Bactrim DS is a prescription used to treat bacterial infections in the body. The combination of drugs in this system is used as antibiotic to help kill off bacteria in the body so the immune system can eliminate the infection more effectively. But Bactrim DS will not work on viral infections such as colds or the flu. Dosing and administration of this medication vary depending on the size of the patient and the severity of the infection. Go over all instructions with your doctor to ensure that you have all the information you need to take your prescription properly.
Bactrim DS Usages
Bactrim DS is one of the brand names for sulfamethoxazole or trimethoprim. Other brand names include Bactrim, Septra, Septra DS, Sulfatrim and Sulfatrim Pediatric. These medications are used to treat infections in the body including traveler's diarrhea, urinary tract infections, middle ear infections, shigellosis and bronchitis. This can also be used in treating or preventing Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), which occurs in the body of those whose immune system is not functioning properly. Bactrim DS is available in tablet and suspension form.
Notes: Bactrim DS should be taken with a full glass of water. Patients should continue to drink water throughout the day to help avoid possible side effects of this medication. You should not take more than directed as it can cause a negative reaction. In many cases, you will feel better before your prescription is completed. Do continue to take your medication the full length of your prescribed treatment to ensure that you have eliminated the infection radically. Otherwise your symptoms could return or you could develop a more serious infection that will require other medications to treat.
Bactrim DS Dosage
Because Bactrim DS is available in different strengths, you may be given alternate instructions regarding how many tablets or ounces to take and how often you should take them. Go over all instructions you receive with your doctor to ensure that you are aware of how you should take your medication properly before you start your prescription.
- Adults and children weighing 40kg or more will usually be given an initial dose of 800mg, which will be followed up by 160mg every 12 hours.
- Children under 40kg will be given an initial dose of 40mg per hour, followed by doses of 8mg for every kilogram of body weight.
- Children being treated for PCP will be given an initial dose of 750mg, which will be followed by doses of 150mg in divided doses three days a week.
- Children under 2 months of age should not use Bactrim DS, as their immune system is not yet developed to the point where it can manage antibiotics.
Other groups that may be at risk when using Bactrim DS:
- Patients who have had allergic reactions to other antibiotics should talk with their doctor regarding their safety when using Bactrim DS. You may need to be tested for allergies before you can start your prescription. Your doctor will go over these concerns with you to ensure your safety.
- People with liver or kidney problems. These patients may be unable to clear the medication from their system effectively, which could lead to an increased risk of blood clotting due to the raised potassium rate in the bloodstream.
- Pregnant women are advised to avoid this medication as there are no studies that can adequately predict the risk of using it. Talk with your doctor about these concerns before you start your prescription. Bactrim DS poses minimal risk to those who are breastfeeding.
Bactrim DS Side Effects
- The most common side effects of Bactrim DS include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite or allergic skin reactions such as rash or itching. These are not signs of a serious condition, but should be reported to your doctor so that you can be tested for an allergy to this antibiotic. If your side effects do not lessen throughout the length of your prescription, you should inform your doctor as well. Do not stop taking Bactrim DS unless you have been given medical instruction to do so.
- Other side effects of Bactrim DS include anemia, low blood platelets, low white blood cells, low blood sugar level, cough, shortness of breath, hallucinations or depression. These side effects are serious and should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible. If you feel as though you might lose consciousness or you are otherwise in danger, contact emergency medical services for assistance right away.
- Bactrim DS may increase the risk of high potassium levels in the blood. If you begin to experience low heart rate, muscle weakness or burning, pricking or tinkling sensations contact emergency medical services right away to determine your risk and whether or not you need medical care.
- If you begin to experience seizures or watery or bloody diarrhea during or after your Bactrim DS prescription has been completed, you may be suffering from another, more severe infection. These side effects are more common when you miss doses during the course of your prescription. Contact your doctor as soon as possible so you can be tested for an infection and a proper course of treatment can be administered.
- Additional side effects of Bactrim DS include weakness, fatigue, insomnia, nervousness, spinning sensation, headaches, and ringing of the ears. The occurrence of these side effects is not known. Let your doctor know if these side effects occur so you can get the proper medical assistance to relieve them.
Note: You should not use alcohol or tobacco while on Bactrim DS. These substances lower your immune system which can make it difficult for your body to fight off the infection effectively. Let your doctor know if you have anemia, alcohol abuse, HIV or AIDS, liver disease, kidney disease, malnutrition, malabsorption syndrome, asthma, allergies or thyroid problems. These conditions may affect how well your body reacts to the medication and how well it is capable of fighting off bacteria based infection.
Bactrim DS Interactions
Medications known to interact negatively with Bactrim DS include Bepridil, cisapride, dofetilide, levomethadyl, mesoridazine, pimozide, terfenadine, and thioridazine. Let your doctor know if you are using any of these medications so that your dosing can be adjusted to avoid a potentially serious reaction.