The U.S. government estimates that close to 1 million people in California alone cross to Mexico annually for health care, including to buy prescription drugs such as ciprofloxacin . And between 150,000 and 320,000 Americans list health care as a reason for traveling abroad each year. Cost savings is the most commonly cited reason.
Ciprofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic used to treat a number of bacterial infections. This includes bone and joint infections, intra abdominal infections, certain type of infectious diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, skin infections, typhoid fever, and urinary tract infections, among others.
Ciprofloxacin extended-release (XL) is used to treat urinary tract infections such as cystitis (bladder infection) or uncomplicated pyelonephritis (kidney infection).
What is ciprofloxacin called in Mexico?
Mexico has at least seven brands of ciprofloxacin on pharmacy shelves, including Kenzoflex, Ciproflox, Ciprofur and Ciproxina. All are made in Mexico. In the United States, one company, Bayer, has the patent on Cipro, which means there are no cheaper, generic brands.
What does Cipro extended release look like?
CIPRO XR is available as nearly white to slightly yellowish, film-coated, oblong-shaped tablets containing 500 mg or 1000 mg ciprofloxacin. The 500 mg tablet is coded with the word “BAYER” on one side and “C500 QD” on the reverse side.
Can you bring Cipro back from Mexico?
Yes, you can buy and take back antibiotics to the US, such as Penicillin or Amoxicillin. However, you can’t buy nor bring back stronger antibiotics such as Cipro. Even if you have a prescription from a US or Mexico doctor, the border agents won’t let you cross back those meds across the border. It is illegal to purchase Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) from any foreign source. The Food and Drug Administration has instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to seize any Cipro being imported into the U.S.
The only exception is for travelers who have a valid U.S. prescription that was filled in the U.S, and who took the Cipro abroad temporarily for personal use in an amount commensurate with the U.S. resident’s length of stay in the foreign country. Cipro does not qualify for the “50 dosage unit” exemption for importing certain prescription drugs from Mexico or Canada without a prescription.
Before the new rule, Americans are streaming into border towns to buy cheap ciprofloxacin. Though ciprofloxacin can cost hundreds of dollars a bottle in the United States and is in limited supply, Mexican ciprofloxacino is abundant in pharmacies near the border and sold for a fraction of the price.
How should Ciprofloxacin be used?
Ciprofloxacin comes as a tablet, a suspension (liquid), and an extended-release tablet to take by mouth with or without food. The tablets and suspension are usually taken twice a day, and the extended-release tablets are usually taken once a day. When used to treat gonorrhea, the tablets and suspension may be given as a single dose. Take ciprofloxacin at around the same time(s) every day. The length of your treatment depends on the type of infection you have. Your doctor will tell you how long to take ciprofloxacin. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take ciprofloxacin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
One type of ciprofloxacin cannot be substituted for another. Be sure that you receive only the type of ciprofloxacin that was prescribed by your doctor. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about the type of ciprofloxacin you were given.
Do not take ciprofloxacin with dairy products or calcium-fortified juices alone. However, you may take ciprofloxacin with a meal that includes these foods or drinks.
Swallow the tablets and extended-release tablets whole; do not split, crush, or chew them. If you cannot swallow tablets whole, tell your doctor.
If you are taking the suspension, shake the bottle very well for 15 seconds before each use to mix the medication evenly. Swallow the correct dose without chewing the granules in the suspension. Close the bottle completely after each use. Do not give the suspension to a patient through a feeding tube.
You should begin feeling better during the first few days of your treatment with ciprofloxacin. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor. If you are being treated for a urinary tract infection, call your doctor if you develop fever or back pain during or after your treatment. These symptoms may be signs that your infection is worsening.
Take ciprofloxacin until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. Do not stop taking ciprofloxacin without talking to your doctor unless you experience certain serious side effects. If you stop taking ciprofloxacin too soon or if you skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.