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Ciprofloxacin given as an oral tablet is rapidly and well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract after oral administration. The absolute bioavailability is approximately 70% with no substantial loss by first pass metabolism. Ciprofloxacin maximum serum concentrations and area under the curve are shown in the chart for the 250 mg to 1000 mg dose range.
|Dose (mg)||Maximum Serum Concentration (mcg/mL)||Area Under Curve (AUC) (mcg•hr/mL)|
Maximum serum concentrations are attained 1 to 2 hours after oral dosing. Mean concentrations 12 hours after dosing with 250, 500, or 750 mg are 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 mcg/mL, respectively. The serum elimination half-life in subjects with normal renal function is approximately 4 hours. Serum concentrations increase proportionately with doses up to 1000 mg.
A 500 mg oral dose given every 12 hours has been shown to produce an area under the serum concentration time curve (AUC) equivalent to that produced by an intravenous infusion of 400 mg ciprofloxacin given over 60 minutes every 12 hours. A 750 mg oral dose given every 12 hours has been shown to produce an AUC at steady-state equivalent to that produced by an intravenous infusion of 400 mg given over 60 minutes every 8 hours. A 750 mg oral dose results in a Cmax similar to that observed with a 400 mg IV dose. A 250 mg oral dose given every 12 hours produces an AUC equivalent to that produced by an infusion of 200 mg ciprofloxacin given every 12 hours.
Steady-state Pharmacokinetic Parameters Following
Multiple Oral and IV Doses
|Parameters||500 mg||400 mg||750 mg||400 mg|
|AUC (mcg•hr/mL)||q12h, P.O.||q12h, IV||q12h, P.O.||q8h, IV|
bAUC 24h=AUC0-12h x 2
cAUC 24h=AUC0-8h x 3
The binding of ciprofloxacin to serum proteins is 20 to 40% which is not likely to be high enough to cause significant protein binding interactions with other drugs.
After oral administration, ciprofloxacin is widely distributed throughout the body. Tissue concentrations often exceed serum concentrations in both men and women, particularly in genital tissue including the prostate. Ciprofloxacin is present in active form in the saliva, nasal and bronchial secretions, mucosa of the sinuses, sputum, skin blister fluid, lymph, peritoneal fluid, bile, and prostatic secretions. Ciprofloxacin has also been detected in lung, skin, fat, muscle, cartilage, and bone. The drug diffuses into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); however, CSF concentrations are generally less than 10% of peak serum concentrations. Low levels of the drug have been detected in the aqueous and vitreous humors of the eye.
Four metabolites have been identified in human urine which together account for approximately 15% of an oral dose. The metabolites have antimicrobial activity, but are less active than unchanged ciprofloxacin. Ciprofloxacin is an inhibitor of human cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) mediated metabolism. Coadministration of ciprofloxacin with other drugs primarily metabolized by CYP1A2 results in increased plasma concentrations of these drugs and could lead to clinically significant adverse events of the coadministered drug (see CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, DRUG INTERACTIONS).
The serum elimination half-life in subjects with normal renal function is approximately 4 hours. Approximately 40 to 50% of an orally administered dose is excreted in the urine as unchanged drug. After a 250 mg oral dose, urine concentrations of ciprofloxacin usually exceed 200 mcg/mL during the first two hours and are approximately 30 mcg/mL at 8 to 12 hours after dosing. The urinary excretion of ciprofloxacin is virtually complete within 24 hours after dosing. The renal clearance of ciprofloxacin, which is approximately 300 mL/minute, exceeds the normal glomerular filtration rate of 120 mL/minute. Thus, active tubular secretion would seem to play a significant role in its elimination. Co-administration of probenecid with ciprofloxacin results in about a 50% reduction in the ciprofloxacin renal clearance and a 50% increase in its concentration in the systemic circulation.
Although bile concentrations of ciprofloxacin are several fold higher than serum concentrations after oral dosing, only a small amount of the dose administered is recovered from the bile as unchanged drug. An additional 1 to 2% of the dose is recovered from the bile in the form of metabolites. Approximately 20 to 35% of an oral dose is recovered from the feces within 5 days after dosing. This may arise from either biliary clearance or transintestinal elimination.
With oral administration, a 500 mg dose, given as 10 mL of the 5% CIPRO Suspension (containing 250 mg ciprofloxacin/5mL) is bioequivalent to the 500 mg tablet. A 10 mL volume of the 5% CIPRO Suspension (containing 250 mg ciprofloxacin/5mL) is bioequivalent to a 5 mL volume of the 10% CIPRO Suspension (containing 500 mg ciprofloxacin/5mL).
When CIPRO Tablet is given concomitantly with food, there is a delay in the absorption of the drug, resulting in peak concentrations that occur closer to 2 hours after dosing rather than 1 hour whereas there is no delay observed when CIPRO Suspension is given with food. The overall absorption of CIPRO Tablet or CIPRO Suspension, however, is not substantially affected. The pharmacokinetics of ciprofloxacin given as the suspension are also not affected by food. Concurrent administration of antacids containing magnesium hydroxide or aluminum hydroxide may reduce the bioavailability of ciprofloxacin by as much as 90%. (See PRECAUTIONS.)
The serum concentrations of ciprofloxacin and metronidazole were not altered when these two drugs were given concomitantly.
Concomitant administration with tizanidine is contraindicated (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). Concomitant administration of ciprofloxacin with theophylline decreases the clearance of theophylline resulting in elevated serum theophylline levels and increased risk of a patient developing CNS or other adverse reactions. Ciprofloxacin also decreases caffeine clearance and inhibits the formation of paraxanthine after caffeine administration. (See WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS.)
Pharmacokinetic studies of the oral (single dose) and intravenous (single and multiple dose) forms of ciprofloxacin indicate that plasma concentrations of ciprofloxacin are higher in elderly subjects ( > 65 years) as compared to young adults. Although the Cmax is increased 16-40%, the increase in mean AUC is approximately 30%, and can be at least partially attributed to decreased renal clearance in the elderly. Elimination half-life is only slightly (~20%) prolonged in the elderly. These differences are not considered clinically significant. (See PRECAUTIONS: Geriatric Use.)
Patients with Renal Impairment
In patients with reduced renal function, the half-life of ciprofloxacin is slightly prolonged. Dosage adjustments may be required. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
Patients with Hepatic Impairment
In preliminary studies in patients with stable chronic liver cirrhosis, no significant changes in ciprofloxacin pharmacokinetics have been observed. The kinetics of ciprofloxacin in patients with acute hepatic insufficiency, however, have not been fully elucidated.
Following a single oral dose of 10 mg/kg ciprofloxacin suspension to 16 children ranging in age from 4 months to 7 years, the mean Cmax was 2.4 mcg/mL (range: 1.5 – 3.4 mcg/mL) and the mean AUC was 9.2 mcg*h/mL (range: 5.8 – 14.9 mcg*h/mL). There was no apparent age-dependence, and no notable increase in Cmax or AUC upon multiple dosing (10 mg/kg TID). In children with severe sepsis who were given intravenous ciprofloxacin (10 mg/kg as a 1-hour infusion), the mean Cmax was 6.1 mcg/mL (range: 4.6 – 8.3 mcg/mL) in 10 children less than 1 year of age; and 7.2 mcg/mL (range: 4.7 – 11.8 mcg/mL) in 10 children between 1 and 5 years of age. The AUC values were 17.4 mcg*h/mL (range: 11.8 – 32.0 mcg*h/mL) and 16.5 mcg*h/mL (range: 11.0 – 23.8 mcg*h/mL) in the respective age groups. These values are within the range reported for adults at therapeutic doses. Based on population pharmacokinetic analysis of pediatric patients with various infections, the predicted mean half-life in 5 children is approximately 4 - 5 hours, and the bioavailability of the oral suspension is approximately 60%.
Mechanism of Action
The bactericidal action of ciprofloxacin results from inhibition of the enzymes topoisomerase II (DNA gyrase) and topoisomerase IV (both Type II topoisomerases), which are required for bacterial DNA replication, transcription, repair, and recombination.
