Side effects are a common issue when dealing with modern medicine. It is extremely complicated to make medications that do one thing, and one thing only. As a consequence, most medications (and even “natural” treatments) have side effects. Bactrim is a commonly used antibiotic, and it is no exception to this rule. Bactrim is also known as Septra.
Antibiotics have revolutionized modern medicine like to other treatment, but they do have their unwanted effects. The side effects for Bactrim are not unlike those seen in many other antibiotics. Bactrim is actually a combination of two different antibiotics, trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole.
Bactrim is used for a wide range of different infections. It is a common choice of therapy in treating respiratory, urinary tract, and ear infections. Like all antibiotics, Bactrim is available only by prescription from your doctor. This is necessary to prevent people from using it inappropriately (such as treating a viral infection, which are uneffected by antibiotics) and to allow monitoring for side effects and allergic reactions.
Okay, all that is nice, but let’s get to the point – what are the side effects of Bactrim?
As mentioned before, the side effects people can experience while taking Bactrim are similar to the problems seen with many antibiotics. Nausea and vomiting are the most common side effects. Headaches are reported by a fair number of people as well. It is not uncommon to loss your appetite for a while when taking Bactrim. This is especially the case if you are nauseaus and vomitting.
The nausea, vomitting, and headaches associated with using Bactrim generally resolve within a day or two of stopping the treatment.
On rare occasions, it is possible to experience a more serious side effect when taking Bactrim. These more serious effects include seeing blood in the urine, a stiff neck, or seizures. A rare reaction to Bactrim can cause a peeling rash – this can lead to a condition known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome which is quite dangerous. Paleness, itching, joint pain, yellowing of the eyes, and easy bruising are additional side effects that are rare, yet serious when they do happen. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Note that there are differences between side effects and allergies. For more information on the differences, see THIS article.
Taking Bactrim can cause another problem in some people, especially women. Antibiotics are good at killing bacteria, but not all bacteria are bad. Some, especially those found in the vaginal area, can be helpful for various reason. Unfortunately, Bactrim can’t tell the difference between disease causing bacteria and the kind your body needs. When these “good” bacteria are killed, there is a chance for what is called an “opportunistic” infection by a yeast known as candida. This can lead to a yeast infection in women, or oral “thrush” in men or women. If you are taking Bactrim and experience new symptoms in the vaginal area or throat, call your doctor as soon as possible. Opportunistic infections with candida are not deadly, but they can be quite troublesome.
Side effects for Bactrim are generally mild. However, you should always take Bactrim under the guideance of a doctor. Never take someone else’s prescription for this or any other antibiotic. If you have more questions about the side effects of bactrim, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.