"CDC began working with the World Health Organization (WHO) in late February 2003 to investigate and confirm outbreaks of an unusual pneumonia in Southeast Asia. By the time WHO issued a global alert cautioning that the severe respiratory illness "...
The most common adverse effects are gastrointestinal disturbances (nausea, vomiting, anorexia) and allergic skin reactions (such as rash and urticaria). FATALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF SULFONAMIDES, ALTHOUGH RARE, HAVE OCCURRED DUE TO SEVERE REACTIONS, INCLUDING STEVENS-JOHNSON SYNDROME, TOXIC EPIDERMAL NECROLYSIS, FULMINANT HEPATIC NECROSIS, AGRANULOCYTOSIS, APLASTIC ANEMIA, OTHER BLOOD DYSCRASIAS, AND HYPERSENSITIVITY OF THE RESPIRATORY TRACT (SEE WARNINGS).
Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, anaphylaxis, allergic myocarditis, erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, angioedema, drug fever, chills, Henoch- Schönlein purpura, serum sickness-like syndrome, generalized allergic reactions, generalized skin eruptions, photosensitivity, conjunctival and scleral injection, pruritus, urticaria, and rash. In addition, periarteritis nodosa and systemic lupus erythematosus have been reported.
Hepatitis, including cholestatic jaundice and hepatic necrosis, elevation of serum transaminase and bilirubin, pseudomembranous enterocolitis, pancreatitis, stomatitis, glossitis, nausea, emesis, abdominal pain, diarrhea, anorexia.
Hallucinations, depression, apathy, nervousness.
The sulfonamides bear certain chemical similarities to some goitrogens, diuretics (acetazolamide and the thiazides), and oral hypoglycemic agents. Cross-sensitivity may exist with these agents. Diuresis and hypoglycemia have occurred rarely in patients receiving sulfonamides.
Cough, shortness of breath, and pulmonary infiltrates (see WARNINGS).
Weakness, fatigue, insomnia.
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of trimethoprimsulfamethoxazole. Because these reactions were reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure:
- Thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
- QT prolongation resulting in ventricular tachycardia and torsade de pointes
Read the Septra (trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Potential for SEPTRA to Affect Other Drugs
Trimethoprim is an inhibitor of CYP2C8 as well as OCT2 transporter. Sulfamethoxazole is an inhibitor of CYP2C9. Caution is recommended when SEPTRA is co-administered with drugs that are substrates of CYP2C8 and 2C9 or OCT2.
In elderly patients concurrently receiving certain diuretics, primarily thiazides, an increased incidence of thrombocytopenia with purpura has been reported. In the literature, two cases of hyperkalemia in elderly patients have been reported after concomitant intake of trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor.8
It has been reported that SEPTRA may prolong the prothrombin time in patients who are receiving the anticoagulant warfarin (a CYP2C9 substrate). This interaction should be kept in mind when SEPTRA is given to patients already on anticoagulant therapy, and the coagulation time should be reassessed.
SEPTRA may inhibit the hepatic metabolism of phenytoin (a CYP2C9 substrate). SEPTRA, given at a common clinical dosage, increased the phenytoin half-life by 39% and decreased the phenytoin metabolic clearance rate by 27%. When administering these drugs concurrently, one should be alert for possible excessive phenytoin effect.
Sulfonamides can also displace methotrexate from plasma protein binding sites and can compete with the renal transport of methotrexate, thus increasing free methotrexate concentrations.
There have been reports of marked but reversible nephrotoxicity with co-administration of SEPTRA and cyclosporine in renal transplant recipients.
Increased digoxin blood levels can occur with concomitant SEPTRA therapy, especially in elderly patients. Serum digoxin levels should be monitored.
Increased sulfamethoxazole blood levels may occur in patients who are also receiving indomethacin.
Reports suggest that patients receiving pyrimethamine as malaria prophylaxis in doses exceeding 25 mg weekly may develop megaloblastic anemia if SEPTRA is prescribed.
The efficacy of tricyclic antidepressants can decrease when co-administered with SEPTRA.
SEPTRA potentiates the effect of oral hypoglycemics that are metabolized by CYP2C8 (e.g., pioglitazone, repaglinide, and rosiglitazone) or CYP2C9 (e.g., glipizide and glyburide) or eliminated renally via OCT2 (e.g., metformin). Additional monitoring of blood glucose may be warranted.
In the literature, a single case of toxic delirium has been reported after concomitant intake of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim and amantadine (an OCT2 substrate). Cases of interactions with other OCT2 substrates, memantine and metformin, have also been reported.
In the literature, three cases of hyperkalemia in elderly patients have been reported after concomitant intake of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim and an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor.8
Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions
SEPTRA, specifically the trimethoprim component, can interfere with a serum methotrexate assay as determined by the competitive binding protein technique (CBPA) when a bacterial dihydrofolate reductase is used as the binding protein. No interference occurs, however, if methotrexate is measured by a radioimmunoassay (RIA).
The presence of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole may also interfere with the Jaffé alkaline picrate reaction assay for creatinine, resulting in overestimations of about 10% in the range of normal values.
Read the Septra Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/30/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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