Mechanism of Resistance
The mechanism of action of fluoroquinolones, including ciprofloxacin, is different from that of penicillins, cephalosporins, aminoglycosides, macrolides, and tetracyclines; therefore, microorganisms resistant to these classes of drugs may be susceptible to ciprofloxacin. Resistance to fluoroquinolones occurs primarily by either mutations in the DNA gyrases, decreased outer membrane permeability, or drug efflux. In vitro resistance to ciprofloxacin develops slowly by multiple step mutations. Resistance to ciprofloxacin due to spontaneous mutations occurs at a general frequency of between < 10-9 to 1x10-6.
There is no known cross-resistance between ciprofloxacin and other classes of antimicrobials.
Ciprofloxacin has been shown to be active against most isolates of the following bacteria, both in vitro and in clinical infections as described in the INDICATIONS AND USAGE section of the package insert for CIPRO (ciprofloxacin hydrochloride) Tablets and CIPRO (ciprofloxacin*) 5% and 10% Oral Suspension.
Enterococcus faecalis (vancomycin-susceptible
Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-susceptible isolates only)
Staphylococcus epidermidis (methicillin-susceptible isolates only)
Streptococcus pneumoniae (penicillin-susceptible isolates only)
Campylobacter jejuni Proteus mirabilis
Citrobacter koseri (diversus) Proteus vulgaris
Citrobacter freundii Providencia rettgeri
Enterobacter cloacae Providencia stuartii
Escherichia coli Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Haemophilus influenzae Salmonella typhi
Haemophilus parainfluenzae Serratia marcescens
Klebsiella pneumoniae Shigella boydii
Moraxella catarrhalis Shigella dysenteriae
Morganella morganii Shigella flexneri
Neisseria gonorrhoeae Shigella sonnei
Ciprofloxacin has been shown to be active against Bacillus anthracis both in vitro and by use of serum levels as a surrogate marker (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE and Inhalational Anthrax – Additional Information).
The following in vitro data are available, but their clinical significance is unknown. At least 90 percent of the following bacteria exhibit an in vitro minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) less than or equal to the susceptible breakpoint for ciprofloxacin ( ≤ 1 mcg/mL). However, the efficacy of ciprofloxacin in treating clinical infections due to these bacteria has not been established in adequate and well-controlled clinical trials.
(methicillin-susceptible isolates only)
Staphylococcus hominis (methicillin-susceptible isolates only)
Acinetobacter lwoffi Pasteurella multocida
Aeromonas hydrophila Salmonella enteritidis
Edwardsiella tarda Vibrio cholerae
Enterobacter aerogenes Vibrio parahaemolyticus
Klebsiella oxytoca Vibrio vulnificus
Legionella pneumophila Yersinia enterocolitica
Susceptibility Test Methods
When available, the clinical microbiology laboratory should provide the results of in vitro susceptibility test results for antimicrobial drug products used in resident hospitals to the physician as periodic reports that describe the susceptibility profile of nosocomial and community-acquired pathogens. These reports should aid the physician in selecting an antibacterial drug product for treatment.
- Dilution Techniques: Quantitative methods are used to determine antimicrobial minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs). These MICs provide estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antimicrobial compounds. The MICs should be determined using a standardized test method (broth and/or agar).1,3,4, The MIC values should be interpreted according to criteria provided in Table 1.
