The intestinal elimination of ciprofloxacin in the large bowel was studied in a rabbit model. Segments from the cecum, colon, and sigmoid colon along with their intact blood vessels were isolated and perfused, and their contents were collected over a 90-min period following the administration of a single parenteral dose of 27 mg of ciprofloxacin per kg of body weight. The elimination rates of ciprofloxacin were 0.126 ± 0.084 μg · min-1 · cm- 2 in the cecum and 0.264 ± 0.126, 0.11 ± 0.07, and 0.21 ± 0.141 μg · min-1 · cm-2 in the proximal colon, distal colon, and sigmoid colon, respectively. The calculated fraction of ciprofloxacin eliminated in the large bowel was 3% of the parenteral dose administered. The elimination pattern of ciprofloxacin in the large bowel may explain the unusual activity of this fluoroquinolone in modifying the colonic flora.