The prescription ear drop Ciprodex is used to treat middle ear infections in children with ear tubes; it is also prescribed for outer ear infections in both children and adults. This medicine contains two active ingredients -- ciprofloxacin (an antibiotic) and dexamethasone (a corticosteroid). It works by interfering with the bacteria's ability to multiply and by reducing inflammation. Possible side effects include ear discomfort and itching.
What Is Ciprodex?
Ciprodex® (ciprofloxacin/dexamethasone) is a prescription medication used to treat bacterial ear infections, including middle ear infections (known medically as acute otitis media) in children with ear tubes, as well as outer ear infections (known medically as otitis externa, or more commonly "swimmer's ear") in both children and adults. It contains a combination of ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic, and dexamethasone, a corticosteroid medication.
(Click Ciprodex Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Who Makes This Medication?
Ciprodex is made by Alcon Laboratories, Inc.
How Does Ciprodex Work?
Ciprodex is a combination of two medications: ciprofloxacin and dexamethasone. Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic that belongs to a group of medications called fluoroquinolones, or just "quinolones" for short. Fluoroquinolones work to kill bacteria by interfering with a bacterial enzyme called DNA gyrase. This enzyme is needed by the bacteria to make DNA, which is important for the bacteria to multiply.
Dexamethasone belongs to a group of medications called corticosteroids. It works to reduce inflammation and suppress the body's natural immune response to infection. Dexamethasone helps to reduce the swelling, redness, and itching caused by the ear infection.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Ciprodex [package insert]. Fort Worth, TX: Alcon, Inc.; 2007 July.
Micromedex Healthcare Series [Internet database]. Greenwood Village, CO: Thomson Reuters (Healthcare), Inc. Updated periodically. Accessed November 4, 2010.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed November 4, 2010.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed November 4, 2010.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed November 4, 2010.
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