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Septra, Bactrim and Sulfatrim are both brand names of the same antibiotic called sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. It’s the combination of these two compounds that make up this medication, making it effective against several types of bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections (UTIs). Though sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim is useful for treating UTIs and other bacterial infections, it will not treat viral infections such as the flu. The sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim combination works to stop the growth and reproduction of bacteria.
✓ Treating urinary tract infections
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Also Known As:
Septra, Bactrim, Sulfatrim
What is sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim?
Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim is a common antibiotic used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. More specifically, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim is one of several sulfonamide antibiotics which are only effective against certain kinds of bacteria. It combines sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. The trimethoprim part fights off what are called gram positive bacteria, while sulfamethoxazole tackles gram negative bacteria (also known as anaerobic bacteria). Among its many uses are UTIs, respiratory, intestinal, and middle ear infections. It can also be used to treat pneumocystis pneumonia in people living with AIDS.
How does sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim work?
Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Bactrim) is an antibiotic that combines sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. The combination of the two medications works together to stop a chemical that some bacteria make in order to grow. Once the chemical is stopped, the bacteria stop growing and reproducing. This ends urinary tract infections and eases UTI symptoms.
What are the side effects of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim?
The most common side effects when taking sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim are stomach upset, nausea or diarrhea. Sun sensitivity also develops with sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, so it is best to avoid sun exposure while taking sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. Vomiting and loss of appetite may also occur. These symptoms typically clear up within two weeks after you stop taking sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. Talk with your medical provider if side effects persist for an extended period of time.
How do I take sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim?
Take sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim as prescribed by your medical provider. Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim is usually taken twice a day every 12 hours for 3 days. Taking sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim 12 hours apart helps keep the levels of the antibiotic steady in your body. If you experience an upset stomach, take it with food or milk. Drink plenty of water while taking sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. It is best to continue taking it until the full prescription is finished to prevent the infection from returning.
Can I take sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim with other medications?
Some medications can interact with sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, increasing or decreasing its effectiveness. If you take any medications, be sure to talk to your medical provider about potential interactions that may affect your treatment. Tell your medical provider about all of your current prescriptions, supplements and over-the-counter medications.
Are there any risks when taking sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim?
Severe allergy to sulfonamides (sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim) or any component of this medication is possible. Tell your provider if you are allergic to sulfa medications or trimethoprim. Discuss your medical history with your medical provider, especially kidney disease, liver disease, or any blood disorders. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, you should not use sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. Tell your medical provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How quickly does sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim work?
While antibiotics don’t work right away, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim can begin to kill bacteria and relieve symptoms in as little as a few hours. It typically takes two days for most women to start feeling better after starting treatment. If you’re not feeling better within 5 days, you may want to contact your medical provider about other possible treatments. The sooner you start taking sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, however, the more quickly you will see results.
How does Nurx work?
Nurx is a telehealth platform offering easy online access to doctors and seamless delivery of medications. No more time-consuming trips to the clinic and no more frantic pharmacy runs. We put you in control of your own health, empowering you to get the care you need, when you need it. From diagnosis to delivery of prescriptions, we make every part of getting healthy and staying healthy, better.
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