Does Cipro Make You Tired?

If you want to find out whether Cipro can make you feel tired, you’re in the right place.

This article answers this question and considers the side effects of Ciprofloxacin, why they happen, and what you can do to increase your energy levels.

What is Cipro?

Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic used to treat infections caused by certain bacteria. It is usually prescribed for bacterial infections of the ear, lungs (pneumonia), skin (methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus), urinary tract infections (UTIs), and digestive tract infections. It is also sometimes used to treat gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Cipro is a fluoroquinolone, a type of drug with bactericidal effects, which means that it helps your immune system kill bacteria. 

It is most active against gram-negative bacteria, but many gram-positive microorganisms are also susceptible. 

It has a broad spectrum, but since it is commonly used and misused by doctors and patients, some bacteria have developed resistance against this antibiotic.

Does Cipro make you tired?

Yes, Ciprofloxacin can make you tired. 

After analyzing data from nearly 9,000 patients worldwide, safety research on Ciprofloxacin listed lethargy, somnolence, and drowsiness as possible side effects. 

But these side effects are not very common.

According to data in this study, a total of 8861 patients were recruited. Only 10% of them reported side effects. 

A total of 138 patients had side effects associated with the central nervous system, and only 11 were described as lethargy, somnolence, or drowsiness.

However, these patients were taking Ciprofloxacin under controlled conditions. The dose was correct, and the patients took the medicines at the right time and with adequate hydration levels. 

So, suppose Cipro is making you tired. In that case, you’re either a part of a minority of patients, took a higher dose than you should, or have a dehydration problem that increases the likelihood of side effects.

Other side effects of Cipro

There are more common side effects of antibiotics than fatigue, and after using Cipro, you can experience these:

  • Digestive system complaints such as stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Skin problems, especially if you’re allergic to the medication. You can have a skin rash, pruritus, or redness in the injection area.
  • Vaginitis.
  • Alterations in your liver function test (increased TGO, TGP, and other hepatic enzymes).

However, there are some side effects of stopping Cipro, too. The bacteria can develop antibiotic resistance if you stop suddenly, and your infection can worsen if you don’t follow your doctor’s instructions. 

Thus, if you’re experiencing fatigue or any other side effect of Cipro, the best course of action is to talk to your doctor about it.

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Why antibiotics make you feel tired

If you experienced tiredness from antibiotics in the past, either Cipro or any other, there are many reasons why. 

Science has not yet uncovered a unique mechanism that applies to every patient. Instead, there are many possible reasons to explain this:

Your body is using more energy

Antibiotics have different mechanisms of action. Some are bactericidal, and others are bacteriostatic, which means they impair bacteria replication instead of killing them. 

The latter needs a robust immune system to do the other part of the work. So, your body may need extra energy to kill pathogens, create new white blood cells, and fuel its machinery to fight off infection.

Gut microbiota changes

Oral antibiotics can harm both pathogenic and healthy bacteria in the process. So, if your gut microbiota changes radically, you may start experiencing side effects in other parts of the body. 

There’s a link between the gut and the brain, and this gut microbiota imbalance may have an influence on brain activity, which can explain a change in your levels of alertness, muscle weakness, and other central nervous system problems.


Hydration is critical to creating and transforming energy in the organism. Water is required for many body functions, including flushing out toxins and activating the metabolic machinery in cells. 

Your body is trying to get rid of the bacteria and needs water to do the job. Antibiotics are doubling this process and changing your gut microbiota, possibly leading to dehydration. 

Then, it is dehydration that causes side effects such as headaches, muscle weakness, and drowsiness.

Increased stomach acid

Some antibiotics can be very hard on your stomach. They increase stomach acid synthesis, cause acid reflux, and give you stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and other side effects. 

These gastrointestinal side effects can be associated with electrolyte changes in your body. If that is happening to you, it feels like you’re done running a marathon because you lack some electrolytes. 

That’s why hydration should be paired with healthy eating with fruits and vegetables, which are reliable sources of minerals and electrolytes for your organism.

So, instead of pointing at your antibiotic pill right away, there are many other culprits you can consider. 

And sometimes tiredness can be a sign that the antibiotic is actually working or that you need to hydrate more.

What to do if Cipro makes you feel tired

Are there things you should avoid or do when taking Cipro to prevent fatigue?

Here’s a list of dos and don’ts you might want to consider.


