Drugs in the fluoroquinolone family are used for treating urinary tract infections as well as other infectious diseases.
Fluoroquinolone drugs include
- ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
- enoxacin (Penetrex)
- lomefloxacin (Maxaquin)
- norfloxacin (Noroxin)
- ofloxacin (Floxin)
- sparfloxacin (Zagam)
- levofloxacin (Levaquin)
- grepafloxacin (Raxar)
- trovafloxacin/alatrofloxacin (Trovan)
- and others
The minerals calcium , iron , magnesium , and zinc can interfere with the absorption of fluoroquinolones (and vice versa). Therefore, if you take supplements of these minerals, you should take them at least 2 hours before or after your fluoroquinolone dose. 1,2
The herb fennel appears to reduce blood levels of ciprofloxacin, possibly impairing its effectiveness. 3 This finding comes from a placebo-controlled study in rats. Fennel might be expected to interfere similarly with other fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
Allowing 2 hours between taking ciprofloxacin and fennel should reduce the potential for an interaction, but may not eliminate it. For this reason, it may be advisable to avoid fennel supplementation during therapy with ciprofloxacin or other antibiotics in this family.
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics have been reported to cause increased sensitivity to the sun, amplifying the risk of sunburn or skin rash. Because St. John's wort and dong quai may also cause this problem, taking these herbal supplements during treatment with fluoroquinolone drugs might add to the risk.
It may be a good idea to wear a sunscreen or protective clothing during sun exposure if you take one of these herbs with a fluoroquinolone antibiotic.
- EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Reviewed: 09/2014
- Updated: 09/18/2014
Please note, not all procedures included in this resource library are available at Allegiance Health or performed by Allegiance Health physicians.
All EBSCO Publishing proprietary, consumer health and medical information found on this site is accredited by URAC. URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program requires compliance with 53 rigorous standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audits. To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at HLEditorialTeam@ebscohost.com.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.