Small dose of Cipro...still dangerous?

by R.

I'm so glad I found your website. I can't seem to find anyone who will even try to answer my questions. I'm a female in my 30's, and my Doctor recently prescribed the generic of Cipro for me. I took 2 - 250mg doses before I found out that tendon rupture (among all the other CRAZY side effects) was a possible side effect.

I called my Doctor regarding my concerns and he told me to keep taking it even after I told him I do strenuous workouts (push ups, pull ups, weights) daily.

I've read so many terrible things about this medication and people's experiences on it, that I'm wondering if I discontinued use in time.

So far it's been 24hrs since my last dose and no noticeable pain. Both my Doctor and Pharmacist gave me the "don't worry about it, honey" sort of response.

I know it's a long shot, and that there is no definitive answer, but in your opinion do you think the 2 - 250mg doses of this drug would have an impact on my tendons? If that is too specific of a question, maybe this one will be better.

Have you heard of many cases where someone took as little as I did, didn't take any more, but still had lasting tendon effects (either tendonitis or tendon rupture)? I'm very concerned about these possible side effects. Within the last 2 years I've gotten in shape and am daily improving my exercise capabilities.

I will gladly go a little lighter if I know how long I should do that, but I dread the idea that I may have to give it up completely.

Thanks so much (in advance) for your time.


Joshua Answers:

Hi R.

1. For what reason were you prescribed Cipro?

It is common for doctors to prescribe antibiotices for problems that should never be given antibiotics for.

And it's just as common to get a prescription for anti-biotics when a simpler, safer, natural solution is available.

Like UTI for instance. For the life of me I don't understand why antibiotics have become
a common medical treatment for UTI. Or the common cold. Crazy.

It's like using a shotgun to remove a splinter.

But I digress....

2. Have I heard of people getting pain, tendonitis, and tendon rupture from 250mg doses of Cipro and other quinolones?

Have I heard of cases of damage after just a couple doses? Yes.

Yes. Is Cipro as bad as Levaquin? Statistically no.

Is it 'safer' to take low dosages than high dosages? Maybe. Unless you're the one that gets damage from low dosages and end up with quite-possibly-permanent tendon damage from taking Cipro.

Personally, I would run away from any doctor that shrugged off my concerns about -anything- in the way that you describe.

So the answer to your question is, 'Yes, you can take damage from just a couple small doses.' It's not a for sure thing, but it's kind of a 'you're screwed if it happens to you' thing.

Personally, I would never in a million years take a quinolone like Cipro. Maybe if I was actively dying and there was no other option...


Why were you prescribed Cipro? I bet there's an alternative, depending on your situation. Between myself and my Kerri at I bet we can point you in the right direction.

Keep taking them or not, it's your choice. My personal and professional opinion is that it's not worth the risk.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for Small dose of Cipro...still dangerous?

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Jul 23, 2009
RE; Small dose of Cipro...still dangerous?
by: R.

Hi Joshua, Thank you so much for your quick response!!

To answer your question, I am being treated for possible minor food poisoning or the stomach flu. My doctor was not very concerned...he didn't do any blood tests or swabs...he just gave me the prescription to, in his words, "cover all the bases."

He was pretty sure it would clear up all by itself. Which is what it will have to do now, because I'm certainly not taking any more of that prescription.

I do have one other question, that you may or may not be able to help me with. I took the first 250mg pill Tue evening and the second (and last) one on Wed morning.

With that time line in mind; when would you guess the Cipro would be out of my system; and when would it be "ok", with respect to my tendons, to start exercising again?

Thanks again for all your help!


Joshua Cmments:

Hey, you're welcome.

It may be an interesting question to ask you doctor why he prescribed an anti-biotic for a stomach flu, which is viral.

Crazy. In my opinion, should be considered unethical. Antibiotics are handed out like candy in our medical system, and it is causing big problems on a variety of levels.

Combined with, if he thought it would take care of itself, why prescribe anything? Especially somethign with the risks of Cipro, Ciprofloxin, etc.

Unfortunatley, by 'cover all the bases', he also meant 'kill the good bacteria in your digestive tract that helps keep the bad bacteria under control'.


I don't remember the exact time the quinolone stays in the system, but it's 3 days or less.

I would wait a few days, just to be far, far on the conservative safe side. Having said that, if there's damage there's damage, and it doesn't matter if you exercise now or later.

