Bactrim DS (Bactrim double strength) is an antibiotic medication commonly prescribed to treat bacterial infections. It is a combination of two antibiotics, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim. This combination treats various bacterial infections including middle ear, urine, respiratory, and intestinal infections. It can also be used to prevent and treat pneumocystis pneumonia.
This medication should not be used in children under 2 months of age due to potential serious side effects. Bactrim DS is only effective against bacterial infections and will not work for viral infections such as the flu.
Uses and Dosage
Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim combination comes in the form of a tablet and should be taken by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces / 240 milliliters). Taking it with food or milk may help reduce any stomach upset. It is important to drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication to reduce the risk of kidney stones forming unless your doctor has advised you differently. Follow the instructions given by your doctor carefully when taking this medication.
- For adults, the usual adult dosage for the treatment of urinary tract infections is 1 double strength Bactrim tablet.
- For the treatment of shigellosis, the same daily dosage should be used for 5 days.
- For children, the recommended dose for urinary tract infections or acute otitis media is 40 mg/kg sulfamethoxazole and 8 mg/kg trimethoprim per 24 hours, given in two divided doses every 12 hours for 10 days.
- The same daily dosage should be used for 5 days in the treatment of shigellosis. The following table provides a guideline for attaining this dosage:
- Bactrim is contraindicated for pediatric patients younger than 2 months of age.
Common Side Effects of Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim
- Loss of appetite
- Changes to blood sugar
- Skin sensitivity to sun or light
Serious Side Effects of Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim
- Serious allergic and skin reactions: hives, rash, blisters, swelling of the lips or tongue, difficulty breathing, skin reddening, blisters, rash
- Infectious (C. difficile-related) diarrhea: rapid heart rate, foul-smelling diarrhea, fever, nausea, frequent bowel movements (even up to 15 times per day)
- Kidney problems: urinating less often than usual, swelling in your feet, ankles, or hands, unexplained weight gain
- High potassium levels: nausea, muscle cramps or weakness
- Low blood sodium levels: nausea, fatigue, headache, confusion, disoriented, hallucinations (seeing/hearing/smelling things that are not real), seizures, unconsciousness
Form and Strength
Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, the generic alternative of Bactrim DS, is available in the following forms and strengths:
- The misuse or overuse of any antibiotic can lead to decreased effectiveness, follow the doctor’s instructions when taking Bactrim DS.
- BACTRIM is contraindicated in pediatric patients less than 2 months of age and in patients with marked hepatic damage or severe renal insufficiency when renal function status cannot be monitored. The risks associated with taking BACTRIM in these cases outweigh the potential benefits, and so its use should be avoided in these situations.
- BACTRIM should be given with caution to patients with impaired renal or hepatic function, tothose with folate deficiency and to those with severe allergies or bronchial asthma.
- Prescribing Bactrim (tablets without a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication) is unlikely to benefit the patient and increases the risk of drug-resistant bacteria development.
- As with all drugs containing sulfonamides, caution is advisable in patients with porphyria orthyroid dysfunction.
- BACTRIM should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risks to the fetus, as sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim may interfere with folic acid metabolism. Care should be taken to ensure that the drug is used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Bactrim DS?
Bactrim DS is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections such as urinary tract infections, bronchitis, and some pneumonia.
How long does it take for Bactrim DS to start working?
The time it takes for Bactrim DS to start working will vary depending on the type of infection being treated. You should start to feel better a few days after starting the treatment.
Can Bactrim DS be used to treat viral infections?
No, Bactrim DS should not be used to treat viral infections such as the common cold or flu. It is only effective against bacterial infections.
Who should not take Bactrim DS?
Bactrim DS should not be taken by people who are allergic to sulfa drugs or trimethoprim, or people with anemia caused by folic acid deficiency. It should also be used with caution in people who have kidney or liver disease.
Is Bactrim DS safe for pregnant women?
Bactrim DS should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Pregnant women should discuss the risks and benefits of using Bactrim DS with their doctor.