Ciprodex vs Ofloxacin – What Is The Best Antibiotic For An Ear Infection?


It is a combination product that contains two drugs – dexamethasone and ciprofloxacin. Dexamethasone is a steroid that reduces the actions of chemicals in the human body which cause inflammation.

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic that treats infections caused by pathogenic bacteria. It belongs to a group of medications called fluoroquinolones, also referred to as “quinolones.”

Ciprofloxacin interferes with a bacterial enzyme called DNA gyrase, which is required by the pathogenic bacteria to make DNA, which is crucial for the bacteria to multiply.


It works by stopping the growth of harmful bacteria as well as reducing ear discomfort and swelling. This ear drop is typically used for:

  • outer ear canal infection (acute otitis externa) in children at least 6 months of age and in adults;
  • acute otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear) in children at least 6 months of age who have a tube in their eardrum.


It is generally given two times per day in each infected ear, 4 drops per ear, for as long as prescribed by your healthcare provider (typically 7 days). You should start to feel better after the first three days of treatment.

It is essential that you give the whole course of medicine which your healthcare provider has prescribed, even when if you feel better. This is to make sure that all the pathogenic bacteria are killed and the infection doesn’t come back.

If your signs and symptoms do not improve after seven days or get worse, call your healthcare professional. It is recommended to use ear drops at around the same time every day.

Side Effects And Precautions

Some common side effects may include:

  • itching of the ear;
  • ear pain;
  • ear discomfort.

Serious side effects may include:

  • problems swallowing;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • severe ear pain that does not improve with the use of this medicine;
  • white patches in the mouth;
  • cough;
  • unusual weakness;
  • dizziness;
  • tightness in the chest;
  • fast heartbeat.

You should not use it if you are allergic to dexamethasone or ciprofloxacin, or if you are allergic to any Levaquin (levofloxacin), Tequin (gatifloxacin), Avelox (moxifloxacin), Maxaquin (lomefloxacin), Floxin (ofloxacin), or Noroxin (norfloxacin). Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • swelling or puffiness around the face, eyes, lips, or tongue or around the eyelids;
  • hive-like swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, throat, tongue, legs, hands, or feet;
  • itching or skin rash.


Avoid using this medicine with foods and drinks containing caffeine (such as – coffee, chocolate, tea leaves, or energy drinks).

You should also avoid this medicine if you have a viral infection that is affecting your ear canal, including chickenpox (a contagious disease which is caused by the varicella-zoster virus) or herpes.

If you are breastfeeding a baby, you should know that this medicine can pass into your breast milk and may have some side effects on your baby. Stop using this drug and seek emergency medical attention if you experience:

  • ear discharge, drainage, or worsening pain;
  • skin rash;
  • an allergic reaction (closing of the throat, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the tongue, lips, or face).


It is a prescription antibiotic that belongs to a group of drugs called fluoroquinolones. It works by neutralizing a specific enzyme inside bacteria, hence, rendering them incapable of repairing or reproducing themselves.

This drug was first patented in 1980, and in 1985, it was approved for medical use. It is on the WHO’s List of essential medicines.


It is usually prescribed for the treatment of various bacterial infections, like – pneumonia, kidney or bladder infections, ear, and bronchitis.


The dose of this drug will be different for different sufferers. Follow the directions on the label or your healthcare provider’s orders.

It comes in oral tablet form and is generally taken 2 times per day. Complete this antibiotic treatment as your healthcare provider ordered even if you feel better.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea;
  • trouble sleeping;
  • headache;
  • dry mouth.

Rare side effects may include:

  • convulsions;
  • diarrhea which is bloody or watery;
  • severe stomach pain;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • clay-colored stools;
  • muscle pain or weakness;
  • dark urine;
  • loss of appetite;
  • upper stomach pain;
  • liver problems;
  • pain behind your eyes;
  • vision problems;
  • ringing in your ears;
  • severe headaches;
  • fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • severe dizziness;
  • unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • sleeping problems;
  • hallucinations;
  • depression;
  • numbness;
  • movement problems;
  • easy bruising;
  • mouth sores;
  • a sore throat.

Some people can experience an allergic reaction, with symptoms including:

  • a red or purple skin rash;
  • skin pain;
  • burning in your eyes;
  • swelling of your face or tongue;
  • fever.

Make sure your reactions are normal before you use machines or tools or before you drive a car since this medicine may impair your alertness.

Due to the fact that it is active only against bacterial infections, this medicine is not recommended for use in cases of flu, common cold, or other viral infections.

Drug Interactions

  • theophylline;
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • probenecid (Probalan);
  • antipsychotics;
  • naproxen (Aleve);
  • ibuprofen (Advil);
  • cimetidine;
  • sotalol (Betapace);
  • procainamide (Procanbid);
  • cyclosporine (Sandimmune);
  • prednisone (Sterapred);
  • diuretics;
  • methylprednisolone (Medrol);
  • glyburide (DiaBeta);
  • dexamethasone (Decadron);
  • amiodarone (Cordarone).

Do not take indigestion medicines containing zinc or iron or antacids two hours after you take this drug.

Ciprodex vs Ofloxacin – What Is The Best Antibiotic For An Ear Infection?

Ciprodex is made specifically to fight ear infections and is effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and acts on enzymes to prevent bacterial cell division. However, it is quite expensive. For instance, one bottle costs about $220.

Ofloxacin is used to treat a vast array of infections, like – sexually transmitted infections, certain prostate infections as well as infections of the urinary tract, lung, and skin. Also, it can be used to treat bacterial infections of the eyes and ears.

Both drugs are part of the fluoroquinolones group and are effective as a treatment of bacterial infections. Ofloxacin is absorbed faster from the gastrointestinal tract, plus, it has a considerably lower price, around $11.41.

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