And, numbers wise, it's not like you have a high chance of having a problem from taking the Cipro. Still, it's good to be aware of the risks and make your choices.

Jul 24, 2009
Cipro joint pain, balance the risks with the benefits
by: Anonymous


I took Cipro before, and it cause a lot of joint, muscle pain, soreness and lack of strenght etc, and overall discomfort, avoid taking any caffeine product or theophilline with it, you do not want to experience the side effect of it, I took 750 mg a day, but I had a severe infection, you have to balance your condition versus the side effect, that is a personal and doctor decision.

Good Luck


Joshua Comments

Hey Aldo. (I'm going with that this is the same Aldo from the Meniscus surgery thread)

Do you still have all that joint pain, muscle pain, lack of strength etc?

It's my impression that you are very active and athletic. What is your current status with the side effects of CIpro?

Jul 24, 2009
by: Aldo


This is crazy, Cipro for stomach flu, doctors do not care, most of the times you should use your common sense and listen to your body, having a good doctor or a doctor you can trust is like having a good mechanic for your vehicle. Yes this is the same Aldo from the meniscus.

In my case I will stop the cipro immediately, quinolones are the most powerfull oral antibiotics, it should be taken only when a real severe infection is detected and is not control by any other less powerfull or specific antibiotic, or depending the grade of the infection.

I couldn't do any exercise because of the soreness and joint pain, I do not recommend nobody to workout taking this, the medication instructions also make this clear, I took it for 10 days/750 mg.

In my case took about 15 days to clear up or feel better in regard to the joint and muscle soreness, but I do not think that is the case, and for how long she has been taking cipro, I do not think she has taking that much, you have to see for yourself and listen what your body tells you, but exercise taking this is a no, no and on top of that if you got a stomach virus your body is not working properly, why bothering exercising, it will take longer to the virus clear up, it is better to rest for a few days



Joshua Comments:

Crazy indeed.

Antibiotics are utterly inneffective vs. the virus of a flu, stomach or otherwise.

Plus they kill the good bacteria that help keep the stomach ecology healthy and strong.

So Aldo, it sounds like you too, Cipro, had joint pain and muscle pain, and then the pain went away.

Is it still totally gone and away?

Like I was talking to R. about below, the nurtitional support and anti-inflammatory measures can help get rid of Ciprop and Levaquin Tendonitis side effects...-if- the quinolone poisoning only causes pain, but not -damage-.

At a certain point, quinolones can cause seemingly permanent damage.

If you had Cipro Tendonitis symptoms, and they're gone now, that's awesome. And it points to a range of damage possible, instead of 'I took Cipro, I have pain, now I'm screwed'.

And it makes sense that exercise is contraindicated (not advised). If your tendons, joints, and other connective tissue is compromised and you go putting strain on it, that could make rip and tear damage worse, or even just make it likely and possible.

So yeah, R. didn't take a lot, and she's probably not at risk at all if she stops taking it and doesn't work out for a few days.

And, some people, for whatever reason, take a dose or two and BAM they've got serious problems.

I'd just as soon not be one of those.


Jul 27, 2009
Small dose of Cipro...still dangerous?
by: Aldo

Yeah Joshua

I am pain free now, but I take supplements and I have a good nutrional support for this. I will keep it up like that.


Feb 15, 2010
by: david

i started takin cipro at 250mg aday for months then stoped for a while and started again on and off for 18 mnths for prostatitis, i feel like i'm dying.

all sorts of on off pains and massive headaches and feel ill.

its dangerous i beleive, do be very carefull because i feel like an old man and i'm only 44.

it eased my prostate pain yes but further down the line nearly destroys you, i sumtimes wish i'd never taken it

Aug 07, 2012
Took 500mg of Cipro and had HUGE panic attack
by: Rick

My doctor said I had a sinus infection and gave me a shoot of cipro and gave me tablets to start taking the next day I took one tablet and about 4 hrs later I thought I was having a heart attack , it was a panic attack I have never had one before, so it was scarey, after that I saw all these sites about it and was shocked that my doctor gave me it with no warning and she did it like giving me candy.

I havent taken another pill since. The next day I still felt the effects just not as intense, things seem ok now but I am worried if that one dose did damage to me one way or the other I hope not anyway I guess I won't to ask if you think that one bill can do permant damage or have I not taken enough?

