Bactrim : Drug Information

What is Bactrim?

Bactrim is a combination of the medicines sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim both are antibiotics and can treat various types of infection produced by bacteria.

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

Your health care provider may prescribe this medication for other purposes not present in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not consume this medication if you are suffering from severe kidney disease, a liver disease that is not under monitoring, anemia caused by folic acid deficiency,

If you are taking dofetilide or have had low platelets caused by using trimethoprim or a sulfa drug, then you should not use this medication.

You should not consume sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim if you are breastfeeding your newborn or pregnant.

What to know before taking Bactrim?

Bactrim is not suitable for you if you are allergic to sulfamethoxazole or trimethoprim medications, or if you have:

  • severe liver disease
  • anemia (low red blood cells) caused by a folic acid deficiency
  • kidney disease that is not under the treatment or monitoring process
  • a history of low blood platelets after using trimethoprim or any sulfa drug
  • if you take dofetilide (Tikosyn)

Do not take Bactrim if you are pregnant. This medication could harm your unborn baby or cause some severe congenital disabilities. Use effective birth control options, and tell your therapist if you become pregnant during this therapy.

Do not breastfeed your baby while using this medicine.

This medicine is not for a child younger than two months old. Talk to your physician if there is a need for this medication for your baby.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, inform your doctor if you have:

  • a folate (folic acid) deficiency
  • asthma or severe allergies
  • kidney or liver disease
  • a thyroid disorder
  • HIV or AIDS
  • high levels of potassium in your blood
  • malnourishment
  • alcoholism
  • porphyria, or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • if you use any blood thinner such as warfarin and prothrombin time or routine “INR” tests.

How to take Bactrim?

Take Bactrim exactly as your doctor suggests you to take. Follow all directions on your direction label and read all prescription guides or instruction sheets.

Drink lots of water and fluids to prevent kidney stones while you are taking this medicine.

Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim doses are entirely dependent on the weight of infants. Use only the prescribed dosage when you are giving this medicine to children.

Use this medication for the full prescribed duration of time, even if your symptoms quickly fix. Skipping doses may increase the risk of infection that is resistant to the drug. This medicine is not for treating a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

You may need regular medical tests to know how this medication works in your symptoms.

This medicine can change the results of specific medical tests. Inform your doctor who is treating you that you are taking Bactrim.

Store Bactrim at room temperature and away from moisture, light, and heat.

Bactrim dosage

The usual adult dosage in treating urinary tract infections is 1 Bactrim double strength (DS) tablet or 2 Bactrim pills every 12 hours for 10 to 14 days. You can use an equal daily dosage for five days to treat shigellosis.

The recommended dosage for children suffering from acute otitis media or urinary tract infections is 40mg/kg sulfamethoxazole and 8mg/kg trimethoprim every day, administered in two divided doses every 12 hours ten days. You can use an equal daily dosage for five days in the treatment of shigellosis.

Patients with Impaired Renal Function: To treat Impaired Renal Function, you should use reduced dosage according to the following:

  • If the Creatinine Clearance (mL/min) is above 30, use the usual standard regimen.
  • If the Creatinine Clearance (mL/min) is 15 to 30, use half of the regular regimen.
  • If the Creatinine Clearance (mL/min) is below 15, then it is not recommended to use this medication.

Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Bronchitis: The usual adult dosage to treating the symptoms of acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis is 1 Bactrim double strength (DS) tablet or 2 Bactrim pills every 12 hours for 14 days.


Immediately seek emergency medical attention or call on the Poison Help line number at 1-800-222-1222.

This medication’s overdosing symptoms may include vomiting, fever, blood in your urine, loss of appetite, confusion, yellowing of your skin or eyes, or loss of consciousness.

What to avoid while using Bactrim?

Due to antibiotic medicines, you may suffer from diarrhea, which may sign a new infection. If you have watery or bloody diarrhea, immediately call your doctor before taking any anti-diarrhea medicine.

Bactrim may be a reason to make you sunburn more quickly. Avoid tanning beds or sunlight. Wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are going outdoors.

Bactrim side effects

Immediately get emergency medical care if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Bactrim such as hives, cough, shortness of breath, swelling in your face or throat,

Immediately seek medical treatment if you have a severe skin reaction like fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling.

Seek emergency medical options if you have a severe reaction from this drug that can affect your many body parts. Severe drug reaction symptoms may include fever, swollen glands, severe weakness, unusual bruising, skin rash, muscle aches, or yellowing of your eyes or skin.

Talk to your physician at once if you suffer from:

  • diarrhea that is bloody or watery (even if it occurs in the last months of your dosing), severe stomach pain
  • a skin rash, no matter how mild
  • yellowing of your skin or eyes
  • increased thirst, dry mouth, fruity breath odor
  • a seizure
  • swelling, bruising, or irritation around the IV needle
  • new or unusual joint pain
  • increased or decreased urination
  • an electrolyte imbalance – headache, weakness, slurred speech, tingly feeling, confusion, chest pain, loss of coordination or movement, irregular heartbeats, feeling unsteady, vomiting
  • low blood cell counts – fever, chills, sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, mouth pale skin, cold hands, and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath.
  • The common Bactrim side-effects may include:
  • vomiting, loss of appetite, nausea
  • Skin rash

The above-given list is not a complete list of side-effects of this medication, and others may occur. Talk to your therapist for medical consultancy about other side effects of this medicine. You may report the other side-effects of this drug to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What drugs can interact with Bactrim?

You may need regular check-ups or medical examinations if you also use medicine to treat diabetes, seizures, depression, or HIV.

  • Inform your physician about all your current prescriptions. Many other drugs can affect sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, primarily:
  • amantadine
  • cyclosporine
  • methotrexate
  • pyrimethamine
  • indomethacin
  • leucovorin
  • an “ACE inhibitor” heart or blood pressure medication (enalapril, lisinopril, benazepril, ramipril, quinapril, and others); or
  • a diuretic or “water pill” ( hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, and others)

The above-given list is not a complete list of medications that can interact with the Bactrim. Many other drugs may also interact with sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim.

Other prescription and over-the-counter medicines such as vitamins and herbal products may also affect the working property of Bactrim.

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