How does Ciprofloxacin treat travellers' diarrhoea?
Travellers' diarrhoea can be a real pain, especially if you are in a location that is far away from any kind of medical treatment. Ciprofloxacin is an effective antibiotic treatment for killing the bacteria associated with travellers' diarrhoea.
Ciprofloxacin is a kind of antibiotic known as a “quinolone antibiotic”. It is in no way related to penicillin. It is important to note that Ciprofloxacin should only be used to treat the symptoms of travellers' diarrhoea – it should not be used as a preventative measure.
Ciprofloxacin can be used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections, one of which is travellers' diarrhoea. As an antibiotic, Ciprofloxacin will attack the dangerous bacteria infecting your body, preventing them from spreading and ultimately killing them off. When Ciprofloxacin attacks the bacteria, it prevents them from producing an enzyme that they require to live and reproduce. This leaves the bacteria wide open to attack from your body’s natural defences.
Ciprofloxacin can effectively reduce the duration of your traveller’s diarrhoea, as well as the symptoms associated with it. This effectiveness can be enhanced by the anti-diarrhoea drug loperamide. For best results you should take Ciprofloxacin twice a day for three days.
What countries is Ciprofloxacin recommended for use in TD?
It is an ideal solution for travellers and works on the common types of bacteria found in most countries around the world, except South Asia (such as India and Pakistan) and South East Asia (including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, & Myanmar) - for these areas, Azithromycin is the preferred antibiotic
What is travellers' diarrhoea?
Common throughout the world, travellers' diarrhoea is a condition in which stools will be passed frequently. This is usually as a result of consuming some kind of food or drink which has been contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
The condition can be very unpleasant and can get in the way of day to day life – this is especially true when travelling. Though uncomfortable, the condition is nothing to worry about and will usually pass within a few days.
Important Ciprofloxacin Information
Your symptoms should begin to improve within 24 hours of taking Ciprofloxacin. Its effectiveness can be increased when used in conjunction with Loperamide. If used in conjunction with anti-sickness tablets, such as Avomine, you can help to reduce your fluid loss and general discomfort.
Ciprofloxacin tablets should not be taken if:
- You are allergic to any of the ingredients
- You have kidney problems
- You have epilepsy
- You suffer from muscles weakness
- You have a history of irregular heart rhythms
When taking Ciprofloxacin you skin will become more sensitive to UV rays from the sun. For this reason it is advised that you avoid exposure to direct sunlight, as well as UV lamps, as much as possible. When you must go into the sun it is recommended that you used sun protection. If you notice any changes in your skin as a result of being in sunlight you should contact your doctor immediately.
In some cases, patients will develop a condition known as crystalluria in which they pass small crystals in their urine. If you notice this you should make sure you are drinking plenty of water and contact your doctor if necessary.
Ciprofloxacin may give a false test result for tuberculosis.
Always inform your doctor as to any medications you are currently taking or have recently taken. Some substances within the blood can be increased if using Ciprofloxacin, these are:
Take special care if you are using Ciprofloxacin at the same time as any of the following medications:
- Methotrexate (for certain types of cancer, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Vitamin K antagonists (e.g. warfarin)
- Probenecid (for gout)
- Theophylline (for breathing problems)
- Phenytoin (for epilepsy)
- Metoclopramide (for nausea and vomiting)
- Tizanidine (for muscle spasticity in multiple sclerosis)
- Anti-arrhythmics medications
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Some antimicrobials (that belong to the group of macrolides)
- Ropinirole (for Parkinson’s disease)
- Cyclosporin (for skin conditions, rheumatoid arthritis and in organ transplantation)
- Some antipsychotics such as olanzapine and clozapine
Blood levels of certain medications can be increased when using Ciprofloxacin, these include:
- Lidocaine (for heart conditions or anaesthetic use)
- Pentoxifylline (for circulatory disorders)
- Duloxetine (for depression, diabetic nerve damage or incontinence)
- Sildenafil (e.g. for erectile dysfunction)
Certain medications can also reduce the effects of Ciprofloxacin, these include:
- Mineral supplements such as calcium, iron and magnesium
- Polymeric phosphate binder such as sevelamer and lanthanum carbonate
If you must take any of these medications then it is advised that you wait at least 2 hours before or after taking Ciprofloxacin.
You should always read all available packaging and product information before beginning a new medication.
Avoid dairy products as much as possible while taking Ciprofloxacin. You should also avoid anything which contains high levels of magnesium, calcium, iron, or aluminium such as antacids or supplements at least 2 hours before or after each dose of Ciprofloxacin.
OTC (over the counter medication) alternative for Travellers' Diarrhoea
In some more simple cases travellers' diarrhoea can be treated with over-the-counter medicines. These medicines include Loperamide (Imodium) and re-hydration sachets (Dioralyte). Using these products together will help ease the symptoms, this will help as your body is trying to fight off the infection. You must also ensure you remain hydrated so take on as much fluids as possible during this time, as dehydration is the most dangerous consequence of travellers' diarrhoea.