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Bactrim

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/7/2020
Bactrim Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

What Is Bactrim?

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) DS is a combination of two antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections, acute otitis media, bronchitis, Shigellosis, Pneumocystis pneumonia, traveler's diarrhea, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and other bacterial infections susceptible to this antibiotic. Bactrim is available as a generic drug.

What Are Side Effects of Bactrim?

Common side effects of Bactrim include:

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Bactrim including:

Dosage for Bactrim

Bactrim is available in tablets in two strengths; 400 mg sulfamethoxazole and 80 mg trimethoprim and the "DS" form which means double strength, 800 mg sulfamethoxazole and 160 mg trimethoprim. Patients should follow their doctor's instructions and take all of the Bactrim prescribed. Patients allergic to sulfa compounds should not take Bactrim.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Bactrim?

Bactrim may interact with many drugs; the patient and prescribing doctor should be aware of any potential interactions.

Bactrim During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Bactrim should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus; the same situation exists for women who are breastfeeding and their neonates.

Additional Information

Our Bactrim DS Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

QUESTION

Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day. See Answer
Bactrim Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, cough, shortness of breath, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody (even if it occurs months after your last dose);
  • a skin rash, no matter how mild;
  • yellowing of your skin or eyes;
  • a seizure;
  • new or unusual joint pain;
  • increased or decreased urination;
  • swelling, bruising, or irritation around the IV needle;
  • increased thirst, dry mouth, fruity breath odor;
  • an electrolyte imbalance--headache, confusion, weakness, slurred speech, tingly feeling, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, loss of coordination or movement, feeling unsteady; or
  • low blood cell counts--fever, chills, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite; or
  • mild itching or rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Bactrim (Trimethoprim and Sulfamethoxazole)

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Bactrim Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

The following serious adverse reactions are described elsewhere in the labeling:

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The most common adverse reactions are gastrointestinal disturbances (nausea, vomiting, and anorexia) and allergic skin reactions (such as rash and urticaria).

Local reaction, pain and slight irritation on intravenous (IV) administration are infrequent. Thrombophlebitis has been observed.

Table 3: Adverse Reactions Reported with BACTRIM

Body System Adverse Reactions
Hematologic
  • Agranulocytosis
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Leukopenia
  • Neutropenia
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Megaloblastic anemia
  • Hypoprothrombinemia
  • Methemoglobinemia
  • Eosinophilia
Allergic Reactions
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Allergic myocarditis
  • Erythema multiforme
  • Exfoliative dermatitis
  • Angioedema
  • Drug fever
  • Chills
  • Henoch-Schoenlein purpura
  • Serum sickness-like syndrome
  • Conjunctival and scleral injection
  • Photosensitivity
  • Pruritus
  • Urticaria
  • Rash
  • Periarteriitis nodosa
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
Gastrointestinal
  • Hepatitis (including cholestatic jaundice and hepatic necrosis)
  • Elevation of serum transaminase and bilirubin
  • Pseudomembranous enterocolitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Stomatitis
  • Glossitis
  • Nausea
  • Emesis
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Anorexia
Genitourinary
  • Renal failure
  • Interstitial nephritis
  • BUN and serum creatinine elevation
  • Toxic nephrosis with oliguria and anuria
  • Crystalluria
Metabolic and Nutritional
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Hyponatremia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
Neurologic
  • Aseptic meningitis
  • Convulsions
  • Peripheral neuritis
  • Ataxia
  • Vertigo
  • Tinnitus
  • Headache
Psychiatric
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Apathy
  • Nervousness
Endocrine
  • 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 in patients receiving sulfonamides)
Musculoskeletal
  • Arthralgia
  • Myalgia
  • Rhabdomyolysis
Respiratory
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pulmonary infiltrates
Miscellaneous
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
Eye Disorders
  • Uveitis5

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of BACTRIM. 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:

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Bactrim (Trimethoprim and Sulfamethoxazole)

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