by on April 16, 2012
Brand Names:Bactrim, Bactrim DS, Septra, Septra DS
Generic name:sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim
Pregnancy Category:C
Half-life:8 - 10 hours

What is Bactrim?

Bactrim is a trademarked combination of two antibacterial drugs called sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim.  Sulfamethoxazole is an antibiotic, or a medication that kills certain types of bacteria; trimethoprim is a bacteriostatic reductase inhibitor, meaning it not only kills bacteria, it also helps discourage bacterial growth in the first place. This combination of medications has proven very effective in treating a variety of bacterial infections, especially gram-negative bacteria like klebsiella, shigella, enterobacter, proteus, h. influenza, streptococcus, and others. It has also been proven a good preventer of bacterial, protozoan and fungal infections in individuals with HIV and other conditions that compromise the immune system.

Bactrim is most commonly available in tablet form, although it can also be found in a liquid suspension form. Bactrim tablets come in normal (400 mg sulfamethoxazole and 80 mg trimethoprim) and DS (Double Strength) formulations (800 mg sulfamethoxazole and 160 mg trimethoprim). Your physician will prescribe the proper dosage and frequency of Bactrim for your particular needs; children are prescribed Bactrim based on age and their weight.

bactrimBactrim is a very effective antibiotic against specific conditions, such as:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Acute otitis media (ear infections)
  • Acute chronic bronchitis in adults
  • Traveller’s diarrhea
  • Pneumocystis carinii (or jirovecii) pneumonia
  • Shigellosis
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Neocarditis
  • Acne Vulgaris
  • Whipple’s Disease
  • Prophylactically (to prevent) pneumocystis pneumonia in HIV-positive individuals

Please remember that, in order to reduce the increase of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, antibiotics such as Bactrim should be used only in cases where it has been established that an actual bacterial infection is present, and that it is of a bacterial strain that will respond to treatment with Bactrim. Antibiotics should not be used in cases of viral infections.

Always remember to take your antibiotics as directed and with a glass of water. It is important to remain well-hydrated while taking Bactrim to avoid crystalluria (formation of crystals in the urine) and formation of kidney stones. Take the full course as directed by your doctor; stopping an antibiotics course early can result in in the increase of the likelihood of the bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotic therapy, and could cause the infection to worsen.