- Diffusion Techniques: Quantitative methods that require measurement of zone diameters can also provide reproducible estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antimicrobial compounds. The zone size provides an estimate of the susceptibility of bacteria to antimicrobial compounds. The zone size should be determined using a standardized test method.2,3,4 This procedure uses paper disks impregnated with 5 mcg ciprofloxacin to test the susceptibility of bacteria to ciprofloxacin. The disc diffusion interpretive criteria are provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Susceptibility Test Interpretive Criteria for
|Bacteria||MIC (mcg/mL)||Zone Diameter (mm)|
|Enterobacteriaceae||≤ 1||2||≥ 4||≥ 21||16-20||≤ 15|
|Enterococcus faecalis||≤ 1||2||≥ 4||≥ 21||16–20||≤ 15|
|Staphylococcus aureus||≤ 1||2||≥ 4||≥ 21||16–20||≤ 15|
|Staphylococcus epidermidis||≤ 1||2||≥ 4||≥ 21||16–20||≤ 15|
|Staphylococcus saprophyticus||≤ 1||2||≥ 4||≥ 21||16–20||≤ 15|
|Pseudomonas aeruginosa||≤ 1||2||≥ 4||≥ 21||16–20||≤ 15|
|Haemophilus influenzaea||≤ 1||-||-||≥ 21||-||-|
|Haemophilus parainfluenzaea||≤ 1||-||-||≥ 21||-||-|
|Salmonella typhi||≤ 0.06||0.12–0.5||≥ 1||≥ 31||21–30||≤ 20|
|Streptococcus pneumoniae||≤ 1||2||≥ 4||≥ 21||16–20||≤ 15|
|Streptococcus pyogenes||≤ 1||2||≥ 4||≥ 21||16–20||≤ 15|
|Neisseria gonorrhoeae||≤ 0.06||0.12–0.5||≥ 1||≥ 41||28–40||≤ 27|
|Bacillus anthracisa||≤ 0.25||-||-||-||-||-|
|S=Susceptible, I=Intermediate, and R=Resistant.
a The current absence of data on resistant isolates precludes defining any results other than “Susceptible”. If isolates yield MIC results other than susceptible, they should be submitted to a reference laboratory for further testing.
A report of “Susceptible” indicates that the antimicrobial is likely to inhibit growth of the pathogen if the antimicrobial compound reaches the concentrations at the site of infection necessary to inhibit growth of the pathogen. A report of “Intermediate” indicates that the result should be considered equivocal, and, if the microorganism is not fully susceptible to alternative, clinically feasible drugs, the test should be repeated. This category implies possible clinical applicability in body sites where the drug is physiologically concentrated or in situations where high dosage of drug can be used. This category also provides a buffer zone that prevents small uncontrolled technical factors from causing major discrepancies in interpretation. A report of “Resistant” indicates that the antimicrobial is not likely to inhibit growth of the pathogen if the antimicrobial compound reaches the concentrations usually achievable at the infection site; other therapy should be selected.
- Quality Control: Standardized susceptibility test procedures require the use of laboratory controls to monitor the accuracy and precision of supplies and reagents used in the assay, and the techniques of the individuals performing the test.1,2,3,4 Standard ciprofloxacin powder should provide the following range of MIC values noted in Table 2. For the diffusion technique using the ciprofloxacin 5 mcg disk the criteria in Table 2 should be achieved.
Table 2: Acceptable Quality Control Ranges for
|Bacteria||MIC range (mcg/mL)||Zone Diameter (mm)|
|Enterococcus faecalis ATCC 29212||0.25–2||-|
|Escherichia coli ATCC 25922||0.004–0.015||30–40|
|Haemophilus influenzae ATCC 49247||0.004–0.03||34–42|
|Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853||0.25–1||25–33|
|Staphylococcus aureus ATCC29213||0.12–0.5||-|
|Staphylococcus aureus ATCC25923||-||22–30|
|Neisseria gonorrhoeae ATCC 49226||0.001–0.008||48–58|
|Campylobacter jejuni ATCC 33560||0.06–0.25 and 0.03–0.12||-|
Ciprofloxacin and other quinolones have been shown to cause arthropathy in immature animals of most species tested. (See WARNINGS.) Damage of weight bearing joints was observed in juvenile dogs and rats. In young beagles, 100 mg/kg ciprofloxacin, given daily for 4 weeks, caused degenerative articular changes of the knee joint. At 30 mg/kg, the effect on the joint was minimal. In a subsequent study in young beagle dogs, oral ciprofloxacin doses of 30 mg/kg and 90 mg/kg ciprofloxacin (approximately 1.3- and 3.5-times the pediatric dose based upon comparative plasma AUCs) given daily for 2 weeks caused articular changes which were still observed by histopathology after a treatment-free period of 5 months. At 10 mg/kg (approximately 0.6-times the pediatric dose based upon comparative plasma AUCs), no effects on joints were observed. This dose was also not associated with arthrotoxicity after an additional treatment-free period of 5 months. In another study, removal of weight bearing from the joint reduced the lesions but did not totally prevent them.
