Info on Indications for Bactrim

How Does It Work?

Bactrim contains two different antibiotics, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. Sulfamethoxazole belongs to a group of drugs known as sulfonamides ("sulfa" drugs). Trimethoprim does not belong to a specific class of medications. These two antibiotics work in different but similar ways. Essentially, both sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim work by inhibiting the production of folic acid in bacteria, although they work in different stages of folic acid production. Folic acid is important for making proteins and DNA. Because humans obtain folic acid from the diet (and bacteria cannot), human cells are less affected by Bactrim.
Combining sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim increases the effectiveness and decreases the chance of antibiotic resistance (when bacteria develop the ability to resist antibiotics).

Bactrim Use in Children

Bactrim is approved to treat urinary tract infections, ear infections, shigellosis, and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in children at least two months old. It is also approved for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia prevention in children at least two months old. Bactrim should never be used in children under two months old.

Off-Label Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Bactrim for something other than the conditions discussed in this article. Bactrim is frequently used off-label to treat many other types of infections, particularly if they are caused by bacteria that are susceptible to Bactrim. Also, using the drug to prevent (instead of treat) any type of infection other than Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia is considered to be an off-label Bactrim use. Bactrim is sometimes used off-label for the treatment of acne.
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