Also thank you for this site I am glad there are people out there that can warn us of the dangers, my doctor didn't .

Thank you Rick


Joshua Comments:

Hi Rick.

One dose of Cipro, one dose of Levaquin, absolutely can cause permanent, or at least significant, damage.

Having said that, it's entirely possible that if you supplement with adequate Magnesium you'll be back to 100%.

Cipro quickly depletes the body of Magnesium, thus the panic attack. Your quick recovery from that says good things.

See: Magnesium for Tendonitis as a general topic.

It's more for physical symptoms, but do know that magnesium deficiency symptoms include anxiety, claustrophobia, muscle twitch/cramp/spasm, heart palpatations, etc etc etc.

And yes, I very much agree that doctors shouldn't give out Cipro and Levaquin like candy. They do. Levaquin is being proscribed for acne nowadays.


Keep us updated.

Oct 14, 2012
by: Nick/Kristy


My girlfriend Kristy took one does of ciprofloxacin (250mg) and immediately felt like she was on drugs. She got short of breath and was really nervous so we headed to the emergency room. They suggested that she take Prednisone. She declined and went home after her breathing normalized. She did not take another dose.

They next day her symptoms worsened and we went back to the ER. She was told by a second doctor to take prednisone. This time she agreed and took 3 40mg tablets over the next day and a half. If you read the insert from Bayer Pharmacuticals it claims that you should not take NSAIDS Exp. Ibuprofen, or Naproxen among many more. These two drugs allow Cipro to attack you body. Kristy had been taking Ibuprofen pretty often when she had headaches, this allows cipro to attack the nervouse system. Prednisone (A cortico Steriod) severely increases your chances of tendonitis and tendon ruptures. Kristy now lives her life in pain and has full body central nervous system affects that are unbelievable. Doctors will not even spend the time to read the black label applied to this medication. Kristy is 34 and we don't know if she will ever get better.

Magnesium is supposed to help but 30 minutes after taking 1 250 mg chelated magnesium tablet she was having horrible joint pain and could hardly walk or use her hands. She also cannot see properly and has floaters in her vision along with eye pain. The list of symptoms goes on and on and on. It took us all this time to figure out what it was. She took this dose in December or 2011.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Nick and Kristy.

I'm so sorry to hear that. It can be devastating, and answers are both hard to come by and potentially never easy to implement.

Corticosteroids and Fluoroquinolones together are a no no. That's a potential malpractice lawsuit.

If a lawsuit was just over being given fluoroquinolnes with negative side effects, good luck with that lawsuit. But being given prednisone when obviously suffering from Cipro side just might have a shot.

As far as the Magnesium, that's a tough dilemma. Cipro depletes magnesium from the body. You HAVE to get magnesium back into it. Even if it's in powdered form in water and taking little sips throughout the day (I highly suggest that for Kristy).

You HAVE to get magnesium into her or onto her skin transdermally (magnesium oil/gel and/or hot epsom salt baths.

Thanks for sharing Kristy's story. One dose can do a lot of damage. I have no way of knowing the extent of Kristy's situation (whether it's just a huge superficial reaction to the sudden nutritional deficiency cipro causes or whether the cytotoxic effect physiologically messed her body up at a -real- physical level).

Mar 28, 2013
by: Anonymous

Cipro is actually an extremely common treatment for the "stomach flu" and for good reason. First, "stomach flu" is actually a very misleading name as it isn't even remotely related to the influenza virus. In fact, most stomach "bugs" are caused by food borne illness caused as a result of bacteria growth in the food. Bad hygiene, unwashed vegetables, spoiled vegetables and meats, under-cooked meats, etc. are major causes for this.

As with all medication, there are side effects. As antibiotics go, Cipro is on the stronger end and you may be able to get away with a Z-Pak or Amoxicillin, etc. Cipro does tend to cause a lot of stress on the body, so heavy exercise for the ~3-10 days that you're on it is not recommended.

While antibiotics are over-prescribed and that needs to be addressed, it is just as dangerous, if not more so, to think that eating oatmeal or drinking cranberry juice is going to knock-out a major bacterial infection!


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

I would never suggest oatmeal or cranberry juice for a major bacterial infection, so I agree with you there.

