A pH-responsive drug carrier based on chitosan coated iron oxide nanoparticles (CS-Fe3O4) for prolonged antibiotic release in a controlled manner is reported. As an antibiotic drug model, ciprofloxacin was loaded onto the nanocarrier via H-bonding interactions. The nanoparticles were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, photon correlation spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The particle size of CS-Fe3O4 nanoparticles were found to lie in the range of 30–80 nm. The analytical characteristics of the designed system were thoroughly investigated. The in vitro drug loading at pH 4.8 and release kinetics at pH 7.4 studies revealed that the drug delivery system can take 99% of ciprofloxacin load and quantitatively release the drug over a sustained period of 5 days. The release kinetics study indicated that the system follows a zero order kinetics via a diffusion-controlled mechanism. These results indicated that CS-Fe3O4 nanoparticles have the potential for use as controlled antibiotic delivery systems through oral administration by avoiding the drug release in the highly acidic gastric fluid region of the stomach. Furthermore, the ability of low-frequency ultrasound in fast release of the encapsulated drug in less than 60 min from the CS-Fe3O4 nanoparticles in a controlled manner was confirmed.