I do get quite a few questions from time to time and try to answer as many emails as I can. Here were a few really good questions that I thought I would share with all of you. Can we use ciprofloxacin for pneumonia? Why isn’t ciprofloxacin a treatment in community-acquired pneumonia? Also, why is ciprofloxacin an option in hospital-acquired or ventilator-acquired pneumonia?
The biggest factor in determining the answer to these questions comes down to the spectrum of activity. Ciprofloxacin has activity against Pseudomonas. Pseudomonas is a highly resistant pathogen that can be a big problem in the hospital. Because of this organism being a problem in HAP/VAP, ciprofloxacin is an option to help treat this type of infection.
On the flipside, community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) can have a different pathogen profile. Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of those common pathogens that can cause CAP. While Pseudomonas is a commonly associated pathogen with HAP/VAP, the CAP pathogen profile typically does NOT include Pseudomonas.
Because ciprofloxacin doesn’t have great activity against Streptococcus pneumoniae, it is not considered a “respiratory fluoroquinolone” and therefore not a good option in CAP. Want more on ciprofloxacin? Here’s a couple of potential drug interactions involving duloxetine and propranolol.