Cipro is an antibiotic that is linked to severe heart problems, nerve damage, tendon ruptures, skin reactions, and other devastating side effects.
Cipro and Tissue Damage
Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is known to damage collagen and connective tissues throughout the body. This is why it carries a “Black Box” warning label about tendonitis (tendon inflammation) and sudden tendon ruptures. Unfortunately, Cipro can also destroy connective tissues in other parts of the body, including the heart and aorta.
Cipro and Heart Valve Problems
In September 2019, a study of 9 million people in the U.S. found an increased risk of serious heart valve problems for people who had taken Cipro or another fluoroquinolone antibiotic within 60 days. Experts believe that heart problems occur when Cipro damages the delicate tissues in the flaps that open and close the heart valves.
Cipro and Heart Failure
When the heart valves do not close entirely, blood leaks backward whenever the heart pumps. This forces the heart to pump harder to supply the body with blood. Over time, heart failure can occur because the heart is too weak to supply the body with blood. The early symptoms of this severe side effect can include shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen legs, and an irregular heartbeat.
Cipro and Aortic Aneurysms
In December 2018, the FDA issued a Safety Warning about an increased risk of rips in the aorta from Cipro and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics. This side effect is also called an “aortic aneurysm” or “aortic dissection.”
The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body. Unfortunately, Cipro can damage connective tissues in the aorta, causing the blood vessel to weaken. In some cases, blood pressure causes a weak spot in the aorta to balloon outward and suddenly rip open. This severe side effect is called an aortic aneurysm. It can cause massive internal bleeding and sudden death, often without any early warning signs or symptoms.
Cipro and Nerve Damage
In August 2013, the FDA issued a Safety Communication to warn about the risk of peripheral neuropathy, a serious type of nerve damage that is associated with Cipro and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Cipro has carried warnings about nerve damage since 2004, but the label stated that the side effect was “rare.” It did not include warnings about the rapid onset of symptoms, the high risk of long-term complications, and severely debilitating symptoms.
Cipro and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)
Patients on Cipro have developed severe allergic reactions after taking just one dose. The reports include life-threatening or deadly skin rashes, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). In one case report from 1993, a 31 year-old woman developed TEN after taking Cipro for 6 days. By the time she went to the hospital, the rash covered her entire body. In 2003, researchers reported 10 more cases of Cipro-induced SJS in Sweden from 1988-2000.
Common Side Effects of Cipro
- Vaginal yeast infection
- Changes in liver function tests
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
Serious Side Effects of Cipro
- Heart failure
- Heart valve problems (aortic and mitral valve regurgitation)
- Heart attack
- Aortic aneurysms (aortic dissection)
- Internal bleeding
- Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)
- Tendonitis and tendon ruptures
- Allergic reaction
- Skin rash
- Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS)
- Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN)
- Heart rhythm changes (QT interval prolongation, torsades de pointes)