When to Use Ciprodex Ear Drops

Ciprofloxacin and Dexamethasone Otic Suspension

ear drops
Ciprodex ear drops. Corbis/VCG / Getty Images

What is Ciprodex

Ciprodex otic suspension is a combination of ciprofloxacin, a fluoroquinolone broad spectrum antibiotic, and dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid. It is generally prescribed for the treatment of acute otitis media (middle ear infections) in individuals who have ventilation tubes and for individuals who have otitis externa (swimmer's ear). This medication may also be prescribed "off-label" for other conditions.

How is Ciprodex Used

Ciprodex typically comes in liquid form in a bottle with a dropper. It is to be applied topically to your ear(s). The dropper should be kept as sterile as possible, (by not touching it or allowing unclean objects or surfaces to touch it), so that germs are not introduced into the bottle of unused medication.

Ear drops are best applied with a second person. Always wash your hands before applying Ciprodex otic solution. Ciprodex should be gently shaken before each use. The drops should also be warmed by holding them in your hand for a few minutes before they are given. If the solution is too cold when it is applied to the inner ear it may cause dizziness. The person receiving the drops should lay on their side with the affected ear up. The person giving the drops should gently pull the ear back and up in order to straighten the ear canal, the prescribed number of drops should then be placed in the ear.

The individuals receiving the drops should continue to lay on their side in order to allow the medication adequate time to penetrate the ear. Repeat the same steps on the other ear if necessary.

Ciprodex is usually given in two doses per day, 12 hours apart. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is time for the next dose in which case the missed dose should be skipped.

You should finish the entire course of drops (take them as long as the doctor prescribed) even if your symptoms improve. You should avoid getting water in your ears while swimming or bathing until you are finished taking this medication.

Ciprodex is only intended to be used in the ear, avoid getting it in your eyes or mouth. If Ciprodex is accidentally ingested you should call poison control at 1-800-222-1222.

Who Can Use Ciprodex

Ciprodex is approved for use in individuals 6 months old and up who are not allergic to ciprofloxacin, any other fluoroquinolone antibiotic, dexamethasone or any of the other listed ingredients. Notify your physician or pharmacist of any other medications you are taking before using Ciprodex. Talk to your doctor before taking Ciprodex if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Side Effects

Like all medication, there are potential side effects when using Ciprodex. The most commonly reported side effects are: ear itching, ear congestion, ear discomfort or pain, residue inside the ear, irritability, and abnormal taste. The possibility of an allergic reaction also exists. Signs of an allergic reaction include: itching, redness, swelling of the face, tongue, or lips, and difficulty breathing.

If you have signs of an allergic reaction you should stop taking Ciprodex immediately and contact your doctor. If you have signs of anaphylaxis (for more information read: What is Anaphylaxis).


Ciprodex.com. What is Ciprodex. Accessed: July 29, 2015 from http://www.ciprodex.com/

Ciprodex.com. Ciprodex (Full Prescribing Information in PDF). Accessed: July 29, 2015 http://ecatalog.alcon.com/PI/CiprodexOticSusp_us_en.pdf

emedicine health.com. ciprofloxicin and dexamethasone otic. Accessed: July 29, 2015 from http://www.emedicinehealth.com/drug-ciprofloxacin_and_dexamethasone_otic/page2_em.htm

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