Ciprofloxacin Vs Macrobid


Ciprofloxacin and Macrobid are common antibiotics used to treat many bacterial infections. Both medications can be prescribed by a doctor or purchased over the counter, depending on the severity of the infection.

Ciprofloxacin is often used for bacterial infections and other urinary tract infections, while Macrobid is an ideal choice for treating bladder infections as well as some STDs.

Both medications have their own side effects and can cause allergic reactions in some patients. When taken properly, both antibiotics can provide successful treatment.

However, it's important to never take them without a doctor's advice first. Otherwise, risks of unwanted adverse effects may occur.

About Ciprofloxacin and Macrobid

What Is Ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic medication used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. It belongs to a group of antibiotics known as quinolones and works by blocking DNA gyrase, an enzyme essential for bacteria growth and reproduction.

Ciprofloxacin is typically used to treat skin, bone, joint, respiratory tract, urinary tract, prostate, and gastrointestinal infections. The medicine comes in many forms, such as tablets, oral suspension, or ophthalmic eye drops. As with all medications, it is important to follow instructions properly while using Ciprofloxacin.

What Conditions Is Ciprofloxacin Approved to Treat?

Ciprofloxacin was approved by the FDA in 2000. Since then, it has been widely used as an antibiotic to treat various bacterial infections. It comes in many forms, including oral suspensions and tablets.

Ciprofloxacin is approved to treat the following conditions;

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
  • Respiratory tract infections, including acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Bronchial infections in cystic fibrosis patients.
  • Skin and skin structure infections.
  • Bone and joint infections.
  • Gastrointestinal infections, including infectious diarrhea caused by E. coli, Campylobacter jejuni, and Shigella bacteria.
  • Complicated intra-abdominal infections.
  • Typhoid fever.

How Does Ciprofloxacin Work for Bacterial Infections?

Ciprofloxacin is an extremely powerful bactericidal antibiotic belonging to the fluoroquinolone drug class. Unlike many other antibiotics, which impede bacterial growth by interfering with protein production, Ciprofloxacin works by disrupting the DNA replication process directly.

It does so by targeting two enzyme complexes present in bacterial cells that are essential for maintaining topological arrangement and linking of DNA strands; DNA topoisomerase and DNA-gyrase. These enzymes cut and untangle tightly packed circular strands of bacteria's genetic code, thus controlling the way in which genetic information can be expressed— making them attractive targets in drugs used to treat bacterial infections.

Of all drugs within this class, Ciprofloxacin displays the highest potency against gram-negative bacilli bacteria, a category that counts many species pathogenic to humans among its members.

What Is Macrobid?

Macrobid, also known as nitrofurantoin, is an antibiotic commonly prescribed to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs are caused by bacteria that find their way into the urinary tract. In women, this type of infection usually refers to cystitis, which refers to an infection in the bladder. In men, prostatitis refers to an infection in the prostate. Regardless of gender, however, the infection can spread to the kidneys if not treated promptly with antibiotics. When taken as directed helps kill the bacteria and clear the infection.

The most common side effects associated with Macrobid include nausea, vomiting, and many more. More serious side effects can occur, so it's important for those taking this drug to seek medical attention if any abnormal behaviors or health issues arise.

What Conditions Is Macrobid Approved to Treat?

Macrobid was first approved by the FDA in 1953 for treating urinary tract infections caused by bacteria. Since then, it has been a commonly prescribed antibiotic for UTIs. However, over the years, the FDA has updated the labeling and warnings for Macrobid to reflect new safety and efficacy information.

Macrobid is approved to treat;

  • Acute uncomplicated urinary tract infections.
  • Bladder infections are caused by several types of bacteria.

How Does Macrobid Work for UTIs?

The working of Macrobid is not really clear to the researchers as well.

However, research suggests that the active ingredient in Macrobid, nitrofurantoin, is brought into the bacterial system and broken down into a series of temporary reactive intermediates by intracellular flavoproteins.

These metabolites then bind to the bacteria's ribosomes, restricting the production and functionality of several different enzymes involved in key processes such as gene replication, cell wall protein synthesis, and other metabolic activities. Through these powerful combinations of processes, nitrofurantoin can effectively fight infection.


How Effective Are Macrobid and Ciprofloxacin for UTIs?

Macrobid is a common antibiotic treatment for uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs). It is typically the first-line treatment prescribed due to its effectiveness and generally low side effects.

Compared to other antibiotics, it has milder effects on the body and only inhibits bacterial growth, giving the immune system time to respond and kill off harmful bacteria. The chances of success are usually high if the infection is caused by E. coli. However, some bacteria may be resistant to nitrofurantoin — the active ingredient in Macrobid — in which case your doctor will likely advise switching to a different antibiotic.

Ciprofloxacin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, meaning it can fight a variety of bacterial infections. It has greater efficacy than other antibiotics and is commonly used to treat complicated urinary tract infections, such as pyelonephritis (kidney infection).

Whilst Ciprofloxacin may prove to be an effective treatment for such conditions, it does come with risks of certain side effects that may not be present with medications such as Macrobid.

Some of these side effects include nausea, diarrhea, and an increased risk of tendonitis and tendon rupture. As a result, it is usually only prescribed when other antibiotics have failed.

Dosage Information

How Is Ciprofloxacin Administered for UTIs?

