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Ciprofloxacin hydrochloride and hydrocortisone eardrops

Ciprofloxacin is a type of antibiotic called quinolone, which works against many bacterial infections but will not work against viruses. In these eardrops, it is combined with hydrocortisone, which is a type of steroid, to reduce swelling after ear surgery.

At Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), we usually prescribe these eardrops to prevent infection after ear surgery. They are not available in the UK so have to be imported from abroad.

How is ciprofloxacin given?

Ciprofloxacin is available under the brand name Ciflox®. In most cases, three drops should be put in the affected ear twice a day for the complete course.

Always complete the course of eardrops even if your child seems to be well. The medicine label will explain the exact dose schedule for your child.

  • Wash your hands.
  • Get your child into any of these positions with the ear you are treating facing upwards:
    • tilt your child’s head back and to one side
    • lay your child flat on his or her back
    • ask someone to hold your child in a safe position as above
    • wrap your baby or young child in a light blanket or sheet to keep his or her arms and legs still.
  • Remove the top of the bottle.
  • Gently pull your child’s earlobe backwards to open up the ear canal.
  • Put the right amount of drops into the ear canal.
  • Keep your child in this position for a few minutes so the drops can spread inside the ear.
  • If your child needs drops in the other ear, turn him or her over so that the other ear is facing upwards and repeat the above steps.

Who should not use ciprofloxacin eardrops?

People with the following conditions should discuss using these eardrops with their doctor:

  • hypersensitivity to ciprofloxacin or hydrocortisone or other ingredients of the eardrops
  • pregnant, could be pregnant or planning to become pregnant
  •  epilepsy
  • G6PD deficiency

What are the side effects of ciprofloxacin ?

  • Numbness and tingling of the ear.
  • Hearing impairment or ear pain.
  • Headache.
  • Allergic reaction - Some people develop an allergic reaction to the eardrops, which may be mild or severe. Signs of a mild allergic reaction include skin rashes and itching, high temperature, shivering, redness of the face, a feeling of dizziness or a headache. If you see any of these signs, please report them to a doctor or nurse. Signs of a severe allergic reaction include any of the above, as well as shortness of breath or chest pain. If you are in hospital and your child shows signs of a severe allergic reaction, call a doctor or nurse immediately. If you are at home and your child shows signs of a severe allergic reaction, call an ambulance immediately. If your child has a severe reaction to the eardrops, the subsequent treatment will probably be changed.

Ciprofloxacin and interactions with other medicines

No other medicines have been reported to react with these eardrops.

Important information about ciprofloxacin

  • Keep medicines in a safe place where children cannot reach them.
  • The eardrops should be kept in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight and heat. They do not need to be kept in the fridge.
  • If you forget to give your child a dose and it is within a few hours of when the dose was due, give it as soon as you remember. Otherwise, do not give this dose but give the next dose when it is due. Do not give a double dose.
  • Eardrops can go off quickly so do not use them 14 days after opening and return them to the pharmacist for disposal.
  • If your doctor decides to stop treatment, return any unused eardrops to the pharmacist. Do not flush them down the toilet or throw them away.

More information

  • Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) switchboard: 020 7405 9200
  • Pharmacy department: 020 7829 8680
  • Pharmacy medicines information: 020 7829 8608

Last reviewed by Great Ormond Street Hospital: April 2012

Ref: 2012F0345 April 2012
Compiled by the Pharmacy department in collaboration with the Child and Family Information Group.

Please read this information in conjunction with any patient information leaflet provided by the manufacturer. However, please note that this information explains about the use of medicines in children and young people so may differ from the manufacturer’s information.

Each person reacts differently to medicines so your child will not necessarily suffer every side effect mentioned. This information does not constitute health or medical advice and will not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. If you have any questions, please ask your doctor. No liability can be taken as a result of using this information.