Top 5 Foods To Avoid When Taking Ciprofloxacin For Bacterial Infection

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic drug that is so powerful it is used to treat dangerous bacterial infection. Skin infections, urinary tract infection and even bone infections can be treated by Ciprofloxacin. But, most importantly, is used to treat anthrax infections, which if unchecked can lead to a bioterror attack. However, there are a lot of things that you need to take care of when on Cipro, as some foods decrease the effectiveness or increase the side effects.

  1. Alcohol

This goes without saying that you should never sip on alcoholic beverages when on Cipro or any other antibiotic. There may not be side effects, but Cipro might increase the effects associated with alcohol consumption. If Cipro makes you feel queasy or dizzy, you should avoid alcoholic drinks or it might worsen. You may not need to completely abstain from it, but precaution is always better than cure.

  1. Caffeine and Energy Drinks

If you love a cup of tea or coffee in the morning, being on Cipro will botch your routine. When on ciprofloxacin, caffeine and energy drinks are a no-no if you don’t want a rise in restlessness, heart rate, nervousness, anxiety, and frequency of urination. It could even give rise to insomnia. Products like tea, coffee, cola, chocolate, soda, and cocoa should be avoided as these all contain caffeine in them. They will, with Cipro, increase the normal effects of caffeine in the body, as mentioned above.

  1. Dairy and Calcium Products

Other than caffeine, Cipro will also affect your habit of drinking milk or consuming dairy products. These products are high in calcium which does not go well when on Cipro. Calcium-fortified products, like orange juice, and dairy diminish the absorption of Cipro in intestines. This means that most of the drug is not absorbed and the infection is not fought off effectively.

Thus, you should avoid consuming foods rich in calcium at least 2 to 6 hours before taking Cipro. Juices and cereals are calcium-fortified as well. Instead of taking Cipro with milk, take it with water. Also, wait for at least 2 hours before consuming any calcium-rich items, like milk. Also, if taking the medicine upsets your stomach, do consult a doctor for alternatives.

  1. Multivitamin Supplements

Multivitamin supplements and vitamin-rich foods don’t go well with Cipro either. Just as calcium, they block the absorption of the antibiotic in the body, which decreases the bactericidal effects. Thus, if you take vitamin supplements, do not take them for 2-6 hours before a dose. Also, let your doctor know about them as well.

  1. Minerals: Iron, Zinc and Magnesium Products

According to Florida Knee And Orthopedic Center, if Cipro is taken along with consumables rich in iron, magnesium, and zinc, the absorption of the antibiotic is diminished. You need to pace the consumption of such foods or drinks by at least 2 hours before taking ciprofloxacin.

What is Cipro used for?

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic used to treat dangerous bacterial infections. The following are the FDA-approved uses of Ciprofloxacin

In Treating

  • Gall bladder infection
  • Diverticulitis
  • Gastroenteritis,
  • Bone Infections
  • Food poisoning
  • Pneumonia  
  • Gonorrhea
  • Bronchitis
  • Cellulitis
  • Urinary bladder infection
  • Kidney Infection
  • Prostate Infection
  • Anthrax
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Plague

However, for infections like Bronchitis, Urinary Tract infections, and sinus infection, Cipro should not be the first choice of antibiotic.

Off Label Use of Cipro

  • Blood infection
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Tooth infection
  • Strep throat
  • Chlamydia

How does Cipro work?

As a broad spectrum antibiotic, it works against many bacteria. It directly kills bacteria by blocking the enzymes they need for survival. However, a few bacteria have become ciprofloxacin resistant as well. Cipro will not be able to kill such bacteria.

Cipro does not take a long time to work. In fact, it begins to work within a few hours of consumption. It might take longer than that for you to find relief from the symptoms.

Cipro Side Effects

The side effects of Cipro are based on how your body responds to the medication. However, you must see a doctor as soon as you experience any of the side effects, including bleeding or unusual bruising, any sign of infection like a new or persistent fever or sore throat, any signs of a kidney-related problem like pink or red urine, frequent urination, any sign of a liver-related issue, typically stomach or abdominal pain, yellowing eyes and skin, vomiting/nausea, or dark urine.

In case you experience any such issue, you must seek medical help right away. The symptoms that call for help include fast or irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting etc.

Be assured of the fact that Cipro hardly causes a severe intestinal condition because of a certain type of bacteria. However, you may experience this condition during the treatment or weeks to months after the treatment has been finished. You must contact your doctor as soon as you experience conditions like blood or mucus in stool, abdominal/stomach cramping or pain, persistent diarrhea etc.

If you have diarrhea, make sure you do not take any anti-diarrhea or even opioid medication or in case of any of these conditions, as these medications may lead to the worse condition.

Using this medication for a longer period of time or repeatedly with breaks, you may also get oral thrush or some other kind of yeast infection. In any case, make sure you see your doctor, typically when you see some patches in your mouth or if you notice a change in vaginal discharge.


With this, we come to the end of our segment on the food items to avoid when taking ciprofloxacin. While many of these things will be told you by the doctor, it is important to reinforce these precautions as they have an effect on the working of ciprofloxacin. Also, remember to complete the course of antibiotics, regardless of whether the symptoms of the disease have disappeared.

Also, in case you experience any unusual change in your symptoms, that could be the moment you need to see a doctor.