A healthcare provider may prescribe Bactrim® (sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim) to treat a variety of different infections in adults and children as young as two months old. This medication comes in oral form and is typically taken twice a day. Oral Bactrim tablets come in two strengths:
Bactrim tablets -- 80 mg of trimethoprim and 400 mg of sulfamethoxazole
Bactrim DS ("double strength") tablets -- 160 mg of trimethoprim and 800 mg of sulfamethoxazole.
Bactrim contains two different antibiotics, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. 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. Combining sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim increases the effectiveness and decreases the chance of antibiotic resistance (when bacteria develop the ability to resist antibiotics).
Although most people tolerate Bactrim well, side effects are possible and may include nausea, vomiting, and rashes.
(Click Bactrim for more information on how Bactrim can help treat a variety of infections. This article also discusses general dosing guidelines, safety precautions, and tips on effectively using this medication.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Bactrim [package insert]. Philadelphia, PA: AR Scientific, Inc.;2013 June.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed September 3, 2008.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed August 19, 2008.
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