A number of bacterial infections can be treated with Septra. Uses of the medication specifically include the treatment of ear infections, traveler's diarrhea, and urinary tract infections. The antibiotic can also be used to prevent Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in people with weakened immune systems. Off-label Septra uses may also include the treatment of acne and the prevention of (rather than treatment of) various infections.
Septra® (sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim) is a combination antibiotic used to treat several different infections. In particular, Septra is approved for the treatment of the following infections:
- Shigellosis (a form of dysentery)
- Traveler's diarrhea
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs), such as bladder infections
- Ear infections
- Acute worsening of chronic bronchitis
- A certain type of pneumonia known as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.
Septra is also approved to prevent Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in people with weakened immune systems at risk for the infection (such as people with HIV or AIDS).
It is important to remember that Septra is completely ineffective for treating viral illnesses (such as the common cold or the flu).
Septra is approved for treating the infections listed above only when they are caused by certain types of bacteria. Not all bacteria will respond to Septra. Even among the types of bacteria that do respond to Septra, some strains may have become resistant and may have different resistance patterns in different regions in the country. This means that some bacteria may be susceptible to Septra in certain parts of the country but not in others.
In some situations, your healthcare provider may perform certain tests to see if your particular infection is susceptible or resistant to Septra. In other situations, your healthcare provider may decide to try Septra without such tests.