Bactrim

By Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel

Generic Name: Bactrim Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Bactrim® (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) used for?

Bactrim® contains a combination of sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim are both antibiotics that treat different types of infection caused by bacteria.

Bactrim® is used to treat ear infections, urinary tract infections, bronchitis, traveler’s diarrhea, shigellosis, and Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia.

Bactrim® may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

How should I take Bactrim® (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim)?

Take Bactrim® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Shake the oral Bactrim® suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Use this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Bactrim will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Drink plenty of fluids to prevent kidney stones while you are taking trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Bactrim.

How do I store Bactrim® (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim)?

Bactrim® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Bactrim® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Bactrim® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Bactrim® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Bactrim® (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Bactrim® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

You should not use Bactrim® if you have:

  • Severe liver or kidney disease
  • Anemia (low red blood cells) caused by folic acid deficiency
  • A history of low blood platelets caused by taking trimethoprim or any sulfa drug

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Bactrim® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Bactrim®. Bactrim® is pregnancy risk category D, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Bactrim® (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim)?

Common side effects may include:

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Diarrhea that is watery or bloody
  • Pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating
  • Sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, new or worsening cough
  • Cold or flu symptoms, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores
  • Low levels of sodium in the body–headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady
  • Liver problems–upper stomach pain, tired feeling, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Severe skin reaction–fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Bactrim®: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Bactrim® (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim)?

Bactrim® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Leucovorin
  • Methotrexate

Does food or alcohol interact with Bactrim® (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim)?

Bactrim® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Bactrim® (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim)?

Bactrim® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Kidney or liver disease
  • A folic acid deficiency
  • Asthma or severe allergies
  • A thyroid disorder
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system)
  • A glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD deficiency)
  • You are malnourished

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Bactrim® (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim).

What is the dose of Bactrim® (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) for an adult?

Urinary Tract Infections and Shigellosis in Adults

The usual adult dosage in the treatment of urinary tract infections is 1 Bactrim® (double strength) tablet or 2 Bactrim® tablets every 12 hours for 10 to 14 days. An identical daily dosage is used for 5 days in the treatment of shigellosis.

Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Bronchitis in Adults:

The usual adult dosage in the treatment of acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis is 1 Bactrim® DS (double strength) tablet or 2 Bactrim® tablets every 12 hours for 14 days.

Pneumocystis Jiroveci Pneumonia:

The recommended dosage for treatment of patients with documented Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia is 75 to 100 mg/kg sulfamethoxazole and 15 to 20 mg/kg trimethoprim per 24 hours given in equally divided doses every 6 hours for 14 to 21 days.

Prophylaxis:

The recommended dosage for prophylaxis in adults is 1 Bactrim® DS (double strength) tablet daily.

What is the dose of Bactrim® (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) for a child?

Urinary Tract Infections and Shigellosis and Acute Otitis Media

The recommended dose for children with urinary tract infections or acute otitis media is 40 mg/kg sulfamethoxazole and 8 mg/kg trimethoprim per 24 hours, given in two divided doses every 12 hours for 10 days.

An identical daily dosage is used for 5 days in the treatment of shigellosis.

Pneumocystis Jiroveci Pneumonia:

The recommended dosage for treatment of patients with documented Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia is 75 to 100 mg/kg sulfamethoxazole and 15 to 20 mg/kg trimethoprim per 24 hours given in equally divided doses every 6 hours for 14 to 21 days.

Prophylaxis:

The recommended dose is 750 mg/m2/day sulfamethoxazole with 150 mg/m2/day trimethoprim given orally in equally divided doses twice a day, on 3 consecutive days per week.

The total daily dose should not exceed 1600 mg sulfamethoxazole and 320 mg trimethoprim.

How is Bactrim® (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) available?

Bactrim® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet sulfamethoxazole 800mg, Trimethoprim 160mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Bactrim®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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