Septra is an antibiotic used for treating various types of bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections and ear infections. It is also approved to prevent Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in people with a weakened immune system. Septra, which is available by prescription, comes in tablet form and is typically taken twice a day. Common side effects of the drug include nausea, vomiting, and rashes.
(Click Septra Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Who Makes It?
Brand-name Septra is manufactured by King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Generic versions are made by various different manufacturers.
How Does It Work?
Septra contains two different antibiotics, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. Trimethoprim does not belong to a specific class of medications. Sulfamethoxazole belongs to a group of drugs known as sulfonamides ("sulfa" drugs). 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 Septra.
Combining sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim increases the effectiveness and decreases the chance of antibiotic resistance (the development of bacteria with the ability to resist antibiotics).
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Septra [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 8, 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 September 8, 2008.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click