  • Rehydrating is fundamental. Remember that Cipro and your immune system probably need extra water to fuel metabolic reactions, flush out toxins, or manage other gastrointestinal effects of your medications.
  • Eat as healthily as possible. Your organism needs extra energy because it’s fighting infection. You might feel tired for this reason, even if you’re not taking antibiotics. And if you’re taking them and have gastrointestinal side effects, there’s a chance that you need extra electrolytes. Fruits and vegetables contain plenty of minerals your body might need, including potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and chloride.
  • Take probiotics along with your antibiotic, but on a different schedule. This will reduce the gastrointestinal side effects and gut microbiota depletion triggered by antibiotics. By maintaining your gut microbiome, the gut-brain axis will stay healthy, reducing the risk of central nervous system side effects.
  • You can try stimulant beverages such as caffeine to counter the drowsiness caused by Cipro. These will only work momentarily, and taking them in the morning or early in the afternoon is recommended to avoid insomnia.


  • Don’t take a higher dose than prescribed. Even if you’re very worried about your infection, trust your doctor’s indications to avoid an excessive dose, which leads to an increase in the risk of side effects from Cipro.
  • Don’t take Cipro outside of schedule; ask your doctor instead of taking a double dose to compensate for one you missed. Don’t forget to hydrate properly if you ever need to take a higher dose.

Tips to get more sleep and improve your energy

Another recommendation if Cipro or any other antibiotic makes you feel tired is to ensure you’re getting enough rest at night.

Sometimes lethargy can be triggered by sleep problems, and not necessarily by Ciprofloxacin. 

Now we learned how to combat fatigue or tiredness from antibiotics, it is also essential to sleep properly to improve energy levels and avoid lethargy.

Some types of infections can give you a hard time sleeping. For example, sinus infections can make breathing hard, and urinary tract infections (UTIs) can make you go to the bathroom several times at night. 

Thus, here are some helpful tips to get more sleep and improve energy levels during the daytime:

  • Take a herbal remedy or over-the-counter medicine to control urinary symptoms or reduce nasal congestion.
  • Stop using screens a few minutes to an hour before bedtime.
  • Create a comfortable environment and change your bed lining, pillow, or anything that needs to be changed, so you’re entirely comfortable.
  • Try using white noise to fall asleep faster.
  • Avoid caffeine and other stimulants before bedtime and four hours before.
  • Eat a light dinner.
  • Exercise through the day but not right before bedtime.
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Other antibiotics and medications that can cause fatigue

All oral antibiotics can make you tired or sleepy, but the symptoms are more common in Ciprofloxacin, Amoxicillin, and Azitromycin. 

You might also experience fatigue with a penicillin antibiotic or Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim), but not as often as with Cipro.

Other medications that can cause fatigue include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Cough medicine
  • Probenecid
  • Statins and fibrates
  • Antihistamines (antiallergic medications)
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Opioids
  • Beta-blockers


In a nutshell, feeling tired after a course of antibiotics is very common. It can happen with Cipro and other antibiotics, especially azithromycin and amoxicillin. There are many likely reasons why this happens.

Cipro can make you feel tired due to dehydration because your body needs more water to fuel metabolic processes to kill bacteria. Another reason is that your immune system is using up extra energy and making you sleepy.

In some cases, antibiotics go against healthy bacteria in your gut, and since the gut has connections with the brain, this can trigger tiredness, fatigue, and similar symptoms.

If this is happening to you, ensure you’re eating healthily and staying hydrated. Drink more water than usual while your body fights the disease, and take probiotic supplements to avoid depleting your gut microbiota. 

Make sure you’re getting enough rest every night, and if you’re having trouble sleeping due to complaints associated with a sinus infection or urinary infection, talk to your healthcare provider about possible over-the-counter meds or herbal remedies to improve your symptoms.

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what to avoid when taking cipro

What To Avoid When Taking Cipro (Ciprofloxacin).


  1. Campoli-Richards, D. M., Monk, J. P., Price, A., Benfield, P., Todd, P. A., & Ward, A. (1988). Ciprofloxacin: a review of its antibacterial activity, pharmacokinetic properties, and therapeutic use. Drugs35, 373-447.
  2. Zhang GF, Liu X, Zhang S, Pan B, Liu ML. Ciprofloxacin derivatives and their antibacterial activities. Eur J Med Chem. 2018.
  3. Schacht, P., Arcieri, G., Branolte, J., Bruck, H., Chyský, V., Griffith, E., … & O’Brien, B. (1988). Worldwide clinical data on efficacy and safety of Ciprofloxacin. Infection16, S29-43.

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