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What Are the Side Effects of Ciprofloxacin?

Posted Wednesday 16 September 2020 12:00 by in Travellers Diarrhoea by Harman Bhamra

Ciprofloxacin is a type of antibiotic commonly used to treat traveller’s diarrhoea. Because this is an antibiotic, Ciprofloxacin can only treat diarrhoea caused by bacteria. This is not recommended for diarrhoea caused by parasites or viral infections. Within this guide, we will be taking you through the side effects of Ciprofloxacin.

How to Use Ciprofloxacin

Using Ciprofloxacin is easy. Take one tablet of Ciprofloxacin every 12 hours. You can continue taking the medication if your symptoms have not improved. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take the missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose.

Who Can Take Ciprofloxacin?

Adults and children over a year old can take Ciprofloxacin. People who have the following are not allowed to take this medicine:

  • Diarrhoea when you take antibiotics
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Problem with your tendons or kidneys
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm

The Side Effects of Ciprofloxacin

All medicines have side effects and Ciprofloxacin is no exception. Some of the common side effects of this medication include:

  • Nausea or feeling sick after taking the tablet
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Diarrhoea
  • Swelling
  • Pale skin
  • Sleepiness
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Heartburn
  • Vaginal itching

Usually mild, these side effects of Ciprofloxacin go away on their own after you stop taking the medication.

Serious Side Effects of Ciprofloxacin

Serious side effects of Ciprofloxacin happen in less than 1 in 100 people. Stop taking this medication and immediately inform your doctor if you developed:

Muscle pain or weakness - this side effect usually starts in your calf or ankle. It can also occur in your arms, legs, or shoulders. You may also develop swelling in your tendons or joints. This side effect is more common in children and can occur several months after stopping the medication.

Abnormal sensations - usually characterised by pins and needles or feelings of numbness, ticking, and tingling that lingers. You may also experience weakness in your legs or arms.

Severe tiredness - usually characterised by excessive tiredness, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety.

Diarrhoea - may contain blood or mucus. You may also experience muscle cramps. Consult your doctor as well if you have severe diarrhoea for more than four days even though it doesn’t have blood or mucus.

Other serious side effects of Ciprofloxacin are:

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Loss of taste
  • Changes in sight or smell
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Seizure or fits

Coping With Ciprofloxacin Side Effects

Mild side effects usually don’t need medical intervention. Here are some of the things you can do to cope:

If you are feeling sick…

Avoid taking spicy food. Instead, eat simple meals. Also, take Ciprofloxacin after you have had a snack or meal.

If you have diarrhoea…

Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water. It helps to replenish your lost electrolytes too. Telltale signs of dehydration include peeing less than normal and having a strong-smelling pee.

Where to Buy Ciprofloxacin

You can buy Ciprofloxacin from Express Pharmacy. Order now and we’ll get it delivered right to your doorstep.


Travellers Diarrhoea: The Symptoms and Causes

Posted Tuesday 14 July 2020 12:37 by in Travellers Diarrhoea by Harman Bhamra

Amazing experiences are always around the corner when you travel to a foreign country. From the interesting people and incredible views right through to exotic foods and drinks; there’s always something remarkable to discover. However, with foreign experiences comes foreign reactions - typically in the form of travellers diarrhoea.

This guide will take you through the symptoms and causes of travellers diarrhoea so that you can feel fully prepared in the unfortunate situation of experiencing it.

What Is Travellers Diarrhoea?

If you find yourself asking: ‘is it normal to have diarrhoea when travelling?’, then we’re guessing you’ve encountered an incredibly uncomfortable situation that is stopping you from enjoying yourself. And, unfortunately, the answer is yes: it is normal to have diarrhoea when travelling. It goes by the name of Travellers Diarrhoea.

While it’s not a serious condition, travellers' diarrhoea can leave you with incredibly loose stools and, occasionally, abdominal cramps. You are likely to develop it when your body isn’t used to the change in climate or sanitisation that the country you’re visiting has to offer.

