Sulfamethoxazole inhibits the synthesis of dihydrofolic acid. Trimethoprim inhibits thymidine and DNA synthesis. These two agents act synergistically in inhibiting folic acid synthesis.
Co-trimoxazole was claimed to be more effective than either of its components individually in treating bacterial infections, although this was later disputed. Because it has a higher incidence of adverse effects, including allergic responses, its use has been restricted in many countries to very specific circumstances where its improved efficacy has been demonstrated. It may be effective in a variety of upper and lower respiratory tractinfections, kidney and urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal tract infections, skin and wound infections, sepsis, and other infections caused by sensitive organisms. Co-trimoxazole decreases the risk of recurrence of retinochoroiditis. The global problem of advancing antimicrobial resistance has led to a renewed interest in the use of co-trimoxazole more recently.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Incidence not known
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Incidence not known
Other side effects not
listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check
with your healthcare professional.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of
this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for
your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing
schedule. Do not double doses.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
trimethoprim combination is best taken with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.
Several additional glasses of water should be taken every day, unless otherwise
directed by your doctor. Drinking extra water will help to prevent some
Some epidemiologic studies suggest that exposure to sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim during pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of congenital malformations, particularly neural tube defects, cardiovascular malformations, urinary tract defects, oral clefts, and club foot. If sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be advised of the potential hazards to the fetus.
Hypersensitivity And Other Fatal Reactions
Fatalities associated with the administration of sulfonamides, although rare, have occurred due to severe reactions, including Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, fulminant hepatic necrosis, agranulocytosis, aplastic anaemia and other blood dyscrasias.
Sulfonamides, including sulfonamide-containing products such as sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, should be discontinued at the first appearance of skin rash or any sign of adverse reaction. In rare instances, a skin rash may be followed by a more severe reaction, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, hepatic necrosis, and serious blood disorders (see PRECAUTIONS). Clinical signs, such as rash, sore throat, fever, arthralgia, pallor, purpura or jaundice may be early indications of serious reactions.
Cough, shortness of breath, and pulmonary infiltrates are hypersensitivity reactions of the respiratory tract that have been reported in association with sulfonamide treatment.
Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim-induced thrombocytopenia may be an immune-mediated disorder. Severe cases of thrombocytopenia that are fatal or life threatening have been reported. Thrombocytopenia usually resolves within a week upon discontinuation of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim.
Streptococcal Infections And Rheumatic Fever
The sulfonamides should not be used for the treatment of group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal infections. In an established infection, they will not eradicate the streptococcus and, therefore, will not prevent sequelae such as rheumatic fever.
Clostridium Difficile Associated Diarrhea
Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including SEPTRA, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.
C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use.
Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.
If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.
Adjunctive Treatment With Leucovorin For Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia
Treatment failure and
excess mortality were observed when trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was used
concomitantly with leucovorin for the treatment of HIV positive
patients with Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia in a
randomized placebo controlled trial.7 Co-administration of
trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and leucovorin during treatment of Pneumocystis
jiroveci pneumonia should be avoided.