Ciprofloxacin for Pneumonia?

ciprofloxacin in pneumonia

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.

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  1. Connie

    To know if cipro is needed for CAP, one should look at the patient’s recent hospitalization history.

  2. Jerry

    Thanks so much for all of the revealing insights in studying and understanding pharmacotherapy.

    One thing I would like to know more about is how to understand and differentiate between the different formulations of a drug i.e. diltiazem, fenofibrate, levothyroxine etc.

  3. Rafael

    Cipro still can be use for CAP but for atypical if prior respiratory isolation right?

  4. Rosario Gonzaga-Camfield

    what other alternative meds other than Cipro could one use for pseudomonas in pulmonary infection? Penicillin, doxy and erythro all does not work for me in the past.


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Written By Eric Christianson

May 13, 2020

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