Safety study of Ciprofloxacin in newborn mice

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2016 Feb;74:161-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2015.11.002. Epub 2015 Nov 26.


Ciprofloxacin, a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent belonging to the fluoroquinolone family, is prescribed off-label in infants less than one year of age. Ciprofloxacin is included in the European Medicines Agency priority list of off-patent medicinal products requiring evaluation in neonates. This evaluation is undergoing within the TINN (Treat Infections in Neonates) FP7 EU project. As part of the TINN project, the present preclinical study was designed to assess the potential adverse effects of Ciprofloxacin on neurodevelopment, liver and joints in mice. Newborn mice received subcutaneous Ciprofloxacin at 10, 30 and 100 mg/kg/day from 2 to 12 postnatal days. Peak plasma levels of Ciprofloxacin were in the range of levels measured in human neonates. We examined vital functions in vivo, including cardiorespiratory parameters and temperature, psychomotor development, exploratory behavior, arthro-, nephro- and hepato-toxic effects. We found no effect of Ciprofloxacin at 10 and 30 mg/kg/day. In contrast, administration at 100 mg/kg/day delayed weight gain, impaired cardiorespiratory and psychomotor development, caused inflammatory infiltrates in the connective tissues surrounding the knee joint, and moderately increased extramedullary hematopoiesis. The present study pleads for careful watching of cardiorespiratory and motor development in neonates treated with Ciprofloxacin, in addition to the standard surveillance of arthrotoxicity.

Keywords: Arthrotoxicity; Fluoroquinolone; Hepatotoxicity; Neonate; Nephrotoxicity; Neurodevelopment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / toxicity*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Ciprofloxacin / toxicity*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Exploratory Behavior / drug effects
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Joints / drug effects
  • Joints / growth & development
  • Joints / pathology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / growth & development
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Nervous System / drug effects
  • Nervous System / growth & development
  • Nervous System / pathology
  • Respiration / drug effects
  • Risk Assessment
  • Species Specificity
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Ciprofloxacin