Ciprodex (ciprofloxacin and dexamethasone) – ear use

What is Ciprodex?

Ciprodex ear drops are a combination of ciprofloxacin (a quinolone antibiotic) and dexamethasone (a corticosteroid) used to treat ear infections. Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic that works by killing bacteria. Dexamethasone reduces chemicals in the body that cause inflammation. In conclusion, the combination medication can reduce swelling and discomfort in the ear.

Ciprodex is a prescription drug that comes as a suspension (liquid) in the form of ear drops.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Ciprofloxacin and Dexamethasone

Brand Name: Ciprodex

Route of Administration: Otic

Drug Availability: Prescription

Treatment Category: Anti-Infective/Anti-Inflammatory Combination

Generally available: yes

Controlled Substances: Not applicable

Active ingredients: Ciprofloxacin and Dexamethasone

Dosage form: suspension

What is Ciprodex used for?

Ciprodex (ciprofloxacin and dexamethasone) treats otitis media (acute infection of the middle ear) in children with ear tubes and otitis externa (infection of the outer ear) in children and adults.

This medicine should only be used for bacterial ear infections. It does not work for any other type of ear infection.

How to take Ciprodex

Read the prescription label or the Patient Information Leaflet, if available, before you start using this medication. If anything is unclear to you, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Ciprodex comes in the form of suspension ear drops for use only in the ear. Use twice daily (every 12 hours) or as directed by your healthcare provider. Do not use more or less ear drops than directed.

Be sure to clean and dry the ear canal before using the drops. Hold the vial in your hand for a few minutes to warm the solution. Inserting a cold solution into the ear canal can cause dizziness. Shake the solution before use.

To administer ear drops:

  1. Lie on your side with the affected ear facing up.
  2. Put the prescribed number of drops into your ear.
  3. Lie down with the affected ear tilted up for 30-60 seconds.

Even if you feel better, use Ciprodex until you have completed your prescription for the prescribed number of days. If symptoms do not get better or worsen after a week, call your healthcare provider.


Keep medicine containers tightly closed and out of sight and reach of children. Store it at room temperature away from heat, light and moisture. Do not store it in the bathroom and do not freeze the medicine.

Once the medicine has expired, safely discard the bottle. Do not use expired medicines or dispose of them in the trash, drain or flush them down the toilet. The best way to throw away medication is through a medication take-back program. Consult your pharmacist or contact the local waste disposal company in your community. Many councils and town halls, as well as police departments, already offer drug consignment services for unused or unwanted drugs.

How long does it take for Ciprodex to work?

Symptoms begin to improve within 48-72 hours of using Ciprodex. Notify your healthcare provider if pain or other symptoms do not go away after 7 days of use.

What are the side effects of Ciprodex?

This is not a complete list of side effects, other side effects may occur. A medical professional can advise you about side effects. If you experience other effects, please contact your pharmacist or medical professional. You can report side effects to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at or at 800-FDA-1088.

Ciprodex can cause side effects in some people. Most are mild, but some can be serious or cause long-term effects. Consult your healthcare provider if you experience any persistent or worsening side effects.

common side effects

Common side effects of Ciprodex are:

  • Ear discomfort or fullness
  • ear pain or itching
  • ear debris buildup
  • tingling in the ear

Contact your healthcare provider if any side effects persist or worsen.

serious side effects

Serious allergic reactions to Ciprodex are rare. If you notice any of the symptoms below, stop using the ear drops and get medical help right away.

Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction may include:

  • rash
  • measles
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes
  • hoarse
  • severe dizziness
  • difficulty swallowing or breathing

long term side effects

Repeated and prolonged use of Ciprodex may lead to antimicrobial resistance. Do not use the drug for longer than prescribed. Contact your healthcare provider if you feel no improvement, or if you notice any new or worsening symptoms after one week of use.

report side effects

Ciprodex may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience serious side effects, you or your provider can send a report to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

(800) 332-1088

Dosage: How much Ciprodex should I use?

Drug content provided and reviewed

IBM Micromedicine®

The dose of this medicine will vary for different patients. Follow your doctor’s order or directions on the label. The information below includes only the average dose of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to.

The amount of medicine you take depends on the strength of the medicine. In addition, the dose you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medication depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medication.

