Bactrim is a prescription drug containing trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole; both are antibiotics that treat different forms of bacterial infections. Bactrim is used to treat urinary tract infections, bronchitis, ear infections, shigellosis, pneumonia, pneumocystis, traveller’s diarrhoea, etc.
Bactrim is best for treating infections that are caused by susceptible bacteria. So, to avoid the development of drug-resistant bacteria, it must be used for only the kind of infections that it is designed for, and also do not use it to treat viral infections.
How to use Bactrim
Bactrim comes in tablet form, which can be in two strengths: 800 mg sulfamethoxazole and 160 mg trimethoprim or 400 mg sulfamethoxazole and 80 mg trimethoprim. The recommended dosage will be prescribed according to your condition and response to treatment, so follow your doctor’s instructions and take the medication by mouth with plenty of water to prevent kidney stones.
You can take this drug with food or a glass of milk, and for the best result, you need to take it at evenly spaced times and at the same time every day. Ensure you finish the full amount prescribed. Do not stop halfway, even if symptoms disappear after a few days.
The common side effects of Bactrim include:
- Loss of appetite.
- Swollen and painful tongue.
- Spinning sensation.
- Ringing in your eyes.
These side effects may go away without medical attention, but if they persist or become serious, talk to your doctor about them. Aside from these mild side effects, some more severe side effects that may occur from using Bactrim include:
- Bruising or bleeding.
- Hepatitis necrosis.
- Severe skin rash.
- Mouth sores.
- Sore throat.
- Joint pain.
Before taking Bactrim, tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, or other ingredients. Also, brief your doctor on your medical history, especially if it relates to liver disease, kidney disease, any blood disorder, asthma, bone marrow problems, certain metabolic disorders, and severe allergies.
Bactrim may reduce the effectiveness of live bacterial vaccines such as typhoid vaccines, so before you get immunised or vaccinated, tell your doctor if you are taking Bactrim. In addition, the drug may make you more sensitive to sunlight, so use sunscreen or limit your time in the sun, and if you are sunburned or have skin redness or blisters, get medical help right away.
This drug may also cause blood sugar levels to increase, so if you have diabetes, you should let your doctor know. Patients with AIDs and older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of the drug, so it should be recommended that they start with lower doses to monitor their reaction and response to treatment.
Lastly, this medication may harm an unborn baby and can pass into breast milk, but it is not certain what effects it may have on an infant child. Therefore, do not take this drug if you are pregnant and let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding.