Sulfatrim is an antibiotic medication that is only available by prescription. It can be used to treat a number of different bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections, ear infections, and a certain type of pneumonia. Sulfatrim comes in the form of an oral suspension (liquid), and is typically taken twice a day. Potential side effects include rashes, nausea, and vomiting.
Brand-name Sulfatrim was manufactured by Actavis US but is no longer available. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.
How Does It Work?
Sulfatrim contains two different antibiotics, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (hence the name Sulfatrim). These two antibiotics work in different but similar ways. Combining sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim increases the effectiveness of the drugs and decreases the chance of antibiotic resistance (the development of bacteria with the ability to resist antibiotics).
Trimethoprim does not belong to a specific class of medications. Sulfamethoxazole belongs to a group of drugs known as sulfonamides ("sulfa" drugs). 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 Sulfatrim.
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