Symptoms Of Travellers Diarrhoea

The symptoms of travellers' diarrhoea are fairly obvious, making it easy to establish why you might have fallen ill. The following symptoms typically last for 1 to 2 days and will either occur while on your trip or soon after you get home:

  • Having to pass loose stools 3+ times a day
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Constant feeling of needing the toilet

In more severe cases, some people experience:

  • Vomiting
  • High fever
  • Nausea
  • Bloody stools

If you seem to be experiencing severe symptoms and they don’t ease off after a few days, it is recommended to visit your doctor for further assistance.

Causes Of Travellers Diarrhoea

As mentioned previously, travellers' diarrhoea is caused when your body isn’t used to the climate or sanitary conditions in another country. In most cases, you will develop travellers' diarrhoea when consuming contaminated food or drinking contaminated water.

While the idea of putting contaminated food and water into your body might seem like a scary thought, this is not a life or death situation and your body will recover. Travellers diarrhoea is an unpleasant experience, but not a damaging one.

How To Prevent Travellers Diarrhoea

It’s not easy to know whether you’re putting contaminated foods into your body, but luckily, there are many ways to prevent travellers' diarrhoea. The following tips are important to keep in mind so that you can enjoy your trip without any distractions.

Don’t Drink Tap Water: It’s all too easy to drink tap water when you need hydrating, but such a simple action can result in the dreaded traveller’s diarrhoea. Instead of drinking unsterilised water, drink from bottles instead. Make sure that you don’t consume any water when showering, either. If you can’t access bottled water, be sure to boil the tap water for 3 minutes before consuming. This will help to kill off any bacteria.

Say No To Ice: Ice is often made out of unsterilised water, meaning it should be avoided at all costs. Get into the habit of asking for drinks without ice when abroad.

Think About Your Food: As tempting as it may be, avoid buying food from street vendors. The food given at these vendors has often been sitting around for long periods of time, making them a feeding ground for bacteria. Instead, only eat hot foods that are served from reputable sources. If you are cooking your food yourself, stick to things that you can peel and boil.

Pack Tablets: Travellers diarrhoea can sometimes be unavoidable, making it all the more important to pack medication that will treat it as quickly as possible. The most popular travellers' diarrhoea treatments are Ciprofloxacin and Azithromycin; both as to which are available at Express Pharmacy.


Is It Normal to Have Diarrhoea When Travelling?

Posted Tuesday 17 March 2020 10:06 by in Travellers Diarrhoea by Harman Bhamra

Short answer? Yes. It is perfectly normal to have traveller’s diarrhoea, especially when you are visiting high-risk areas where sanitary practices are inadequate.

What is Traveller's Diarrhoea?

Traveller’s diarrhoea (also known as “Dehli belly”) is a digestive tract illness caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated by bacteria like Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter and E. coli.

Viruses like the norovirus and rotavirus or parasites like Giardia, Entamoeba histolytica, and cryptosporidium can also cause diarrhoea. You can come in contact with these organisms through contaminated cups, plates, hands, etc.

Traveller’s diarrhoea is characterized by the passing of 3 or more watery/loose bowel motions in a single day. Most cases of this digestive disorder often occur in the first week of travel and are usually mild.

What Are The Symptoms of Traveller’s Diarrhoea?

Most reported instances of traveller’s diarrhoea happen during the first week of your travel or shortly after returning home. The common symptoms of this digestive disorder include:

  • Passing three or more loose stools in 24 hours
  • Urgent need to defecate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever

Some people also experience bloody stools, a high fever, and dehydration. Most symptoms of traveller’s diarrhoea improve after two days. And, without treatment, traveller’s diarrhoea clears up entirely after a week.

If you continue to eat or drink contaminated food or water, you may have multiple episodes of traveller's diarrhoea throughout your trip.

Classifying Traveller’s Diarrhoea

Traveller’s diarrhoea can be classified according to the degree of its severity.

