What Bactrim Is
Bactrim is a trade name of co-trimoxazole, a combined antibiotic consisting of sulfamethoxazole (5 parts) and trimethoprim (1 part). The combination of these two substances is claimed to be more effective in treating bacterial infections than its components used individually. Bactrim is used for treating infections of the urinary tract, skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), travelers’ diarrhea, cholera, sepsis, recurrent retinochoroiditis. It is also sometimes used for treatment and prevention of toxoplasmosis and pneumocystis pneumonia in patients with immunosuppression, in particular with HIV/AIDS.
Recommendations for Use, Dosage and Overdose
Bactrim is usually administered orally and in some cases, intravenously. Take Bactrim only by doctor’s prescription and in strict accordance with it. Follow all instructions on the label and read all guides provided in the box.
Drink plenty of fluids to prevent renal problems while using Bactrim treatment. Use the medicine for the full prescribed course, even if the symptoms have improved. Do not skip doses either as it can increase the risk of an antibiotic-resistant infection. Bactrim can interfere with the results of a range of medical tests. Inform your doctor if you are using this medication.
In pediatrics, Bactrim doses are calculated depending on the child’s weight. Use only recommended doses in children’s treatment. If you miss a dose by accident, take it as soon as you can. However, if it is almost time for your next one, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses at a time. If you overdose, seek emergency medical attention at once. The symptoms can include fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, blood in urine, confusion, loss of consciousness, jaundice.
Precautions and Contraindications
Bactrim is not recommended for patients with severe liver and kidney conditions, anemia associated with folic acid deficiency, known allergies to the components of the medication. The same goes for pregnancy or breastfeeding. The drug can harm the fetus or newborn and cause birth defects. Use effective birth control and inform your doctor at once if you’ve become pregnant. Bactrim should not be used for treatment of newborns under 2 months.
Inform your doctor if you have:
- Kidney or liver disease;
- Thyroid disorders;
- Folic acid deficiency;
- Asthma or severe allergies;
- HIV or AIDS;
- Alcohol addiction;
- High potassium levels;
Interactions with Other Drugs and Substances
Inform your doctor about any medications that you are currently using. Many drugs can affect Bactrim, especially:
- Cyclosporine, amantadine, indomethacin, methotrexate, pyrimethamine, leucovorin;
- Heart or blood pressure medications (lisinopril, benazepril, quinapril, enalapril, ramipril, etc.);
- Diuretics (hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, etc.);
- Blood thinners (such as warfarin).
Patients with diabetes, depression, seizures, or HIV may need closer monitoring and frequent check-ups or tests.
The most common side effects of Bactrim are:
- Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting;
- Skin rash.
They may go away on their own, but if they do not, get medical consultation. Urgent medical help is a must if you show the signs of an allergic or severe skin reaction to Bactrim (shortness of breath, cough, swollen glands, hives, fever, sore throat, burning eyes, rash with peeling and blistering).
Inform your doctor if you have a serious systemic reaction to the drug. It may manifest itself in symptoms such as fever, rash, swollen glands, muscle aches, fatigue, bruising, jaundice.
Call your physician at once if you have:
- Severe stomach pain, watery or bloody diarrhea;
- Unusual pain in joints;
- Insufficient urination;
- Dry mouth, increased thirst, fruity breath odor;
- Electrolyte imbalance: confusion, headache, dizziness, slurred speech, tingling in extremities, irregular heartbeats, chest pain, loss of coordination, vomiting;
- Low blood cell counts: fever, chills, skin sores, mouth sores, unusual bleeding, easy bruising, paleness, cold extremities.
Keep in Mind
Before starting Bactrim treatment, make sure that your physician is fully aware of your health, chronic conditions, all the medications and substances you are taking, known allergies, pregnancy or breastfeeding. Use Bactrim in strict accordance with the prescription!
Bactrim, as any other antibiotic, will not treat viral infections, like flu or common cold! Do not take it on your own, never advise anyone to do so or share your pills with anyone. Do not stop the treatment prematurely as it increases the chances of developing an antibiotic-resistant infection.
Remember that Bactrim is not intended for children under two months of age, pregnant of breastfeeding women.
Store the drug in a dry place away from heat and sunlight. Dispose of any expired leftovers. Keep out of children’s reach. Inform your physician without delay about any severe side effects or reactions you experience.