cracked skin
  • Numbness, burning, prickling, crawling or 'Ĺ“pins and needles'type sensations

Although these side-effects are fairly rare, patients should seek medical advice if they develop any of these symptoms when using ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone. Similarly, if patients suffer from any other side effects or notice that they are severe, they should seek medical help.

If patients choose to, they can also report additional side effects to the Food and Drug Administration. By calling 1-800-FDA-1088, patients can report side effects they've experienced while using ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone and this information will be used to increase awareness of the effects of the medication.


When patients are prescribed medication, their dose will always reflect the severity of their condition, their clinical presentation and their medical history. Physicians will, therefore, give each patient advice regarding the dose of ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone they should use and the frequency with which they should apply the medication.

Often, a standard dose of ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone is three drops of medication in the affected ear twice per day. Although this is a typical dose of ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone, patients should always follow the treatment instructions set out by their doctor.

When using ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone, it's important that patients follow the relevant instructions. In most cases, ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone are used as a topical treatment when being used to resolve a bacterial inner ear infection. This means that they are required to administer drops into their ear, rather than take any oral medications.

Before administering the medication, patients should wash their hands thoroughly as this helps to prevent any other bacteria from entering the ear. In most cases, patients should then hold the bottle of medication in their hands for one to two minutes. This helps to warm up the ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone solution. As patients can become dizzy if they administer cold liquid, this can help to prevent side effects occurring.

When administering ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone solution, it's important that the applicator does not come into contact with other surfaces and doesn't touch the ear itself. This helps to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.

Following this, patients are normally advised to shake the bottle of ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone and lie on their side, with the affected ear facing up. Patients can then place the drops of medication into the ear and should remain on their side for a minute. This enables the ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone solution to reach all affected areas within the outer ear canal.

When patients have finished administering the medicine to one or both ears, they should reseal the container and place it in a secure location, so that no-one else has access to their medication. In order to avoid spreading the infection, patients should wash their hands after each application.

As ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone tend to take effect fairly quickly, patients may notice an improvement in their symptoms within a few days of starting the treatment. They should use the medication for as long as their doctor has advised to them do so, even if they believe the infection has been resolved. If patients stop using the ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone too quickly, their infection may come back and it could also increase the chance of antibiotic resistance occurring.

When using prescription medication, it's important that patients adhere to the dosing schedule they've been given. If they miss a dose, however, patients should administer the medication as soon as they remember to do so. If the next dose of ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone is almost due, however, patients will need to avoid the missed dose completely and carry on with their treatment schedule.

If patients are unsure how to use the medication or when to administer it, they should seek help from their doctor or pharmacist.

Major Drug Interactions

Although patients can take many drug combinations, some medications should not be used in conjunction with others. Generally, ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone is not prescribed alongside the following medications:

  • Agomelatine
  • Ziprasidone
  • Amifampridine
  • Tizanidine
  • Amisulpride
  • Thioridazine
  • Bepridil
  • Terfenadine
  • Cisapride
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Dronedarone
  • Saquinavir
  • Flibanserin
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  • Mesoridazine
  • Piperaquine
  • Pimozide

As the use of ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone is not normally recommended alongside the above medications, doctors may prescribe an alternative to patients who require treatment for a bacterial ear infection.

Similarly, the use of ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone is not normally recommended if patients are already taking any of the following medicines:

