Drug Guide

Bactrim DS: Proper Usage, Side Effects, Precautions & Complications

Bactrim is a medication used mainly for the treatment of bacterial infections that can affect your urine system, middle ear infections, intestines and respiratory system. In addition it can be used to prevent certain respiratory diseases such as pneumonia. This medication should not be used to treat viral infections such as the cold or flu because it only treats certain types of infections and will not work on viral infections.

Bactrim contains combination of sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, these are both antibiotics that are used to treat different type of infection caused by bacteria.

How to take Bactrim?

  1. Oral.
  2. Glass of water.
  3. Milk or food.
  4. Same time, every day.
  5. Injection.

You can take this medication the oral way (mouth). Bactrim is available with doctor’s prescription in tablets in two strengths; 400 mg sulfamethoxazole and 80 mg trimethoprim and the Bactrim DS form which means double strength, 800 mg sulfamethoxazole and 160 mg trimethoprim.

You can take Bactrim with a glass full of water, or if you feel stomach discomfort, take it with milk or food. Remember to always drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication in order to prevent the formation of kidney stones. The dosage is based on your medical condition and prescribed by your doctor and also how do you respond to the treatment. It is always good to take this medication at the same time every day for a better result.

There is also a Bactrim injection for intravenous infusion, is available as an injection containing 80 mg/mL of sulfamethoxazole and 16 mg/mL of trimethoprim in 10 mL single-dose and 30 mL multiple-dose vials, it cannot be administered intramuscularly.

Common Bactrim’s side effects

Common side effects of Bactrim may include nausea, vomiting, tiredness, insomnia, mild itching, rash, diarrhea and loss of appetite. If any of these symptoms persist you should contact your doctor. Many people that use this antibiotic do not present any of these side effects, many will disappear during the treatment as your body adjusts to the medication.

Diarrhea is a very common side effect when taking Bactrim DS. Sometimes a very bad type of diarrhea may occur and this can lead to other health problems such as colitis. If you experience any stomach pain or cramps after consuming Bactrim, it’s recommended to contact your doctor.

Some side effects can be deadly

Some serious Bactrim side effects are of great concern because they can be deadly to some people, since people can have different reactions, these may include:

  • Muscle weakness.
  • Diarrhea that is watery or bloody.
  • Seizures.
  • Joint aches.
  • Sore throat.
  • Mouth sores.
  • Mood changes.
  • Signs of kidney problems (which could be changes in your urine or some blood in your urine).
  • Liver problems (which could be upper stomach pain, dark urine, you may notice your eyes or skin to look yellowish).
  • Severe skin reactions such as swelling in your face or tongue, skin pain or the appearance or red or purple spots on your skin that spread.
  • Extreme drowsiness and low sugar blood problems that can be recognized with shaking.
  • Sudden sweating.
  • Fast heartbeat and dizziness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Hallucinations.
  • High potassium level (this can be identified by a heartbeat that does not feel normal, feeling weak, feel like passing out, hard to think clearly or with logic).

If you are experiencing any of these side effects of Bactrim, you should contact your doctor immediately!


Bactrim and doctor

If you are going to take Bactrim you have to tell your doctor if you are allergic to sulfamethoxazole or trimethoprimor. Be sure to tell him if you suffer from other type of allergies, since Bactrim antibiotic can cause an allergic reaction or other side effects.

Before taking Bactrim you have to tell your doctor about your medical history, if you ever had:

  • Kidney disease.
  • Liver disease.
  • Asthma.
  • History of blood disorders such as anemia.
  • Folic acid deficiency.
  • Thyroid disorder.
  • If you are malnourished or if you have AIDS or HIV.

Bactrim and AIDS/HIV

Patients with AIDS may be more sensitive to this medication because it can affect the skin, blood disorders or cause fever.

Bactrim and Epilepsy, Rheumatioid Arthritis

If you have other health problems such as epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis you should not take Bactrim antibiotic because it can increase the side effects.

Bactrim and diabetes

If you suffer from diabetes and you are taking Bactrim you should check your blood sugar regularly because this product may affect your blood sugar levels, contact your doctor if the results are low sugar.

Bactrim and pregnancy

You cannot take Bactrim if you are pregnant because this could be harmful for the unborn baby, it can also harm a nursing baby because the sulfamethoxazole or trimethoprim can pass into breast milk. If you become pregnant while taking this medication you should contact your doctor.

Bactrim and yeast infection

If you use Bactrim for a long time you may notice the appearance of yeast infection, if you notice changes in your vaginal discharge or white patches in your mouth or any other symptoms contact your doctor.

Bactrim and blood

Bactrim drug interactions may include some products like blood thinners, such as warfarin, methenamine, leucovorin and methotrexate.

How to use Bactrim properly and avoid complications

It’s crucial to keep a list of all the medicine you are taking besides Bactrim, this list should include prescribed medication, natural medicine and vitamins that you may take. Share this list with your doctor or pharmacist.

It is unlikely that antibiotics affect hormonal birth control methods such as birth control pills, patch or ring but there are a few cases where antibiotics such as rifampin and rifabutin can decrease their effectiveness. If you are using a hormonal birth control contact your doctor if you need more details.

You should not share this medication with others since this medication has been prescribed to you based on your medical condition, do not give this medication to children who are less of two months of age because of the high risk side effects.

If you miss a dose of Bactrim you should take the dose as soon as you remember, do not take any extra dose to make up for the missing dose. Also you’re overdosed on Bactrim, urgently seek medical attention.
You should keep Bactrim ds in a safe and dry place, keep away from children and pets and also store at a room temperature.

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