  • Mild – this type of diarrhoea doesn't interfere with your activities. It's tolerable and not distressing.
  • Moderate – this type of diarrhoea interferes with your activities.
  • Severe – completely prevents you from doing your planned activities. It’s also characterized by dysentery or the presence of blood in your stools.
  • Persistent – diarrhoea that lasts for two weeks or more.

The most significant complication of traveller’s diarrhoea is dehydration – where you lose salts, minerals, and vital fluids. Severe dehydration can cause problems like coma, shock, or organ damage. It is particularly dangerous for children and older people.

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Sunken eyes
  • Muscle cramps
  • Light-headedness
  • Tiredness
  • Infrequent urination or passing less urine
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry tongue
  • Drowsiness
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Shallow breathing

Severe cases of dehydration may include symptoms like apathy (loss of energy and enthusiasm), confusion, and fast heart rate.

What are the High Risks Areas for Traveller’s Diarrhoea?

High-risk areas account for up to 60% of travellers’ diarrhoea cases worldwide. Usually, travellers coming from developed countries are most affected - mainly if they visit countries where sanitation and hygiene standards don't meet international standards.

Low-risk areas: Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe, and North America

Medium-risk areas: China, South Africa, the Caribbean, and Russia

High-risks areas: Central America, South America, East Africa, West Africa, North Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia

Although your chances of getting traveller's diarrhoea are mostly affected by your destination, people who belong to the groups below are more likely to catch the disorder in one of their trips:

  • People with compromised immune systems: People with weakened immune systems are more prone to developing infections.
  • People who take antacids: Stomach acid destroys food and bacteria. Antacids lower the acid levels in the stomach, leaving an environment that can promote more bacterial growth.
  • People with diabetes are more prone to infection as well as those who have cirrhosis of the liver and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Young adults: Studies show that traveller's diarrhoea is more common among young adult tourists. This is most likely due to their adventurous nature and careless food choices.

How to Treat Traveller’s Diarrhoea

The aim of treating traveller's diarrhoea is to prevent dehydration. You can do this by drinking plenty of fluids and taking ciprofloxacin 500mg. We’ll discuss both below:

Diet and Fluid

Drink plenty of ‘safe’ fluids (boiled water or bottled water). For good measure, drink at least a glass of water after passing watery stool. Avoid drinking soda or alcohol as they can make your diarrhoea worse.

You can also take rehydration drinks which are readily available over the counter. Just simply pour the contents of the sachet into water. Rehydration drinks contain the right balance of salt and sugar that help your body absorb water more efficiently.

Anti-Diarrhoea Medications

Anti-Diarrhoea antibiotics like ciprofloxacin 500mg are one of the most recommended medications to treat traveller's diarrhoea. This treatment can only cure diarrhoea caused by bacteria and not the one created by parasites or viruses.

How to use ciprofloxacin 500mg

Take one tablet of ciprofloxacin 500mg twice a day. If your symptoms don’t improve, continue your medication. If you forget a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. If it’s about time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Never take two ciprofloxacin 500mg tablets at once to compensate for the missed dosage.

What are the side effects of ciprofloxacin 500mg?

Like all medicines, ciprofloxacin 500mg may come with side effects. These include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Skin rashes
  • Increased swelling
  • Headache

These side effects are usually mild and will go away as soon as the treatment is over. If they persist or if you think you’re suffering from unusual side effects from ciprofloxacin 500mg, stop taking the medicine and contact your doctor.

Where to buy ciprofloxacin 500mg

You can buy ciprofloxacin 500mg with confidence from Express Pharmacy.

In Summary

Traveller’s diarrhoea can be a nuisance, especially if you are in the middle of a much-needed vacation in the tropics. Although diarrhoea usually goes away on its own, it can prevent you from enjoying your planned activities if your symptoms are severe.

If you want to enjoy your holiday getaway to the fullest, make sure to:

  • Avoid uncooked meat, eggs, salads, and peeled fruit.
  • Don’t drink from tap water (even ice cubes!). Only drink treated or bottled water.
  • Wash your hands regularly, especially before eating or preparing your food.
  • Don’t swim in murky or dirty waters. Avoid swallowing water when you swim.
  • Carry a pack of rehydration drinks and ciprofloxacin 500mg in your first aid kit.

