Last update: Jan. 22, 2019


Very Low Risk for breastfeeding

Safe. Compatible.
Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.

Fluoroquinolone with bactericidal effect by inhibition of bacterial DNA synthesis.
Oral administration twice a daily.

It is excreted in tiny amounts into breast milk. (Gardner 1992, Cover 1990, Giamarellou 1989), much lower than the dose used to treat newborns or infants (van den Oever 1998).
No problems attributable to ciprofloxacin have been observed in infants whose mothers took it (Drobac 2005, Gardner 1992).
The plasma levels of these infants were undetectable or very low (Gardner 1992).

Quinolone-related medication has been used in neonates and infants without known side effects (Newby 2017, Dutta 2006, Belet 2004, Drossou 2004, Chin 2001, van den Oever 1998, Gürpinar 1997). It is excreted in tiny amounts into breast milk and absorption through the child’s gut may be interfered by calcium in the milk (Fleiss 1992, Neuvonen 1991).

A single case of pseudoembranous colitis has been published in a two-month-old infant whose mother was taking ciprofloxacin (Harmon 1992), but both he had suffered a necrotizing enterocolitis with prolonged hospitalization in the neonatal period, and we do not know the dose took the mother, are confounding factors (Briggs 2017).
Follow-up for diarrhea in the infant is warranted.

Should it be prescribed to a nursing mother Norfloxacine, Ofloxacine and Ciprofloxacine are to be chosen since they have shown a lowest excretion into the milk (Butler 2014).

The possible negativity of cultures in febrile infants whose mothers take antibiotics should be taken into account,

There are authors and medical associations that discourage their use during breastfeeding (van der Woude 2015, Mottet 2009, WHO 2002) and others that do not (Huang 2016, McConnell 2016, Butler 2014, Huang 2014, Schulze 2014, Chen 2010, Spencer 2008, Nahum 2006, Mahadevan 2006, Bar-Oz 2003, Chin 2001), recommending avoiding long-term treatments.
In a cross-sectional survey of Canadian physicians, only 50% of physicians stopped treatment with ciprofloxacin during breastfeeding (Huang 2016).
American Academy of Pediatrics: medication usually compatible with breastfeeding (AAP 2001).

There is no good quality scientific evidence to support the use of ciprofloxacin as the treatment of choice for mastitis.
Unreasonably prolonged or repetitive use of antibiotics is harmful to health.
Due to the publication of reports of serious or potentially serious side effects in patients treated with fluoroquinolones, several health authorities propose restricting their indiscriminate outpatient use and reserving them for certain serious diseases (EMA 2018, FDA 2016).


Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Ciprofloxacin in other languages or writings:


Ciprofloxacin belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Ciprofloxacin in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Bioavailability 50 - 85 %
Molecular weight 331 daltons
Protein Binding 20 - 40 %
VD 1,4 l/Kg
pKa 7,1 -
Tmax 0,5 - 2,3 hours
T1/2 4 hours
M/P ratio 2 -
Theoretical Dose 0,57 mg/Kg/d
Relative Dose 2,3 - 3,4 %
Relat.Ped.Dose 1,4 - 2,9 %


