Is It Safe to Take Ciprofloxacin in Pregnancy?

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  • Written By: H. Lo
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 19 February 2019
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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 a tablet and extended release tablet form, as well as in a liquid form. It is important to follow the dosage as prescribed by a doctor and 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.


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Post 3

@turquoise-- I agree with this advice. I would think twice before using ciprofloxacin while breastfeeding. But it's okay while pregnant if there is a serious infection and if the doctor recommends it.

Post 2

@SarahGen-- I took ciprofloxacin when I was pregnant and my baby and I were absolutely fine.

Your doctor will not prescribe something while you are pregnant unless he or she feels that it's necessary. UTIs can be dangerous for you and the baby. You could even go into premature labor from the infection. So the risks from the infection are greater, take your medication and don't worry.

Post 1

I have urinary tract infection and I'm in my second trimester. My doctor prescribed me ciprofloxacin today. I'm going to start the medication but I'm worried about the potential side effects for the fetus.

Just wondering, has anyone here taken this antibiotic while pregnant? Did you or your baby experience any problems? Please let me know!

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