Do You Know How to Prevent and Treat Traveller’s Diarrhoea?

Posted Monday 29 July 2019 23:25 by in Travellers Diarrhoea by Tim Deakin

food contamination

Traveller’s diarrhoea is one of the most common afflictions facing travellers, and is defined as passing three or more loose/watery bowel motions within 24 hours.[1] The condition affects as many as 20% of people travelling to high-risk destinations.[2]

But there are things you can do to reduce your chances of developing TD, and to ease the condition if you do fall victim to it.

Preventing Traveller’s Diarrhoea

High risk areas for TD include Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and many parts of Asia. Areas that carry an intermediate risk include southern Europe, Israel, South Africa and some Caribbean and Pacific Islands.[3]

When travelling to any of these areas, it’s important to take precautions in order to reduce your chances of developing TD.

Wash your hands

Washing your hands frequently is one of the simplest ways to stop the spread of germs and infection. Take the time to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water, or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Do this after using the bathroom and before and after eating.

Be careful what you eat and drink

Contaminated food and drink are a major factor in the spread of TD, so take care to stick to a safe diet and habits. This includes:

Eating food that is cooked and served hot

Eating fruit and vegetables you have washed and peeled yourself

Consuming only pasteurised dairy products

Avoiding food served at room temperature, as well as food from street venders and raw or undercooked meat or fish

Drinking bottled water that is sealed and avoiding tap water

This also relates to swimming, as you’re advised to take care not to ingest pool water while using the pool.[4]

Home Remedies for Traveller’s Diarrhoea

As well as producing frequent loose stools, TD can also lead to symptoms such as cramping, pain, nausea, temperature, weakness and general discomfort.[5]

Thankfully, there are ways to deal with the condition effectively, whether your TD is mild, moderate or severe.

Mild TD

Dehydration is one of the most dangerous aspects of any form of diarrhoea, so however severe your TD is, you should drink plenty of fluids. Consuming small quantities of easily digestible foods like rice and bananas can also help to aid gut recovery in those with TD.[6]

In milder cases, over the counter medication like Imodium may help.

Moderate TD

Again, drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. You can also use oral rehydration salts mixed with clean water in order to reduce the discomfort caused by your TD.

Again, over the counter medications may be helpful, but you may find prescribed treatment to be necessary.

Severe TD

Try to stay as hydrated as possible, but seek medical support if you can’t stomach fluids. Oral rehydration powders can be diluted into clean drinking water and are useful for addressing the electrolyte imbalances caused by severe TD. However, if oral rehydration powders aren’t available, a salt and sugar solution (six level teaspoons of sugar and one level teaspoon of salt to a litre of water) can be used.[7]

In more severe cases of TD, prescription anti-traveller’s diarrhoea medication can help to alleviate symptoms as quickly as possible.

Medication for Traveller’s Diarrhoea

In many cases of TD, medication can help to alleviate symptoms and reduce the discomfort associated with the condition. In fact, a short course of medication can help to reduce the duration of an upset stomach by as much as 50%, reducing the severity of the symptoms at the same time.[8]

Treatments like Ciprofloxacin and Azithromycin are among the leading medications designed to treat cases of traveller’s diarrhoea. In fact, Public Health England recommends having azithromycin on stand-by when travelling to areas considered to carry high risks of TD.[9]

You can find safe and effective traveller’s diarrhoea medication right here at Express Pharmacy. And if you have any concerns about your health, don’t hesitate to contact our pharmacists by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet online Live Chat service.

