Bactrim (Co-trimoxazole)

What is Bactrim?

Bactrim (co-trimoxazole) is a prescription drug that represents a combination of two active ingredients - trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole. It is classified as a sulfa drug and can be used to treat a wide range of conditions – from traveler's diarrhea to infections of the urinary tract, ears and lungs. However, your health care provider may decide to prescribe this medication for a number of other conditions; it can be also combined with other drugs for maximum effects.


Recommendations for Use

You are supposed to take Bactrim two to three times a day – everything depends on a number of factors that will be considered by your health care provider when prescribing this medication. You will be taking the tablet form of Bactrim that is not supposed to be chewed – just take it whole with a glass of water and make sure you take the tablets prescribed regularly without exceeding the dose recommended. Keep on taking this drug even if your condition improves significantly – as improved symptoms may not mean the infection has been treated completely. If you stop the treatment before it's time, a relapse of infection is possible. As a result, the bacteria in your body will become resistant to the drug and you will have to ask your doctor for another medication.

Bactrim dosage and dosing schedule

Bactrim comes in a tablet and liquid form and can be taken from two to four times a day, although your health care provider may prescribed a different routine. Your dosage depends on your general health condition and other drugs you are taking, as well as a number of other factors that are to be considered by a health care professional. If you think you are not getting the full benefits of taking Bactrim, talk to your health care provider to see if you need a dose adjustment. Never adjust the dose yourself – this is suppose to be done by a qualified professional who will take into consideration all the illnesses you have ever been diagnosed with, as well as the drugs you are taking at the moment or intend to take in the future.

Before taking Bactrim

If you are allergic to co-trimoxazole, diabetes medications, sulfa drug, or diuretics, make sure you do not start taking this medication without previously consulting your health care provider. Make sure you tell your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking at the moment, such as methotrexate, phenytoin, vitamins, and warfarin. Also tell your doctor if you ever had any of the following health conditions: liver or kidney disease, severe allergies, or asthma. This drug is FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known for sure whether this drug can harm an unborn baby, but it does pass into breast milk and can affect the health of a nursing infant.

Side effects you need to know about

You need to be aware of the possibility of developing certain mild side effects, such as upset stomach, vomiting, and loss of appetite. More serious side effects are also possible, although they are quite rare and are experienced by only a small percentage of patients. The following ones are considered to be serious: skin rash, itching, sore throat, fever or chills, mouth sores, unusual bruising, yellowing of the skin or eyes, and paleness. It important to know the difference between mild and serious side effects you may experience. Serious side effects are not likely to go away on their own – you need to report them to your health care provider and make sure your dose is altered or come other changes are made to your treatment. Mild side effects are not supposed to be reported immediately – instead, you can watch them go away on their own as your body adjusts to the treatment prescribed.

Missing a dose of Bactrim

Missing a dose of Bactrim is not going to ruin your treatment, but if this happens regularly – you may not benefit from it as much as you otherwise would. The missed dose is supposed to be taken as soon as you remember, but make sure this is not too close to the next dose scheduled. If that is the case, the best thing you can do is skip the dose missed and carry on with the regular dosing schedule. Everything depends on how many times a day your doctor prescribed you to take Bactrim, but you can always find an easy way to remember to take it.

Is it possible to take too much of Bactrim?

Just like in case of any other medication you can take too much of Bactrim if you are not careful enough and do not observe carefully the dose prescribed. The dose prescribed may seem low to you, but it is supposed to be the most efficient one too. If you happen to exceed the dose prescribed, you are unlikely to have any visible benefits from the treatment – instead you may just get the symptoms of an overdose that can be individual for every person. If you know you have taken too much of Bactrim – seek emergency medical assistance, even if the symptoms you got may not seem serious enough to you. Tell the doctor that will be treating you how much of Bactrim you have taken, if that's possible.