Ciprofloxacin is available in different forms, including;

  • A tablet.
  • Suspension form.
  • Extended-release tablet.

Ciprofloxacin Dosage Information

The dosage of Ciprofloxacin can vary depending on the individual's age, the severity of their problem, and other factors.

How Is Macrobid Administered for UTIs?

Macrobid is available in different forms, including;

  • Oral capsule.
  • Oral suspension.

Macrobid Dosage Information

The dosage of Macrobid can vary depending on the individual's age, the severity of their problem, and other factors.

Side Effects

Both Macrobid and Ciprofloxacin have their own side effects. Remember that if you face any of the below-mentioned side effects, immediately talk to your doctor and discontinue your medicine.

What Are the Most Common Side Effects of Macrobid?

The most common side effects of Macrobid include the following;

  • Itching or rash.
  • Rust-colored or brownish urine.
  • Dizziness.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Gas.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea.
  • Fever accompanied by chills.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Weight loss.
  • Numbness.

Are There Any Potentially Serious Side Effects of Macrobid?

Some of the serious side effects of Macrobid include the following;

  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Severe diarrhea or bloody stools
  • Lung problems, such as inflammation or scarring
  • Liver problems or hepatitis
  • Nerve damage or neuropathy
  • Hemolytic anemia (destruction of red blood cells)
  • Superinfection (overgrowth of non-susceptible bacteria, fungi, or

What Are the Most Common Side Effects of Ciprofloxacin?

The most common side effects of Ciprofloxacin include the following;

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in taste
  • Vaginal yeast infection in women
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain or weakness

Are There Any Potentially Serious Side Effects of Ciprofloxacin?

Some of the serious side effects of Ciprofloxacin include the following;

  • Muscle weakness.
  • Swelling in joints and tendons.
  • Serious allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis.
  • Mood changes such as anxiety and anger.
  • Abnormal heart rhythm or QT prolongation.
  • Liver damage or failure.
  • Upset stomach.

Warnings and General Precautions for Ciprofloxacin and Macrobid

People who have a history of allergies or any kind of heart rhythm disorder should talk to their doctor before taking either drug. Additionally, those who take certain antibiotics or anticoagulants should also speak to their healthcare provider. Taking either medicine during pregnancy can come with certain risks and should be discussed thoroughly with your doctor before taking them. If you experience any side effects such as nausea, shortness of breath, or difficulty sleeping, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Contraindications and Important Interactions for Ciprofloxacin and Macrobid



Patients with a history of hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to Ciprofloxacin or other quinolone antibiotics should not take Ciprofloxacin.

Ciprofloxacin can increase the risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture, especially in older adults or those taking corticosteroids. Therefore, it should be used with caution in such patients.


Patients with a history of hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to nitrofurantoin or other nitrofurans should not take Macrobid.

Macrobid is eliminated by the kidneys, and its accumulation can cause toxicity in patients with renal impairment. Therefore, it should be avoided in patients with significant renal impairment.

Drug/Medication Interactions


  • Lipitor (atorvastatin)
  • Lyrica (pregabalin)
  • Norco (acetaminophen/hydrocodone)
  • Aspirin Low Strength
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Eliquis (apixaban)


  • Levothyroxine
  • Gabapentin
  • Zyrtec (cetirizine)
  • Doxycycline
  • Aspirin
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine)

Food/Beverage/Supplement Interactions


Caffeine can affect mood and worsen anxiety, a potential side effect.

The presence of calcium in dairy products may bind to Ciprofloxacin, reducing its absorption and effectiveness. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid consuming dairy products or calcium-fortified foods while taking these antibiotics.

Iron supplements can decrease the effectiveness of Ciprofloxacin. Patients are advised to avoid taking these medications together or to separate their intake by at least two hours.


It is recommended not to take caffeine.

Antacids and supplements containing magnesium or aluminum can interfere with the absorption of Macrobid. To avoid this interaction, patients are advised to space out the intake of these medications for at least two hours.

Iron supplements can decrease the effectiveness of Macrobid. Patients are advised to avoid taking these medications together or to separate their intake by at least two hours.

Cost Comparison

How Much Do Ciprofloxacin and Macrobid Cost?

The cost for both varies by factors, including pharmacy and location.

The average cost for 500mg of Ciprofloxacin is around $11. The average cost of 100 Macrobid capsules is around $630.

The Popularity of Ciprofloxacin and Macrobid

According to data, Ciprofloxacin was the most commonly prescribed antibiotic in the United States in 2017, with over 23 million prescriptions filled. Ciprofloxacin is also frequently prescribed in other countries and is widely available as a generic medication. It was ranked 132nd in 2020.

On the other hand, Macrobid is less commonly prescribed than Ciprofloxacin. It ranked 167th in 2020.



To sum it up, Ciprofloxacin and Macrobid are both very powerful antibiotics that have proven to be effective in treating a range of bacterial infections. Though Ciprofloxacin tends to be more effective for treating certain urinary tract infections, there is no single correct answer as to which antibiotic is best for any given situation.

Ultimately, it’s important that all individuals understand the risks and benefits associated with each type of antibiotic before making a decision about which treatment option is right for them.

Patients should always discuss their options with their doctor, who will be able to provide advice on the best course of action based on a variety of factors.

Both Ciprofloxacin and Macrobid can effectively treat a wide range of bacterial infections, so ensure you’re getting all the relevant information when considering your treatment options.