Crystalluria, sometimes associated with secondary nephropathy, occurs in laboratory animals dosed with ciprofloxacin. This is primarily related to the reduced solubility of ciprofloxacin under alkaline conditions, which predominate in the urine of test animals; in man, crystalluria is rare since human urine is typically acidic. In rhesus monkeys, crystalluria without nephropathy was noted after single oral doses as low as 5 mg/kg. (approximately 0.07-times the highest recommended therapeutic dose based upon mg/m²). After 6 months of intravenous dosing at 10 mg/kg/day, no nephropathological changes were noted; however, nephropathy was observed after dosing at 20 mg/kg/day for the same duration (approximately 0.2-times the highest recommended therapeutic dose based upon mg/m²).
In dogs, ciprofloxacin at 3 and 10 mg/kg by rapid IV injection (15 sec.) produces pronounced hypotensive effects. These effects are considered to be related to histamine release, since they are partially antagonized by pyrilamine, an antihistamine. In rhesus monkeys, rapid IV injection also produces hypotension but the effect in this species is inconsistent and less pronounced.
In mice, concomitant administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as phenylbutazone and indomethacin with quinolones has been reported to enhance the CNS stimulatory effect of quinolones.
Ocular toxicity seen with some related drugs has not been observed in ciprofloxacin-treated animals.
Complicated Urinary Tract Infection and Pyelonephritis
Efficacy in Pediatric Patients
NOTE: Although effective in clinical trials, ciprofloxacin is not a drug of first choice in the pediatric population due to an increased incidence of adverse events compared to controls, including events related to joints and/or surrounding tissues.
Ciprofloxacin, administered IV and/or orally, was compared to a cephalosporin for treatment of complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) and pyelonephritis in pediatric patients 1 to 17 years of age (mean age of 6 ± 4 years). The trial was conducted in the US, Canada, Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica, Mexico, South Africa, and Germany. The duration of therapy was 10 to 21 days (mean duration of treatment was 11 days with a range of 1 to 88 days). The primary objective of the study was to assess musculoskeletal and neurological safety.
Patients were evaluated for clinical success and bacteriological eradication of the baseline organism(s) with no new infection or superinfection at 5 to 9 days post-therapy (Test of Cure or TOC). The Per Protocol population had a causative organism(s) with protocol specified colony count(s) at baseline, no protocol violation, and no premature discontinuation or loss to follow-up (among other criteria).
The clinical success and bacteriologic eradication rates in the Per Protocol population were similar between ciprofloxacin and the comparator group as shown below.
