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There is no conclusive evidence that using ciprofloxacin in pregnancy is unsafe, but according to some studies on animals, the medication can negatively affect a fetus. In addition, while no studies have been specifically done on ciprofloxacin and its effects on human pregnancies, the medication is known to make its way into amniotic fluid, the fluid that surrounds a fetus in the womb. As the effects of the medication are largely unknown at that point in pregnancy, women are advised to avoid ciprofloxacin in pregnancy in general — unless a doctor deems the benefits of the medication as outweighing the risks.
Since the safety of taking ciprofloxacin in pregnancy is not yet known, it is understood that women who are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed should not use the medication as well. In actuality, there is more evidence against using ciprofloxacin while breastfeeding than there is with using ciprofloxacin in pregnancy. The evidence suggests that breastfeeding while using ciprofloxacin can cause serious medical conditions for the breastfeeding baby. Ciprofloxacin is found in breast milk, and depending on how long ago the mother took the medication, the baby can take in the medication while breastfeeding. When using ciprofloxacin, a mother should take into consideration her baby’s potential for developing a medical condition as a result; a doctor might recommend two choices, depending on the mother’s overall health, which are to stop breastfeeding or stop using ciprofloxacin.
Ciprofloxacin itself is an antibiotic, meaning it is a medication used to fight bacterial infections. This antibiotic also works to prevent or treat anthrax, a serious infectious disease that can be spread to humans through contact with infected animals or by people who use the disease as a biological weapon. Ciprofloxacin comes in tablet and extended release tablet form, as well as in liquid form. It is important to follow the dosage as prescribed by a doctor and to not replace one type of ciprofloxacin with another. For example, a person who is taking the tablet form of ciprofloxacin should not substitute his prescription with the extended release tablet form.
As with all medications, ciprofloxacin might cause side effects to occur. Common side effects include abdominal pain, diarrhea and headache, as well as nausea and vomiting. In general, these common side effects are mild, but they can become serious, and if they do, the affected person should contact his doctor. More serious side effects, which require immediate medical attention, include abnormal urination, bloody or watery diarrhea and pain, swelling or tenderness in the joints. Other serious side effects are seizure, severe skin reaction and unusual behavior or thoughts.