What is sulfameth/trimethoprim used to treat?

Not Medical Advice: Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim (Sulfameth/trimethoprim) is a combination of two antibiotics. Brand names include Bactrim, Bethaprim, Cotrim and Septra. It is commonly used to treat bacterial infections such as middle ear, urinary, respiratory and intestinal infections. It is also used to treat and prevent a type of pneumonia. It is not recommended for children under the age of two because of the risk of serious side effects. It does not work for viral infections.

Some of the possible common side effects (not a complete list) can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and headache. If these side effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor immediately. More unlikely but more serious side effects can include muscle weakness, mental or mood changes, and signs of low blood sugar. Very serious side effects that require immediate medical attention include confusion, persistent headache, neck stiffness and seizures. It can sometimes cause severe allergic reactions.

Treating bacterial infections is always tough, especially with bacteria that resist antibiotics. Researchers recently discovered some disheartening news about antibiotic resistant bacteria. It was generally thought that as bacteria were exposed to antibiotics they developed a resistance to it. But Olivier Tenaillon at Denis Diderot University in Paris has discovered that some bacteria had unexpectedly become resistant to an antibiotic even though it had never been exposed to it. This means that researchers will have to be careful when recommending uses for antibiotics, as the bacteria may suddenly develop resistance without any warning or prior exposure.

Updated on Saturday, March 02 2013 at 06:49AM EST
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