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Bactrim is a brand name for a mixture of two antibiotics, trimethoprim & sulfamethoxazole (trye METH oh prim and sul fa meth OX a zole). trimethoprim & sulfamethoxazole are both used for the treatment of different types of infections caused by bacteria. They are used to fight bacterial infections in the body.

Bactrim is used for the treatment of infections like infections of the urinary tract, infections in the ear (otitis), bronchitis, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and traveler’s diarrhea. But, Bactrim does not work if used for the treatment of flu, colds or any other viral illnesses.

Safe Usage

Before using Bactrim, one should tell his/her doctor the following information.

* History or presence of any diseases related to liver or kidney, or a G6PD deficiency (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, an inherited disease of blood). These conditions can lead to a lesser dosage of Bactrim for the patient. Also, special monitoring may be required during the period of treatment.

* Allergy towards co-timoxazole (trimethoprim & sulfamethoxazole), oral medications for diabetes, diuretics or ‘water pills’, sulfa drug of any kind or any other kind of drugs.

* The present medications that is being taken (both under and without prescription), most importantly methotrexate, warfarin (Coumadin), phenytoin (Dilantin), and vitamins.

* Bactrim falls under the ‘FDA pregnancy category C’. This indicates that it is still not known whether or not the drug will do any harm to an unborn. Bactrim has an effect on folic acid in the body, which is required for the usual development of the baby. One should tell her doctor regarding pregnancy or any plans regarding becoming pregnant in the near future.

The drug can make the skin sensitive towards sunlight. So, unnecessary or lengthened exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided and sunglasses,
protective clothing and sunscreen should be used.

Side Effects

* Hematologic: aplastic anemia, Agranulocytosis, leukopenia, hypoprothrombinemia, megaloblastic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and others.

* Allergic Reactions: Toxic epidermal necrolysis, stevens-Johnson syndrome, anaphylaxis, erythema multiforme, allergic myocarditis, exfoliative dermatitis, drug fever, chills, angioedema, serum sickness-like syndrome, generalized skin eruptions, generalized allergic reactions, conjunctival and scleral injection, photosensitivity, urticaria and rash, and others.

* Gastrointestinal: Elevation of bilirubin and serum transaminase, hepatitis (including hepatic necrosis and cholestatic jaundice), pancreatitis, nausea, glossitis, stomatitis, emesis, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anorexia, and others.

* Genitourinary: Interstitial nephritis, renal failure, toxic nephrosis with anuria and oliguria, nephrotoxicity and crystalluria in relation with cyclosporine.

* Nutritional and Metabolic: Hyperkalemia and the use in the Prophylaxis and the treatment of the patients having Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia with AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).

* Neurologic: Convulsions, aseptic meningitis, headache, and others.

* Psychiatric: Depression, Hallucinations, nervousness, apathy.

* Other Endocrine, Muscosleletal, and respiratory side-effects have been reported along with weakness, insomnia and fatigue in some cases.

Any side effect that is noticed must be reported to the physician immediately and you should never take them casually. They may lead to serious life long


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