Can Cipro Be Used to Treat Bronchitis?

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Bronchitis is a disease characterized by the inflammation of the bronchi located at the respiratory tract. Its initial treatment does not include antibiotics. Cipro is an antibiotic classified as a fluoroquinolone. The medication was mainly directed to treat urinary track infections. However, the antibiotic can be used for the treatment of several bacterial infections beyond the urinary track.

Bronchitis Clinical Highlights

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, bronchitis is a disease characterized by the inflammation of the bronchi. The bronchi are located at the lower part of the respiratory tract and their main function is the air conduction through the lungs. Viruses that cause cold or flu are the most common agents for the development of bronchitis. The disease last about 10 days and will resolve with medications such as cough suppressants and cold/flu medications. If an influenza virus is suspect, an antiviral medication is indicated.


Cipro is an antibiotic from the fluoroquinolone class. Its generic name is Ciprofloxacin as listed at the The antibiotic was specially developed to treat infections caused by a group of bacteria classified as gram negative. Lab Test Online defines gram stain as a type of chemical test that identifies the bacteria according to their species. Bacteria staining blue are classify as gram positive, while bacteria that stain red are classified as gram negative. Once the health-care professional has an identification of the organism, the treatment prescribed will target it.


It has been established that bronchitis' main cause is viral; therefore, a treatment with antibiotics in its initial phase is not indicated. However, antibiotics should be considered if symptoms do not improve, such as lingering cough, fever that does not response to medication and secretions such as sputum changes from clear or white to yellowish or greenish. The decision can be made based on the history of the disease provided by the patient and a detailed physical exam. The choice to use antibiotics as part of the treatment can be supplemented using gram test and the bacterial culture of secretions laboratory test results.

Once the disease’s agent has been identified as bacterial gram negative, Cipro could be considered for treatment. provides some guidelines for the use of Cipro. Among them is that it can be use for the treatment of lower respiratory tract infection (bronchitis).


According to guidelines, several species of bacteria are sensitive to the use of Cipro. Some examples of it are klepsiella, enterobacter, proteous and citrobacter. If laboratory tests suggest some of these organisms, treatment with Cipro is indicated.


Cipro and other fluoroquinolones, such Moxifloxacin and Levofloxacin, can be used for bronchitis treatment when a bacterial agent has been established. However, the health-care provider has to have a clear clinical picture that points toward a bacterial agent sensitive to the antibiotic.