  • Acarbose
  • Buserelin
  • Acecainide
  • Bupropion
  • Aceclofenac
  • Bromfenac
  • Acemetacin
  • Bufexamac
  • Acetohexamide
  • Bretylium
  • Aldesleukin
  • Bosutinib
  • Alfuzosin
  • Benfluorex
  • Alogliptin
  • Bendamustine
  • Alosetron
  • Bemiparin
  • Amiodarone
  • Azithromycin
  • Amitriptyline
  • Azimilide
  • Amoxapine
  • Astemizole
  • Amtolmetin Guacil
  • Asenapine
  • Anagrelide
  • Artemether
  • Apomorphine
  • Arsenic Trioxide
  • Aripiprazole
  • Canagliflozin
  • Degarelix
  • Celecoxib
  • Dapagliflozin
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Dabrafenib
  • Chlorpropamide
  • Dasatinib
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  • Diflunisal
  • Choline Salicylate
  • Dexketoprofen
  • Cilostazol
  • Deslorelin
  • Citalopram
  • Delamanid
  • Clarithromycin
  • Desipramine
  • Clomipramine
  • Dexibuprofen
  • Clonixin
  • Diclofenac
  • Clozapine
  • Dofetilide
  • Conivaptan
  • Dipyrone
  • Crizotinib
  • Dolasetron
  • Cyclobenzaprine
  • Efavirenz
  • Disopyramide
  • Erythromycin
  • Domperidone
  • Etofenamate
  • Donepezil
  • Felbinac
  • Doxorubicin
  • Fenoprofen
  • Doxorubicin Hydrochloride Liposome
  • Fentanyl
  • Droperidol
  • Fepradinol
  • Droxicam
  • Exenatide
  • Eliglustat
  • Feprazone
  • Eltrombopag
  • Erlotinib
  • Fingolimod
  • Escitalopram
  • Glipizide
  • Etodolac
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Etoricoxib
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Flecainide
  • Gliclazide
  • Floctafenine
  • Gonadorelin
  • Fluconazole
  • Glyburide
  • Flufenamic Acid
  • Glimepiride
  • Fluoxetine
  • Gliquidone
  • Flurbiprofen
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Goserelin
  • Imipramine
  • Granisetron
  • Insulin Bovine
  • Halofantrine
  • Insulin Glargine, Recombinant
  • Insulin Lispro, Recombinant
  • Haloperidol
  • Insulin Aspart, Recombinant
  • Histrelin
  • Insulin Degludec
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Ibutilide
  • Ibuprofen
  • Ketoprofen
  • Ifosfamide
  • Ketorolac
  • Iloperidone
  • Insulin Glulisine
  • Ketoconazole
  • Leuprolide
  • Indomethacin
  • Lapatinib
  • Insulin
  • Linagliptin
  • Insulin Detemir
  • Meclofenamate
  • Levofloxacin
  • Morniflumate
  • Liraglutide
  • Miglitol
  • Lopinavir
  • Metronidazole
  • Lornoxicam
  • Moricizine
  • Loxoprofen
  • Meloxicam
  • Lumefantrine
  • Mefenamic Acid
  • Lumiracoxib
  • Mefloquine
  • Lurasidone
  • Nabumetone
  • Metformin
  • Nafarelin
  • Methadone
  • Nepafenac
  • Mifepristone
  • Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Nadroparin
  • Ofloxacin
  • Naloxegol
  • Pasireotide
  • Naproxen
  • Pazopanib
  • Nateglinide
  • Piketoprofen
  • Niflumic Acid
  • Pimavanserin
  • Nilotinib
  • Pioglitazone
  • Nimesulide
  • Pirfenidone
  • Norfloxacin
  • Phenylbutazone
  • Nortriptyline
  • Perflutren Lipid Microsphere
  • Octreotide
  • Parecoxib
  • Olaparib
  • Piroxicam
  • Ondansetron
  • Pitolisant
  • Oxaprozin
  • Panobinostat
  • Oxyphenbutazone
  • Pixantrone
  • Paliperidone
  • Quinine
  • Pomalidomide
  • Ranolazine
  • Posaconazole
  • Rasagiline
  • Repaglinide
  • Pramlintide
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Pranoprofen
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Procainamide
  • Rofecoxib
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Salmeterol
  • Proglumetacin
  • Quinidine
  • Promethazine
  • Quetiapine
  • Propafenone
  • Tasimelteon
  • Propyphenazone
  • Tenoxicam
  • Proquazone
  • Tetrabenazine
  • Protriptyline
  • Sulpiride
  • Salsalate
  • Tacrolimus
  • Saxagliptin
  • Sunitinib
  • Sematilide
  • Telavancin
  • Sevoflurane
  • Tedisamil
  • Simeprevir
  • Telithromycin
  • Simvastatin
  • Theophylline
  • Sitagliptin
  • Toremifene
  • Vildagliptin
  • Sodium Phosphate
  • Tiaprofenic Acid
  • Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
  • Sulindac
  • Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
  • Tolbutamide
  • Sodium Salicylate
  • Tolfenamic Acid
  • Solifenacin
  • Trimipramine
  • Sorafenib
  • Tolazamide
  • Sotalol
  • Tolmetin
  • Valdecoxib
  • Trazodone
  • Vemurafenib
  • Trifluoperazine
  • Voriconazole
  • Triptorelin
  • Warfarin
  • Vandetanib
  • Zuclopenthixol
  • Vardenafil
  • Vinflunine

If patients have already been prescribed any of the above medications, doctors may prescribe an alternative to ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone, if it is safer to do so. However, if doctors prescribe ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone alongside any of the above medications, they may alter the dose of antibiotics in order to limit the risk of interactions occurring.

