Co-trimoxazole is an antibiotic made up of two different antibiotics (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim). Sulfamethoxazole belongs to a group of medicines known as sulphonamides and trimethoprim belongs to a group of medicines known as benzylpirimidines.
It is used to prevent and treat infections caused by certain bacteria, fungi and parasites. These may include infections of the lung, urinary tract, skin and soft tissue. Bactrim works by blocking two essential steps in the growth of bacteria.
Common side effects include:
The most common side effects are gastrointestinal disturbances (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite).
Rare but serious side effects include:
Stop taking co-trimoxazole and tell your doctor immediately if you have an allergic reaction. The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:
In rare instances, a skin rash may be followed by a more severe reaction, such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). These are life threatening skin-reactions, that are characterized by skin rash, multiple ulcers in the mouth/throat/nose/genitals, fever, and may progress to widespread blistering or peeling of the skin. Hence, do seek urgent advice from a healthcare provider immediately if any of the above occur.
Other rare side effects include:
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medications and see your healthcare professional immediately.
Inform your healthcare professional if:
Co-Trimoxazole may be presented in a tablet, syrup or injectable form, of which will be chosen by your physician. This medication may be taken with or without food.
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if you remember the missed dose at the time you are due to take the next dose, omit the missed dose and only take the regularly scheduled dose. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.
It is important to complete the course of antibiotic as prescribed by the doctor. Do not stop the antibiotic course midway, even if you feel better, unless you develop an allergic reaction to the antibiotic or experience severe side effects. In that case, see a doctor immediately.
Do return any unused/expired antibiotics to the pharmacy where you received them.