Ciprofloxacin (Opthamalic)

Ciprofloxacin is an ophthalmic solution used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections of the eye.


Ciprofloxacin is a solution used to treat eye-related bacterial infections. It is also used to treat ulcers of the cornea. This medication effectively kills bacteria and is administered directly into the eye of the patient. It is known by the brand name Ciloxan and is only available with a prescription. The solution is comprised of ciprofloxacin, benzalkonium chloride, sodium acetate, acetic acid, mannitol, edetate disodium, hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide, and water.

This solution is effective against a wide spectrum of gram-positive and gram-negative organisms. It works by interfering with the DNA and enzyme gyrase, which, in turn, prevent the reproduction of more bacteria. Ciprofloxacin is highly effective against bacteria that have proved to be resistant to other forms of treatment. Although this solution is generally well tolerated and moderately safe for most individuals, there have been reports of anaphylactic reactions after the first dose. It is important to get emergency medical attention if you have an allergic reaction to this medication. Be sure to remove your contacts before beginning treatment with this medication.

When using this medication, it is important to avoid contaminating the solution. Do not touch the applicator tip to your eye, or with your hands or other objects. If you keep this medication past the expiration date, you should discard it immediately and discuss obtaining another prescription from your doctor. The general course of treatment with this medication is one week for conjunctivitis and two weeks or more for corneal ulcers. There may be other conditions present that require this medication because it is a broad spectrum drug that has many uses. If you have any questions about your treatment or your dose, you should ask your doctor when he gives you the prescription. You can also read the handout that comes with the medication for more detailed information.

When storing this medication, you should keep it in the original container it was dispensed in, and do not touch the tip with your hands, eyes, or other objects. Do not share your medication with anyone because it poses the risk for a transmission of infection and other serious issues. If you have expired medication you should talk to your doctor about getting a new prescription if necessary.

Condition treated

  • Bacterial infections of the eye

Type of medicine

  • Ophthalmic anti-infective

Side Effects

Although generally well-tolerated, ciprofloxacin can have a variety of side effects. Some may even be life threating especially if they are swelling of the face, mouth, throat, or trouble breathing. If you experience several side effects or the onset of an allergic reaction, you should seek emergency medical assistance. Report any side effects to your healthcare provider. In some instances, you may need to be treated with an alternative medication or have your dose adjusted. Tell your doctor about any medications or supplements you may be taking before you start your course of treatment.


  • Blurry or changed vision

If you notice your vision becoming blurry, or you experience a sudden change in your vision, you should report the side effects and get treatment.

  • Eye pain

Eye pain can be the sign of an underlying condition or an intolerance to the medication. If you have eye pain with this medication, you should seek medical assistance.

  • Redness or irritation that is severe

Any severe redness or irritation should be treated immediately. Report your symptoms to your doctor and monitor your condition for the appearance of any other side effects.

If you develop a skin rash, lesions, hives, or a skin rash with itching, you may be intolerant to ciprofloxacin. Some of these side effects can also signal the onset of an allergic reaction. Seek help immediately if you notice the sudden appearance of a skin rash.

  • Itching

Itching in or around the eye is a potential sign of either an allergy or an intolerance. Ask your doctor about your alternatives for treatment. If the itching is accompanied by facial swelling or trouble breathing, you should seek emergency medical help and notify your healthcare provider.

Common minor side effects

  • Crusting and buildup in the corners of the eye

Some individuals who are being treated with a course of ciprofloxacin may notice crust building up around the eyes and in the corner of the eyes. If you notice crystals forming or have other side effects you should ask your doctor about your options. Normally this side effect is minor and may go away after the first few days of use.


  • Bad taste in the mouth

Some individuals have reported having a bad taste in their mouth after using this solution. If you experience a bad taste, you should monitor the situation closely and report the side effects along with any other side effects. If you experience other side effects you may need to seek emergency medical care.

  • Sensation of debris in eye

Some patients have reported having a sensation of debris or something in their eyes. If you experience this condition you should seek the advice of your healthcare provider. You should monitor the situation closely for the appearance of other side effects and swelling which may indicate a severe life threating condition.

  • Itching

Itching of the eyes or the eyelids can be a sign of an allergic reaction or an intolerance to ciprofloxacin. If itching worsens or is accompanied by other side effects, you should seek medical attention.

  • Red eyelid lining

Some people who are treated with ciprofloxacin have reported having a red eyelid lining as a result of taking this medication. If this condition persists or creates severe discomfort, you should discuss your options as far as treatment. You may not tolerate this medication well and require a different type of anti-infective.


  • Trouble seeing at night

If you develop trouble seeing at night or night blindness, you should tell your doctor. Vision changes can be serious and may require a different course of treatment or dose adjustment.

In some rare instances, people who are treated with ciprofloxacin may develop dry eyes. If this condition persists or gets worse you should ask your doctor what steps you can take to help alleviate the condition. Your doctor may be able to suggest an over the counter solution, or a prescription medication.

  • Increased light sensitivity

Increased light sensitivity is rare and should be monitored for changes in vision. This side effect may be a symptom of an underlying issue or can be due to an intolerance to this medication. Tell your doctor and discuss the treatment options you have available if the side effect continues to persist throughout treatment.

  • Swelling eyelids

Swelling of the eyelids can be a rare side effect, but it can also be the sign of an allergic reaction and can be life-threatening. If you experience this side effect and it is accompanied by other side effects such as trouble breathing, you should seek emergency medical attention. If the side effect is mild you may need an alternative treatment or a dose adjustment.

  • Tearing

Tearing is not a common side effect of using ciprofloxacin. If you develop tearing from this medication, you may be intolerant or it may be the sign of an underlying issue. Notify your doctor and monitor the situation closely.


The first two days of treatment normally require one to two drops of the solution into the eye that is infected. This process should be repeated every two hours during the waking hours. From day three until day seven, the dose should be spread out every 4 hours while awake.

When treating a corneal ulcer, the dose for the first day should be two drops every 15 minutes for the first six hours and then spaced out to every 30 for the rest of the day. The second day calls for two drops in the affected eye every hour. The third day and until two weeks pass, there should be two drops placed into the affected eye every four hours. The treatment may extend past 14 days if the desired effect has not been reached. For pediatric doses, you should consult your doctor because they may vary depending on age and the condition of the patient.


Ciprofloxacin is not known to interact with other medications, but it is important to always tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are currently taking including supplements and vitamins to help prevent the chance of interactions with medications. You should also report any diseases or medical conditions you currently have. If you have any signs of an allergic reaction you should seek medical attention and alert your doctor.

Although this drug has no specific reactions, it has been noted that it is possible to see elevated plasma concentrations of theophylline. It is also possible that it may interfere with the metabolism of caffeine. Ciprofloxacin may also enhance oral anticoagulant warfarin. It affects the serum creatinine levels in patients taking cyclosporine concomitantly. Do not take other ophthalmic solutions simultaneously while taking ciprofloxacin without the permission of your doctor.


This medication is not intended for use in patients who are under the age of one year. If you are using this medication for young children, you should do so under the close supervision of your doctor. When you begin using this medication, make sure you use it exactly as directed. Do not stop taking this medication without the express permission of your doctor. Even if your symptoms disappear, you need to continue taking your medication for the prescribed amount of time. If you are taking other medication or supplements, you should tell your doctor. If you notice swelling of the face, mouth, eyes, or other parts of the body, you may be having an allergic reaction that requires emergency medical attention. Do not share your medication with others.

Do not put your medication in a different container. The solution is meant to be sterile and should not be touched or removed from its original dispenser. If your condition does not improve after the course of treatment is complete, you should tell your doctor and discuss other treatment options. Always be alert for sudden changes in your condition and report any side effects. Some side effects are minor and will usually go away on their own over the course of the treatment. If you experience serious side effects, you should alert your doctor. You should also avoid wearing contact lenses while you are using ciprofloxacin and do not resume wearing them until your infection or condition has cleared up. Ask your doctor if it is safe to wear contacts before resuming wearing them as you normally would.

Do not use this medication for longer than your doctor prescribes because a variety of organisms to overgrow in the eye, specifically fungi. This medication is intended for use in humans only and should not be ingested or injected into the eye. If you have any question or issues with your medication, you should ask your healthcare provider or refer to the pamphlet that comes with the ciprofloxacin solution.


Do not touch the tip of the medication dispenser to the eye because it could contaminate the solution. Do not store this solution near excessive heat or in direct sunlight. Keep this medication at room temperature and do not use past the expiration date. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children and pets. Do not store the solution in another container. Keep it in the container it came in so it remains sterile. Store this medication in an upright position to avoid leaks.

If this medication expires, you should throw it away. If you contaminate your solution you should ask your doctor for another prescription to prevent any reinfection or the spread of other contaminants. If anyone else uses your prescription, you should ask your doctor for a new prescription and throw the old one away to help prevent the spread of infection.


Ciprofloxacin ophthalmic route is a solution used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections of the eye. It is administered directly to the eye as instructed by your healthcare provider. Some of the more common conditions that are treated with this medication include conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers. The medication is not meant for use in children who are under the age of one year. Only use under the close supervision of a doctor when using this drug to treat children. Do not keep this medication past the expiration date. If you need more medication you should talk to your doctor.

The normal course of treatment with this drug is anywhere from one to two weeks and can be longer in some cases. Follow your doctor's directions carefully and do not stop taking this medication unless specified by your health care provider. If you begin to experience side effects, you should inform your doctor, especially if they are serious or life-threatening. If you notice swelling of the face, hands, eyes, lips, eyelids, tongue or have trouble breathing, you should seek emergency medical treatment immediately. Do not share your medication or take it past the expiration date. If you develop mild side effects that do not go away on their own or are accompanied by other side effects, you should discuss seeking an alternative form of treatment, or alter the originally prescribed dose.