If patients use ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone whilst taking any of the following medications, it may increase the chance of side-effects occurring:

  • Aceclofenac
  • Itraconazole
  • Alcuronium
  • Cortisone
  • Atracurium
  • Chloroquine
  • Balofloxacin
  • Betamethasone
  • Besifloxacin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Budesonide
  • Colestipol
  • Diclofenac
  • Corticotropin
  • Deflazacort
  • Cosyntropin
  • Cyclosporine
  • Dutasteride
  • Dexamethasone
  • Enoxacin
  • Flumequine
  • Fleroxacin
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Fludrocortisone
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Fluocortolone
  • Hexafluorenium
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Gallamine
  • Lanthanum Carbonate
  • Phenytoin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Pazufloxacin
  • Licorice
  • Prednisolone
  • Lomefloxacin
  • Nadifloxacin
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Norfloxacin
  • Pefloxacin
  • Metocurine
  • Olanzapine
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Primidone
  • Mycophenolate Mofetil
  • Prednisone
  • Ofloxacin
  • Probenecid
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Prulifloxacin
  • Rufloxacin
  • Sildenafil
  • Rifapentine
  • Triamcinolone
  • Ropinirole
  • Zolpidem
  • Ropivacaine
  • Tosufloxacin
  • Saiboku-To

Although the risk of side effects may increase when using ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone in conjunction with any of the above medications, this does not necessarily mean that doctors will not prescribe the antibiotic. Patients may not suffer any side effects at all, even if they are taking more than one medication.

In addition to this, side effects can often be treated with additional medications, whilst mild side effects may be tolerated by the patient.

Due to the possibility of interactions occurring, it's vital that patients discuss any existing medications with their doctor before using ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone. Similarly, if patients are concerned about interactions whilst they are using ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone, they should seek medical help.


When using ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone to treat a bacterial ear infection, patients should seek medical advice before using any over-the-counter medications, vitamins and/or supplements.

If patients are suffering from viral ear infections, such as herpes simplex and/or varicella, ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone should not be prescribed. In addition to this, patients who are suffering from chickenpox are not normally prescribed ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone whilst the virus is active in their body.

Using ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone and consuming caffeine may increase the chance of side-effects occurring. Patients should discuss this with their physician before starting the treatment, particularly if they regularly consume large amounts of caffeine.

Ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone are routinely prescribed to children and young people if they are suffering from an ear infection which is bacterial in nature. The standard dose for children may differ, however. In addition to this, Ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone are not normally recommended as a treatment for infants under the age of one year old.

If patients have a hole in the affected eardrum, they will not normally be prescribed ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone solution.

If patients are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant whilst using ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone, they should discuss any potential risk with their doctor. Similarly, if patients are breastfeeding an infant and are prescribed ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone, they should discuss the safety of treatment with their doctor before using the solution.

If patients exhibit an allergic reaction whilst using ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone, such as swelling, itching and/or difficulty breathing, they should seek urgent medical help.


Unless directed otherwise, ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone solution should be stored at room temperature. Patients will need to keep the medicine out of direct sunlight and in a location which is free from heat and moisture.

In addition to this, patients should store ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone in a safe place and should ensure that the medicine cannot be accessed by children and/or pets.


When patients develop a bacterial ear infection, they can suffer a significant amount of pain and discomfort. By prescribing ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone, doctors can resolve the infection but also reduce the patient's symptoms quickly.

As most people are able to tolerate ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone well, it is a common treatment and is normally effective following just one course of treatment. With many patients able to obtain relief from symptoms within just a few days, ciprofloxacin and hydrocortisone solution provides an accessible and effective form of treatment for bacterial ear infections.