  1. EMA. Resumen de la audiencia pública de la EMA sobre antibióticos quinolonas y fluoroquinolonas. 2018 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. EMA-PRAC. Fluoroquinolone and quinolone antibiotics: PRAC recommends restrictions on use. Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee. 2018 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Towers CV, Forinash AB. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk. Wolters Kluwer Health. 11th edition (acces on line) 2017
  4. Newby BD, Timberlake KE, Lepp LM, Mihic T, Dersch-Mills DA. Levofloxacin Use in the Neonate: A Case Series. J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Abstract
  5. FDA. FDA updates warnings for fluoroquinolone antibiotics. News Release. 2016 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Huang VW, Chang HJ, Kroeker KI, Goodman KJ, Hegadoren KM, Dieleman LA, Fedorak RN. Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Varies Widely: A Need for Further Education. Can J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. FDA. La FDA actualiza las advertencias para los antibióticos conocidos como fluoroquinolonas. Comunicado de Prensa. 2016 Full text (link to original source)
  8. McConnell RA, Mahadevan U. Pregnancy and the Patient with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Fertility, Treatment, Delivery, and Complications. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2016 Abstract
  9. van der Woude CJ, Ardizzone S, Bengtson MB, Fiorino G, Fraser G, Katsanos K, Kolacek S, Juillerat P, Mulders AG, Pedersen N, Selinger C, Sebastian S, Sturm A, Zelinkova Z, Magro F; European Crohn’s and Colitis Organization. The second European evidenced-based consensus on reproduction and pregnancy in inflammatory bowel disease. J Crohns Colitis. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. Butler DC, Heller MM, Murase JE. Safety of dermatologic medications in pregnancy and lactation: Part II. Lactation. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Mar;70(3):417.e1-10; quiz 427. Abstract
  11. Huang VW, Habal FM. From conception to delivery: managing the pregnant inflammatory bowel disease patient. World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. Schulze H, Esters P, Dignass A. Review article: the management of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis during pregnancy and lactation. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  13. Chen LH, Zeind C, Mackell S, LaPointe T, Mutsch M, Wilson ME. Breastfeeding travelers: precautions and recommendations. J Travel Med. 2010 Jan-Feb;17(1):32-47. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  14. Mottet C, Vader JP, Felley C, Froehlich F, Gonvers JJ, Juillerat P, Stockbrügger R, Angelucci E, Seibold F, Michetti P, Pittet V; EPACT II Study Group. Appropriate management of special situations in Crohn's disease (upper gastro-intestinal; extra-intestinal manifestations; drug safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding): Results of a multidisciplinary international expert panel-EPACT II. J Crohns Colitis. 2009 Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  15. Spencer JP. Management of mastitis in breastfeeding women. Am Fam Physician. 2008 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  16. Dutta S, Chowdhary G, Kumar P, Mukhopadhay K, Narang A. Ciprofloxacin administration to very low birth weight babies has no effect on linear growth in infancy. J Trop Pediatr. 2006 Abstract
  17. Nahum GG, Uhl K, Kennedy DL. Antibiotic use in pregnancy and lactation: what is and is not known about teratogenic and toxic risks. Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Abstract
  18. Mahadevan U, Kane S. American gastroenterological association institute technical review on the use of gastrointestinal medications in pregnancy. Gastroenterology. 2006 Jul;131(1):283-311. Review. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  19. Drobac PC, del Castillo H, Sweetland A, Anca G, Joseph JK, Furin J, Shin S. Treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis during pregnancy: long-term follow-up of 6 children with intrauterine exposure to second-line agents. Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Jun 1;40(11):1689-92. Epub 2005 Apr 18. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  20. Drossou-Agakidou V, Roilides E, Papakyriakidou-Koliouska P, Agakidis C, Nikolaides N, Sarafidis K, Kremenopoulos G. Use of ciprofloxacin in neonatal sepsis: lack of adverse effects up to one year. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2004 Abstract
  21. Belet N, Haciömeroğlu P, Küçüködük S. Ciprofloxacin treatment in newborns with multi-drug-resistant nosocomial Pseudomonas infections. Biol Neonate. 2004 Abstract
  22. Bar-Oz B, Bulkowstein M, Benyamini L, Greenberg R, Soriano I, Zimmerman D, Bortnik O, Berkovitch M. Use of antibiotic and analgesic drugs during lactation. Drug Saf. 2003 Abstract
  23. WHO / UNICEF. BREASTFEEDING AND MATERNAL MEDICATION Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/UNICEF) 2002 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  24. Chin KG, McPherson CE 3rd, Hoffman M, Kuchta A, Mactal-Haaf C. Use of anti-infective agents during lactation: Part 2--Aminoglycosides, macrolides, quinolones, sulfonamides, trimethoprim, tetracyclines, chloramphenicol, clindamycin, and metronidazole. J Hum Lact. 2001 Feb;17(1):54-65. Abstract
  25. AAP - American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs. Transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk. Pediatrics. 2001 Sep;108(3):776-89. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  26. van den Oever HL, Versteegh FG, Thewessen EA, van den Anker JN, Mouton JW, Neijens HJ. Ciprofloxacin in preterm neonates: case report and review of the literature. Eur J Pediatr. 1998 Abstract
  27. Gürpinar AN, Balkan E, Kiliç N, Kiriştioğlu I, Doğruyol H. The effects of a fluoroquinolone on the growth and development of infants. J Int Med Res. 1997 Abstract
  28. Fleiss PM. The effect of maternal medications on breastfeeding infants. J Hum Lact. 1992 Abstract
  29. Gardner DK, Gabbe SG, Harter C. Simultaneous concentrations of ciprofloxacin in breast milk and in serum in mother and breast-fed infant. Clin Pharm. 1992 Abstract
  30. Harmon T, Burkhart G, Applebaum H. Perforated pseudomembranous colitis in the breast-fed infant. J Pediatr Surg. 1992 Abstract
  31. Neuvonen PJ, Kivistö KT, Lehto P. Interference of dairy products with the absorption of ciprofloxacin. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1991 Abstract
  32. Cover DL, Mueller BA. Ciprofloxacin penetration into human breast milk: a case report. DICP. 1990 Abstract
  33. Giamarellou H, Kolokythas E, Petrikkos G, Gazis J, Aravantinos D, Sfikakis P. Pharmacokinetics of three newer quinolones in pregnant and lactating women. Am J Med. 1989 Abstract

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