[1] Fit For Travel. Traveller’s Diarrhoea. NHS UK. 2017

[2] Travel Health Pro. Traveller’s Diarrhoea. 2019

[3] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Diarrhoea — prevention and advice for travellers. 2019

[4] World Health Organisation. Guidelines for safe recreational water environments: volume 2, swimming pools and similar environments. 2006

[5] Better Health Gov. Traveller’s diarrhoea. 2017

[6] DuPont, HL., Ericsson, CD., Farthing, MJG. et al. Expert review of the evidence base for self-therapy of traveller’s diarrhoea. Journal of Travel Medicine. 2009

[7] World Health Organisation. WHO position paper on Oral Rehydration Salts to reduce mortality from cholera. 2019

[8] British Medical Journal. Traveller’s diarrhoea. 2016

[9] National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, Public Health England. Summary of antimicrobial prescribing guidance — managing common infections. 2019


Your Blood Type Could Increase Your Chances of Developing Travellers’ Diarrhoea, According to New Data

Posted Friday 15 March 2019 22:45 by in Travellers Diarrhoea by Tim Deakin

food market

Travellers’ diarrhoea, caused by viruses, bacteria or protozoa, is the most common infection experienced by travellers, affect over 20 percent of those who travel to high-risk destinations of the world.[1]

These high-risk areas are mostly found in South and South East Asia.[2] The condition occurs equally in male and female travellers and is more common in young adult travellers than in older ones.[3]

But now it seems that there many be other factors involved in one’s inclination towards or susceptibility to traveller’s diarrhoea – namely, blood type.

A new study[4], published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, has found that those with Type A blood are likely to be struck down with travellers’ diarrhoea sooner and more severely. These findings are significant for UK travellers, as nearly half of Brits have type A or AB blood.[5]

Researches gave more than 100 volunteers water containing enterotoxigenic E.coli. The results found that 81% of those with type A blood required medical attention for diarrhoea as a consequence, compared to just 56% in other blood types.

The study concluded that this is due to the way E.coli releases a protein which latches onto the intestinal cells of those with blood type A.

How to avoid travellers’ diarrhoea

Travellers’ diarrhoea is defined as the passing of three or more loose/watery bowel motions within a 24-hour period. It can be accompanied by other symptoms such as stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever.[6] Risk factors involved in travellers’ diarrhoea can include choice of eating place, season of travel, destination, diet, age and genetics.[7]

But despite being a common condition faced by many jet-setters, there are things you can do to significantly reduce your chances of contracting the disease.

The World Health Organisation has outlined their 5 key tips to enjoying safer food abroad, in an attempt to prevent the spread of food-borne diseases. These tips are:

  • Keep clean – wash your hands often, especially before handling food
  • Separate raw and cooked food – make sure cooked food is not contaminated with raw food
  • Cook food thoroughly – make sure food has been entirely cook and remains steaming hot
  • Keep food at safe temperatures – avoid food which has been left out such as at markets, buffers and street vendors
  • Choose safe food and water – Only drink sealed bottled water, or bring water to boil first. Peel all fruits and vegetables before consumption.[8]

The right medication can also offer a vital precautionary measure for travellers. Having access to effective travellers’ diarrhoea medication means that, should you fall victim to the infection, you are able to deal with your symptoms swiftly. Traveller’s diarrhoea treatment such as Ciprofloxacin and Azithromycin are available from Express Pharmacy.

Planning your next trip? Find effective medication at Express Pharmacy to ensure you stay safe. Get in touch today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet Live Chat service.


[1] Travel Health Pro. Travellers’ Diarrhoea Fact Sheet. 2019 [Accessed March 2019]

[2] British Medical Journal. Travellers’ diarrhoea clinical review. 2016 [Accessed March 2019]

[3] Connor, B.A. Traveller’s Diarrhoea.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2017 [Accessed March 2019]

[4] Kumar, P. et al. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli-blood group A interactions intensify diarrheal severity. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2018 [Accessed March 2019]

[5] NHS Blood and Transplant. Blood Types. 2018 [Accessed March 2019]

[6] NHS Fit For Travel. Travellers’ Diarrhoea. 2019 [Accessed March 2019]

[7] Hill, D.R., Beeching, N.J. Travellers’ Diarrhoea. Cur Opin Infect Dis. 2010 [Accessed March 2019]

[8] World Health Organisation. A Guide on Safe Food for Travellers. 2010 [Accessed March 2019]