The antibiotic Cipro has been linked to severe heart problems, aortic aneurysms, nerve damage, and other life-threatening side effects.

What is Cipro?

Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is a broad-spectrum antibiotic medication. It is the most popular antibiotic in the fluoroquinolone class. In 2011, Cipro was prescribed to over 70% of the 23 million patients who received an outpatient prescription for an oral antibiotic in the United States. Intravenous Cipro is also administered to thousands of patients in hospitals and clinics.

What Does Cipro Treat?

  • Lower respiratory tract
  • Skin and skin structure infections
  • Bone and joint infections
  • Acute sinusitis
  • Complicated intra-abdominal
  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis
  • Infectious diarrhea
  • Typhoid fever
  • Uncomplicated cervical and urethral gonorrhea

Cipro and Heart Problems

In September 2019, a study found an increased risk of heart valve problems for patients on Cipro and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics. This side effect, known as “mitral or aortic valve regurgitation,” occurs when Cipro damages tissues that open and close the valves.

When the heart valves are damaged, blood can leak backward whenever the heart pumps. This forces the heart to pump harder to supply the body with enough blood. Over time, this can lead to heart failure and other severe cardiovascular problems.

What is the Risk?

  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve problems
  • Aortic valve / mitral valve regurgitation
  • Heart attack
  • Aortic aneurysm (aortic dissection)
  • Internal bleeding
  • Death

Cipro and Aortic Aneurysms

In December 2018, the FDA issued warnings about aortic aneurysms from Cipro and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Aortic aneurysms (or “aortic dissection”) occur when Cipro destroys tissues in the wall of the aorta, which is the largest blood vessel in the body. The weak spot can bulge outward without causing any symptoms until it suddenly rips open, leading to massive internal bleeding and death.

Cipro and Nerve Damage

The FDA added peripheral neuropathy to the list of Cipro side effects in 2004. They updated Safety Warnings in 2013 to emphasize the rapid onset of symptoms and permanent complications. The symptoms can occur after taking just a few doses of Cipro and cause long-term nerve damage, numbness, tingling, pain, burning in the arms or legs, changes in your senses (temperature, texture, etc.).

Cipro and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)

According to the Prescribing Information for Cipro, patients have developed deadly allergic skin reactions called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). These side effects can occur after just one dose of Cipro, according to the drug warning label. They cause a rash that can spread all over the body. Many people suffer blindness, infections, organ failure, scarring, and disfigurement.

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