  • For the ear dosage form (ear drops):

    • For middle ear infections:

      • Adults and children 6 months and older – 4 drops into the affected ear twice daily for 7 days.
      • Children under 6 months – use and dosage must be determined by your doctor.
    • For outer ear infections:

      • Adults, the elderly and children 6 months and older – 4 drops into the affected ear twice daily for 7 days.
      • Children under 6 months – use and dosage must be determined by your doctor.

missed dose

Try not to skip doses. By doing this, bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.

If you forget a dose of ear drops, use it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Take the next dose regularly. Do not use extra ear drops to make up for a missed dose.

Overdose: What will happen if I take too much Ciprodex?

An overdose of Ciprodex otic should not be dangerous. However, if you think you or someone else may have accidentally swallowed Ciprodex ear drops, you should seek emergency help.

What happens if I overdose on Ciprodex?

If you think you or someone else may have overdose on Ciprodex, call your healthcare provider or poison control center (800-222-1222).

If anyone passes out or is not breathing after using Ciprodex, call 911 immediately.



Drug content provided and reviewed

IBM Micromedicine®

If you or your child feel your symptoms do not improve after 7 days, or if they get worse, talk to your doctor.

This medicine may cause a serious allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis. Allergic reactions can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you develop a rash, itching, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while using this medicine.

Call your doctor right away if you still have fluid leaking from your ear (otorrhea) after you finish treatment with this medicine.

Why should I not take Ciprodex?

Do not use Ciprodex for the following reasons:

  • If you are allergic or have a history of allergy to a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, such as Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Quixin or Levaquin (levofloxacin), Maxaquin (lomefloxacin), Vigamox or Avelox (moxifloxacin), Chibroxin or Noroxin (Noroxin). floxacin), Ocuflox, or Floxin (ofloxacin), or other corticosteroids such as prednisolone
  • For viral infections of the external ear canal, such as herpes simplex infections and fungal ear infections
  • For children under 6 months

There have been no adequate, well-controlled studies of Ciprodex in pregnant women. If you are pregnant, you should be careful while using this medication. Consult your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while using Ciprodex.

People who are breastfeeding must also consult their healthcare provider and use Ciprodex only if the benefits clearly outweigh the risks of side effects.

What other drugs interact with Ciprodex?

There are no reported drug interactions with Ciprodex as it is used topically in the ear only. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you are taking while you are taking this medicine to avoid any problems.

What are similar drugs?

Another drug similar to Ciprodex is Cortisporin, which has a similar drug combination. Cortisporin also treats mild to severe acute otitis externa.

Cortisporin ear fluid (neomycin, polymyxin B sulfate, and hydrocortisone ear fluid) is a combination medication that contains two antibiotics (an aminoglycoside and a polymyxin) and a corticosteroid . Take it three to four times a day to treat bacterial infections.

Ciprodex and Cortisporin should not be used together. Both drugs are used to treat the same infections. Use only one of these medicines as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Ciprodex used for?

    Ciprodex is used to treat bacterial infections of the middle ear in children with ear tubes and bacterial infections of the outer ear (swimmer’s ear) in children and adults.

  • How does Ciprodex work?

    Ciprodex contains ciprofloxacin, which kills bacteria, and dexamethasone, which reduces ear swelling and inflammation.

  • What medicines should Ciprodex not be taken with?

    It is generally safe to take Ciprodex with other medicines, but it is important to consult your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking.

  • What are the side effects of Ciprodex?

    Common side effects of Ciprodex may include ear discomfort, pain, or itching.

  • How long do I keep Ciprodex in my ears?

    After inserting the drops up into the affected ear, hold this position for 30-60 seconds to help the drops enter the ear canal.

  • Will Ciprodex make my ear infection worse?

    Prolonged use of Ciprodex may cause fungal ear infections. Do not use longer than specified.

How can I stay healthy while taking Ciprodex?

Ciprodex is a combination drug that is generally safe to use and more effective than ciprofloxacin and similar antibiotics alone. Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and complete a medical course to fully treat the infection. Antibiotic resistance can develop if you do not take Ciprodex as prescribed.

Check your symptoms closely. If your condition does not improve, consult a healthcare provider.

Medical Disclaimer

VigorTip Health’s drug information is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional. Consult your doctor before taking any new medicines. IBM Watson Micromedex provides some drug content as shown on the page.