Part of the problem with antibiotics being overprescribed is that, for instance, doctors rarely test to see if the problem is bacterial or viral or fungal.

The majority of 'prostate infection' is fungal, yet antibiotics, including fluoroquinolones like Levaquin, Cipro, Levoflaxacin, etc, are prescribed.

So people experience mild to debilitating side effects from a doctor prescribed medication that never had a change of fixing the problem.

The 'with good reason' part of your statement is debatable, IMHO. If it's a food poisoning that will pass in 1-3 days, the risk of Cipro, IMHO, far outweighs the discomfort of 1-3 days of bowel distress.

And again I agree with you, other forms of antibiotics would certainly be my first choice over a fluoroquinolone.

May 02, 2014
Cipro and Levaquin, two different doctors, maybe or maybe not prostatitis
by: MaybeProstatitis

I first was diagnosed with epipdidymitis-orchitis by only an exam and question. I assumed I had a hernia but the Doctor claimed it was that likely that after questioning me and I was given 1 week of Cipro 500 MGs.

Then the pain moved and I went to another Doctor given 3 weeks of Levaquin 500mg for what was supposedly Prostatitis and the Doctor's Nurse lost my Urine Test so who really will ever know if that's a fact?


See Related: Cipro Is Causing Me Serious Pain

Dec 16, 2014
Took Cipro and Statins been reading about magnesium
by: Anonymous

I have just found this out about flu shot causing tendonitis. I think I had a flu shot once, don't remember which arm I got it in. Let me also add that I have tendonitis in my body which severely limits my mobility.

I attribute this to two drugs I have been given. Statin drugs and the biggy, CIPRO. Cipro drug has the side effects of TENDONITIS. The two drugs together, I believe, should not be given together or separately at different life periods due to their synergistic effects on each other.

I have other health issues. But I know that before I took the statin drugs, I did not have any tendon pain in my extremities. I took statin for a year. Complained of pain then stopped it.

Also red yeast rice can cause the SAME pain as the statin drugs. Then about four or five years later I took cipro for infection.

It was AFTER THAT the tendonitis pain REALLY kicked in. First my right lower leg had tendonitis. I went to physical therapy for this for over a month. The massage helps, up and down the leg in circular motions. Also ice.

Then my left shoulder LOCKED up out of nowhere after I finished leg treatment. Again massage and ice. Took two weeks to unfreeze it. I also think at least for me extreme climatic heat is a contributing factor. Cool, heat temperatures. I drink a lot of water which does help, but I was drinking water before when it happened.

This was my experience.

I have been reading about magnesium. Wow did not realize how important it is for muscles and tendons. I do take a calcium supplement which has magnesium in it. When I don't take the leg cramps are crazy painful. I am going to be more conscious of magnesium rich foods. I don't do well with most supplements.

Probably would not hurt to get a magnesium level done. Calcium level is within normal limits.

Another thing I do is make a cartilage soup if I can find the ingredients, tripe, oxtail bones, veggies. I also do a lot of stretching. Have a pulley that I use for arms/shoulders.

I have had a ton of physical therapy over the last decade and in my 20s. I could still use more if I could afford it. I recently finished up for tendonitis trigger finger, left thumb and tendonitis right shoulder/forearm. I have to be very conscious of what I do. Can't pick up heavy things, gallon milk, etc. Trigger finger did not go away.

I have special stretches I do with my fingers and I have to wear the weight lifter gloves to protect my hands (no I am not able to lift weights, not even half pounds or less with gloves on, nada).

The right arm business was caused by FRICTION RUB from sleeping in flannel nightgowns, caused by a previous fall I had where I fractured right shoulder, the physical therapy was not enough at that time.

I have to sleep with satin sheets because of the neuropathy in my feet. Friction rubs on feet are awful. I have to make sure the threads of the bottom sheet go lengthwise and not irritate my skin.

Aug 09, 2016
Cipro Side effects
by: Anonymous

Im on CIPRO 500 mg twice daily for 10 days for a full blown Kidney infection. I had a CT Scan and it showed a mass on Kidney, blood and urine tests confirm. I'm following all directions to the tee and I've dropped the gym 100% till im off Cipro
Any thing else anyone can ad or warn me of.



Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do. If it's a bad infection and you need something as strong as Cipro, then...

When you're done with the cipro, I would push for a Magnesium via IV, and or a couple few Meyers Cocktail (various nutrition including Magnesium via IV).

