Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (By mouth)

Introduction

Sulfamethoxazole (sul-fa-meth-OX-a-zole), Trimethoprim (trye-METH-oh-prim)

Treats or prevents infections. This medicine is a "sulfa drug" (sulfonamide).

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Sulfatrim Pediatric, Septra, Sulfatrim, Bactrim DS, SMZ-TMP DS, Septra DS, Bactrim

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, or any sulfa drug. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or in some situations if you have severe liver or kidney problems. You should not use this medicine if you have anemia (a problem with your blood) caused by not having enough folic acid in your body. You should not use this medicine if you have a history of drug-induced thrombocytopenia (low platelets in the blood). This medicine should not be given to infants younger than 2 months of age.

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Drink extra fluids so you will pass more urine while you are using this medicine. This will keep your kidneys working well and help prevent kidney problems.
  • Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze the oral liquid.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using a diuretic or "water pill" (such as hydrochlorothiazide, spironolactone, triamterene, Aldactazide®, Aldactone®, Dyazide®, Hyzaar®, Maxzide®, or Moduretic®), certain blood pressure medicine (such as enalapril, lisinopril, Accupril®, Lotrel®, or Zestril®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), indomethacin (Indocin®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using medicines to treat depression (such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, Norpramin®, or Vivactil®), amantadine (Symmetrel®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), diabetes medicine that you take by mouth (such as glipizide, glyburide, metformin, Actos®, Avandia®, Glucotrol®, Glucophage®, or Glucovance®), or medicine to prevent malaria (such as pyrimethamine, Daraprim®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, malabsorption syndrome (difficulty of absorbing food in the body), malnutrition state (nutrition disorder), folate (vitamin B9) deficiency, high potassium in the blood, porphyria, thyroid problems, a history of alcoholism, or if you are taking medicines to prevent seizures. Tell your doctor if you have asthma or severe allergies, especially if you are allergic to any medicines. It is important for your doctor to know if you have HIV or AIDS, because this medicine might work differently. Tell your doctor if you have a rare condition called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.
  • Very rarely, this medicine has caused severe side effects. If you or your child start to have a skin rash, or if you think you are having a severe reaction, stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away. Symptoms of a severe reaction include a sore throat, fever, muscle pain, cough, and trouble breathing. Other symptoms are a skin rash, or the color of your skin turning very pale or yellow, or having purple spots.
  • This medicine, especially if you are receiving high doses or for a long period of time, may lower the number of platelets in your body, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this.
  • If you have severe diarrhea, ask your doctor before taking any medicine to stop the diarrhea. Check with your doctor right away if the diarrhea continues. Diarrhea may occur 2 months or more after you stop taking this medicine.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
  • Chest pain, cough, or shortness of breath.
  • Confusion, weakness, uneven heartbeat, shortness of breath, or numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or lips.
  • Diarrhea that may contain blood.
  • Muscle twitching.
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or headache.
  • Severe stomach pain, cramps, or bloating.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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