Last Updated on May 23, 2023
Ciprofloxacin is a type of antibiotic that is commonly prescribed for bacterial infections. It belongs to a group of drugs known as fluoroquinolones and is used to treat a range of infections such as respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, and skin infections. Despite its effectiveness in treating bacterial infections, ciprofloxacin can only be obtained with a prescription in the UK. This means that it cannot be purchased over the counter at pharmacies or supermarkets. If you require ciprofloxacin for a bacterial infection, you will need to visit your doctor who will assess your condition and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Although ciprofloxacin cannot be purchased over the counter in the UK, there are alternative options available for those who require treatment for bacterial infections. There are other types of antibiotics that can be obtained over the counter without a prescription, including amoxicillin and erythromycin. These antibiotics are effective in treating mild to moderate bacterial infections but may not be suitable for more serious infections or those caused by resistant bacteria. If you are experiencing symptoms of a bacterial infection, it is important to seek medical advice from your doctor or pharmacist.
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What is ciprofloxacin?
Ciprofloxacin – is an antibacterial drug from the group of fluorinated quinolones (fluoroquinolones). The mechanism of action of quinolones is to inhibit DNA synthesis in bacterial cells, by blocking topoisomerases II (enzymes that cut both DNA strands): DNA gyrase – the enzyme responsible for coiling DNA strands and forming spatial isomers of DNA strands, and topoisomerase IV – the enzyme responsible for separating DNA strands after the replication process. Inhibition of the activity of these enzymes leads to DNA damage and blockage of numerous cellular processes, e.g. inhibition of DNA gyrase results in loosening the structure and increasing the space occupied by DNA in a bacterial cell. Since the consequence of this action is the death of the bacterial cell, quinolones are classified as bactericidal drugs. It is also important that these drugs do not act on analogous enzymes in mammals, including humans. Fluoroquinolones are characterized by a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity, that is, they act on numerous species of bacteria.
How ciprofloxacin works?
Like other antibiotics, ciprofloxacin blocks the growth of bacteria and minimizes their ability to make new genetic material (DNA) and divide. It does this by inhibiting several important enzymes – DNA-gyrase and some topoisomerases. These are enzymes that temporarily break down genetic material so that it can be unwound from the superspindle. This process is necessary for the information in the genetic material to be read – it is suppressed, cells cannot divide.
The exact mechanism of action and other effects of ciprofloxacin and other “gyrase inhibitors” are still being studied and researched.
Ciprofloxacin is only effective against bacteria that are multiplying. The higher the multiplication rate, the better the effect. This is why these antibiotics are called “secondary bactericidal”.
When is ciprofloxacin used?
Ciprofloxacin belongs to the fluoroquinolone group and has a high activity against gram-negative bacteria. However, it can also be used against gram-positive pathogens and those that invade the body’s cells.
At present, there are numerous applications of ciprofloxacin. On the one hand, the antibiotic acts against many infectious diseases such as intestinal diseases or bile and abdominal infections, provided a more sensitive to Ciprofloxacin bacteria is responsible. Secondly, the drug is used as a backup antibiotic in urinary tract infections. This means that the result of severe side effects, especially in children and adolescents, will be resorted to therapy with ciprofloxacin only when the disease runs very difficult and other therapies are not sufficient.
Also, anthrax and pneumonia caused by Legionella (CAP) can be treated with the drug. In classical pneumonia, however, treatment with ciprofloxacin is less useful because it only weakly acts on the pathogen, pneumococcal bacteria.
If there is a family history of meningococcal meningitis (a form of bacterial meningitis), ciprofloxacin is given to relatives as a preventive measure to counteract the disease.
If a patient develops gonorrhea (“clap”), this disease can be treated once with ciprofloxacin. However, this has a subsequent result of making the pathogen insensitive to the drug.
How is ciprofloxacin taken?
The drug can be administered in various dosage forms. These, as well as the dosage of Ciprofloxacin, are highly dependent on the disease to be treated and the pathogen responsible for it.
A common form of administration is the oral form. This means that the preparation is swallowed by the patient, usually as a tablet. This must be done every day at about the same time to ensure a sufficient concentration of the drug in the body. To be taken with or without food; taken on an empty stomach, but the drug usually occurs faster through the bloodstream. It is important that the Ciprofloxacin tablets are not chewed while taking.
Other forms of ciprofloxacin, such as intravenous preparations or eye and ear drops, are also available.
Medications containing ciprofloxacin are available in different dosages. If tablets are mostly to amounts of active ingredient of 250mg or 500mg per piece. The Ciprofloxacin preparation is usually applied or taken twice a day. But in this case strictly follow the instructions of the doctor or pharmacist.
What are the side effects of ciprofloxacin?
Treatment with Ciprofloxacin may result in various frequency to unwanted side effects. The most observed include nausea, and rashes.
Also the structure of tendons and tendon attachments may change due to the use of Ciprofloxacin. This may cause pain, swelling and cracks especially in the area of Achilles tendon. People over 60 years of age have an increased risk of tendon damage due to Ciprofloxacin.
Ciprofloxacin may also cause central nervous system disorders. These include sensory disturbances, fatigue, and hallucinations. These disturbances are rare.
What should I watch for while taking Ciprofloxacin?
Antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, like other antibiotics, must be taken without interruption for the entire period prescribed by the doctor. Do not stop taking them early, even if the symptoms of the disease have disappeared. This can lead to a recurrence of the disease, which is then even more difficult to treat because the remaining pathogens in the body can adapt to the drug. Experts call this the development of resistance.
Drugs and foods that contain a lot of multiply charged metal ions can form so-called complexes with ciprofloxacin, which reduce the effectiveness of the drug. For this reason, the consumption of dairy products should be avoided during treatment.
Ciprofloxacin should not be administered during pregnancy or lactation as it may be harmful to the embryo or the baby. For the same reason the gift of children and adolescents during the growth period is recommended only under the supervision of a specialized doctor.
Since Ciprofloxacin lowers the seizure threshold in the brain, it is contraindicated in patients who suffer from seizures (), not be used. Impairment of responsiveness, especially in driving or operating machinery, are temporary side effects of treatment with Ciprofloxacin. Alcohol increases these phenomena. Therefore, patients should abstain from alcohol consumption during treatment.
Also, sunbathing or tanning beds should be avoided during treatment because ciprofloxacin makes the skin more sensitive to light.
How can I get medicine that contains ciprofloxacin?
Ciprofloxacin is only available by prescription and may only be taken under medical supervision. The prescribed drug is dispensed in pharmacies upon presentation of the prescription.
How long ciprofloxacin is known?
The drug was developed by Bayer in 1981, making it a relatively new drug. Since the expiration of the patent, there are many supplements in different dosage forms on the market. Typical dosage forms include ciprofloxacin tablets, infusion solutions, and drops.
What you should also know about Ciprofloxacin
Antibiotics from the group of fluoroquinolines usually interfere with the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives. Has been shown in clinical trials that ciprofloxacin does not affect the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill. When broke out at Oxford University a meningococcal meningitis, deshalbdie students were not treated with the standard drug rifampicin, but with ciprofloxacin.