Cipro depletes magnesium. Get yourself topped back up.

You -could- take magnesium while on the Cipro, but Cipro won't work if taking Magnesium around the few hours when you take it.

And we want it to kill the infection, so.....

Nov 01, 2016
Does anyone have any advice for me?
by: JH

I was issued a 21 day supply of Levaquin in January of 2016. The following month, I started experiencing pain in my elbow. After several months of physical therapy, cortisone shots and an MRI, I found out I have a tear in the tendon that requires surgery which I'll be going for next week.

I also read where there have been possible eye damage to the optic nerve. Out of the blue, I started experiencing floaters, which ended up resulting in a diagnosis of Uveitiis. I've had to undergo a painful injection to the eyeball.

The eye issue started in late 2014, but I've taken Levaquin a few times in the past. I'm not sure if that's associated with the eye issue, but I'm fairly certain the tendon tear has to do with Levaquin after having taken it for 3 weeks.

Are there any lawsuits still ongoing. Any attorneys still taking cases? I've reached out to about 5 but they all say they can't help me.


Joshua Comments:

Hi JH.

1. What tendon had a tear?

2. How'd the surgery go?

3. The floaters etc are not-uncommon side effects of Levaquin. As are tears, and other pains.

If you were 'fine', and then took Levaquin and immediately or shortly thereafter had tendon injury and eye floaters and dryness etc, that's a pretty clear correlation.

4. I don't keep track of fluoroquinolone class action lawsuits, mostly because A. the take so long and B. if you 'win' there isn't anything in it for you.

It's looking like the avenue for successful lawsuits is going the 'malpractice' route. Of course, there has to be something the law would consider to be malpractice..

See Related: Will These Ciprofloxacin Side Effects Get Worse?

See Related: Unexplained Pain from Levaquin And Dementia

Jun 12, 2017
Ruptured tendon after this drug
by: Robert

I took 2 x 500 mg of cioro for two weeks i continued my twice weekly workouts.. no one told me not to! After 10 days my achilees tendondon started to hurt .

Then i dived into the pool. I felt my tendon tear as i dived! Now i can barely walk. Not great when you are on holiday! I will keep everyone posted on developments.

So far ice and parcetomol. Very depressed that medication might have permanently damaged my life.. !!


Joshua Comments:

Hey Robert.

How bad did it tear??

Yes, please do keep us updated.

Apr 28, 2018
Drama queens
by: Anonymous

You are all hypocondriacts this medication DOES NOT cause physical problems. Its all bullshit!!


Joshua Comments:

Stop your trolling.

Alternately, stop being stupid.

See: FDA's black label warning on fluoroquinolones.

Jun 08, 2018
Index and 5th pain and stiffness
by: Anonymous

This all began 4 months ago. I'm 65 and a pianist. One day my index and 5th fingers became very stiff and painful. I did have 'trigger finger' in the index, but I had had that occasionally before, but never stiffness or pain.

I had cortisone shots, twice, but these didn't work. An MRI showed nothing.

The pain in the index finger is now in the front---the tip is very sensitive and the pain is mostly in the next joint after the fingertip. At first the Drs wanted to do surgery if the cortisone did not work. Now that I have this pain, they don't want to, as the pain is not consistent with typical trigger finger.

I was given Gabapentin to help with the pain. The distressing thing is I'll have very little pain and very mild stiffness for a few days, then back to square one.For 4 months. Any thoughts?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

Did you take Cipro or another fluoroquinolone antibiotic?

If so, when, on the timeline of this finger pain?

Jul 20, 2018
Reply to JH
by: Anna


Did your eye issues ever resolve? What did doctors recommend for your eye swelling and issues? I took one pill and had tight eyes and blurry vision for one day, it has went away since, but I am still not sure what happened. Maybe tight tendons.

Let us know how you are doing, JH!

Aug 06, 2018
Cypro.. no!
by: Anonymous

In response to the crypro debate,.. I am 61 year old female who ruptured my Achilles playing. It was the perfect storm/ hot weather, hard court, long match, and I had been on Cipro the week before for a UTI (never again). I believe Cypro either caused the rupture or contributed to the weakness to cause it.

If you are an active individual I suggest getting off it! They say it stays in your system for three months. So be cautious with lunging and thrusting sports.

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