Trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole are combined to create Bactrim, which is commonly used to treat bacterial infections. Infections may involve the urinary tract, ears, lungs, or intestines. In some cases, the drug is used to treat travelers' diarrhea. Though the drug is used for infections like pneumonia, it is not effective against conditions like the cold or flu. This is because such infections are viral, not bacterial.
Bactrim is commonly prescribed in tablet or liquid form. Many minor infections require a dose two times a day. This may be increased for serious lung infections. The liquid form will need to be mixed or shaken before each dose. It is also recommended that the patient drinks a full glass of water with each dose. Those who get an upset stomach when taking the drug should pair their dose with food. Doses may also be adjusted depending on the size or age of the patient. You will need to read the directions carefully before taking it.
The most common Bactrim side effects include upset stomach, loss of appetite, or vomiting. This is due to its very harsh nature. This can often be alleviated by taking it with food. If the vomiting prevents you from keeping your medication down, then you will need to speak to your doctor. This also applies if your nausea is so severe that it inhibits your ability to function.
In some cases, allergic reactions to Bactrim occur. These can be diagnosed by the skin rash or itching that tends to occur. These conditions can be mild or more serious depending on the nature of the reaction and the extent of your allergy. In many cases, you can simply discontinue use of the medication or build up a healthier response. You should inform your doctor if you experience Bactrim side effects from any medication that you are taking.
Some symptoms are signs that you are having a more serious reaction to the medication. Severe sore throat, fever, chills, mouth sores, bleeding, bruising, paleness, yellow eyes, or joint aches are signs that you are having a serious medical issue. These typically indicate that Bactrim is reacting with other medications in your system. If you begin to notice any of these symptoms, contact poison control. If the patient begins to lose consciousness or has trouble breathing, contact emergency services immediately.
Your doctor may also notice side effects that further impact your medical condition. If your doctor diagnoses conditions such as anemia, kidney issues, depression, seizures, hallucinations, or shortness of breath then you will need to cease use of the medication. These conditions could lead to a more serious condition potentially resulting in liver or kidney failure, or blood clotting issues. These instances are quite rare, but should be taken seriously. Notify your doctor as soon as possible if you begin to notice any of these conditions.
Doctors should not prescribe Bactrim to children less than 12 years of age. The risk of developing Bactrim side effects is significantly higher in this age group. There is not currently research confirming whether or not Bactrim causes complications for fetuses. However, there are studies confirming that issues arise when Bactrim is given to pregnant animals. It is theorized that Bactrim increases the risk for jaundice and kernicterus if taken late in pregnancy. Pregnant women should only consume this drug if the benefits significantly outweigh the risk.
Bactrim is also considered very dangerous for seniors. There are no threats stemming directly from the drug itself, but rather from the side effects that are common when the drug is paired with other prescriptions. Combining sulfa drugs such as Bactrim with Coumadin or warfarin can cause very serious conditions. These may include active bleeding or bruising. If you notice blood stemming from any area of your body, immediately contact your doctor for monitoring.
There are many reports of adverse pharmaceutical interactions with Bactrim. The most common include Azithromycin, Celebrex, and Levaquin. Those being treated for diseases such as colitis, liver or kidney disease, urinary obstruction, renal dysfunction, or hypersensitivity may also experience issues with Bactrim. Make sure your doctor is aware of your full medical history before starting your prescription.
There have been reports of severe reactions from taking Bactrim with alcohol. These include flushing, heart palpitations, dyspnea, headache, and nausea. You should under NO circumstances consume alcohol while taking Bactrim. If you have and begin feeling any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.