Clinical Success and Bacteriologic Eradication at Test
of Cure (5 to 9 Days Post-Therapy)
|Per Protocol Patients||211||231|
|Clinical Response at 5 to 9 Days Post-Treatment||95.7% (202/211)||92.6% (214/231)|
|95% CI [-1.3%, 7.3%]|
|Bacteriologic Eradication by Patient at 5 to 9 Days Post-Treatment*||84.4% (178/211)||78.3% (181/231)|
|95% CI [ -1.3%, 13.1%]|
|Bacteriologic Eradication of the Baseline Pathogen at 5 to 9 Days Post-Treatment|
|Escherichia coli||156/178 (88%)||161/179 (90%)|
|* Patients with baseline pathogen(s) eradicated and no new infections or superinfections/total number of patients. There were 5.5% (6/211) ciprofloxacin and 9.5% (22/231) comparator patients with superinfections or new infections.|
Inhalational Anthrax In Adults And Pediatrics
The mean serum concentrations of ciprofloxacin associated with a statistically significant improvement in survival in the rhesus monkey model of inhalational anthrax are reached or exceeded in adult and pediatric patients receiving oral and intravenous regimens. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.) Ciprofloxacin pharmacokinetics have been evaluated in various human populations. The mean peak serum concentration achieved at steady-state in human adults receiving 500 mg orally every 12 hours is 2.97 mcg/mL, and 4.56 mcg/mL following 400 mg intravenously every 12 hours. The mean trough serum concentration at steady-state for both of these regimens is 0.2 mcg/mL. In a study of 10 pediatric patients between 6 and 16 years of age, the mean peak plasma concentration achieved is 8.3 mcg/mL and trough concentrations range from 0.09 to 0.26 mcg/mL, following two 30-minute intravenous infusions of 10 mg/kg administered 12 hours apart. After the second intravenous infusion patients switched to 15 mg/kg orally every 12 hours achieve a mean peak concentration of 3.6 mcg/mL after the initial oral dose. Long-term safety data, including effects on cartilage, following the administration of ciprofloxacin to pediatric patients are limited. (For additional information, see PRECAUTIONS, Pediatric Use.) Ciprofloxacin serum concentrations achieved in humans serve as a surrogate endpoint reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit and provide the basis for this indication.6
A placebo-controlled animal study in rhesus monkeys exposed to an inhaled mean dose of 11 LD50 (~5.5 x 105 spores (range 5-30 LD50) of B. anthracis was conducted. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of ciprofloxacin for the anthrax strain used in this study was 0.08 mcg/mL. In the animals studied, mean serum concentrations of ciprofloxacin achieved at expected Tmax (1 hour post-dose) following oral dosing to steady-state ranged from 0.98 to 1.69 mcg/mL. Mean steady-state trough concentrations at 12 hours post-dose ranged from 0.12 to 0.19 mcg/mL.7 Mortality due to anthrax for animals that received a 30-day regimen of oral ciprofloxacin beginning 24 hours post-exposure was significantly lower (1/9), compared to the placebo group (9/10) [p= 0.001]. The one ciprofloxacin-treated animal that died of anthrax did so following the 30-day drug administration period.8
More than 9300 persons were recommended to complete a minimum of 60 days of antibiotic prophylaxis against possible inhalational exposure to B. anthracis during 2001. Ciprofloxacin was recommended to most of those individuals for all or part of the prophylaxis regimen. Some persons were also given anthrax vaccine or were switched to alternative antibiotics. No one who received ciprofloxacin or other therapies as prophylactic treatment subsequently developed inhalational anthrax. The number of persons who received ciprofloxacin as all or part of their post-exposure prophylaxis regimen is unknown.
Among the persons surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1000 reported receiving ciprofloxacin as sole post-exposure prophylaxis for inhalational anthrax. Gastrointestinal adverse events (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain), neurological adverse events (problems sleeping, nightmares, headache, dizziness or lightheadedness) and musculoskeletal adverse events (muscle or tendon pain and joint swelling or pain) were more frequent than had been previously reported in controlled clinical trials. This higher incidence, in the absence of a control group, could be explained by a reporting bias, concurrent medical conditions, other concomitant medications, emotional stress or other confounding factors, and/or a longer treatment period with ciprofloxacin. Because of these factors and limitations in the data collection, it is difficult to evaluate whether the reported symptoms were drug-related.
1. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, Methods for Dilution Antimicrobial Susceptibility Tests for Bacteria That Grow Aerobically; Approved Standard – 9th Edition. CLSI Document M7-A9, CLSI, 950 West Valley Rd., Suite 2500, Wayne, PA, January, 2012.
2. CLSI, Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Disk Susceptibility Tests; Approved Standard – 11th Edition. CLSI Document M2-A11 ,CLSI, Wayne, PA, January, 2012.
3. CLSI. Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing; 22nd Informational Supplement. CLSI Document M100 S22, January 2012.
4. CLSI. Methods for Antimicrobial Dilution and Disk Susceptbility Testing of Infrequently Isolated or Fastidious Bacteria; Approved Guideline – 2nd Edition. CLSI Document M45 A2, January 2010.
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/28/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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