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What is Ciprofloxacin?
Ciprofloxacin tablets are antibiotics that are part of a group of medicines called quinolone antibacterials. It is effective against many strains of bacteria but not all, so this medication is recommended for treating travellers’ diarrhoea in all countries apart from south and southeast Asia. For these areas, Azithromycin should be used.
What is the travel pack?
The travellers’ diarrhoea pack contains the medication you need to recover from a bout of travellers’ diarrhoea. Ciprofloxacin antibiotics kill the bacteria that cause the travellers’ diarrhoea, and the other medications work to treat the other symptoms. Loperamide reduces diarrhoea, Buccastem eases nausea and Dioralyte replaces the water and salts lost with diarrhoea.
How does Ciprofloxacin work?
Ciprofloxacin is a broad spectrum antibiotic, meaning it is effective against many of the bacteria that cause travellers’ diarrhoea. These tablets work to kill the bacteria that cause infections in the body, making this medication effective as diarrhea treatment. You should read the patient information leaflet fully before taking this medication.
How does the travel pack work?
The medicines in the travel pack work together to combat the symptoms of travellers’ diarrhoea. Besides the Ciprofloxacin, there's Loperamide which contains loperamide hydrochloride to help reduce diarrhoea, Buccastem that contains prochlorperazine maleate and eases nausea, and Dioralyte which contains glucose and salts to replace water and nutrients lost through diarrhoea.
How do you take Ciprofloxacin?
Always use Ciprofloxacin 500mg as directed by your doctor or pharmacist and read the patient information leaflet fully before taking it. The general dose is for one tablet to be taken twice a day for a period of three days.
Space the tablets out evenly by taking one in the morning and one in the evening, 12 hours apart if possible. The tablets can be taken with or without food.
To avoid antibiotic resistance, only take antibiotics when necessary, don’t share them with other people and complete your treatment as instructed.
How do you take the medicines in the travel pack?
If you buy the travel pack, take the Ciprofloxacin as directed above.
To take Loperamide, swallow the correct dose with water, and without chewing the tablets. Adults and children aged 12 and over should take two tablets to start treatment and then one after every loose stool. Don’t take more than 6 tablets in 24 hours.
Buccastem is best taken after food. Don’t drink alcohol when taking these tablets. Take one or two tablets twice a day for a maximum of 2 days. How to take Buccastem:
- Place the tablet between your top lip and gum, as high up as it will go. Allow it to dissolve, which will take around 1-2 hours.
- Do not chew or swallow the tablet, or move it with your tongue.
Take one sachet of Dioralyte after each loose stool. How to take Dioralyte:
- Tip the powder from one sachet into a glass.
- Add 200ml of fresh, cold water. Don’t mix this medication with any other liquids besides water.
- Stir until the powder dissolves, leaving a colourless solution.
How effective are Ciprofloxacin?
Ciprofloxacin tablets are clinically proven to treat travellers’ diarrhea in countries other than south and southeast Asia. It works within 1-3 days. If taken alongside Loperamide and the other medications in the travellers' pack, symptoms should start to improve within 24 hours.
For the best chance of avoiding travellers’ diarrhoea in the first place, make sure you only drink sealed bottled water when travelling. Make sure the food you eat is cooked well and is very hot, and avoid eating salads, uncooked fruits and vegetables, unpasteurised dairy products and raw meat and shellfish.
What are the main side effects of Ciprofloxacin?
Like all medicines, Ciprofloxacin can cause side effects, although not everyone will experience them.
The most common side effects of Ciprofloxacin are:
- Joint pain in children
What are the main side effects of the travel pack?
The other medicines in the travel pack can also cause side effects. The most common side effects of Loperamide are:
- Constipation and wind
The most common side effects of Buccastem are:
- Dry mouth
If you notice any side effects when taking Dioralyte, talk to your doctor. Stop taking it immediately if you experience an allergic reaction, signs of which include a rash, problems breathing or swallowing, and swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue.
For a full list of further side effects, please see the patient information leaflets: Ciprofloxacin, Loperamide, Buccastem, Dioralyte. You should read these leaflets fully before taking the medications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do dairy products affect Ciprofloxacin?
It is not recommended to take Ciprofloxacin and milk or other dairy products together since calcium can affect how well this medication works. Wait for 4 hours after eating dairy products before taking this medication, and don’t eat any dairy for 2 hours after taking Ciprofloxacin.
What should you do if you miss a dose?
If you forget to take your medication, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for your next dose, do not take the missed tablet. A double dose must not be taken.