Septra (Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim)

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What is Septra used for?

While Bacterial and viral infections are very similar, they are very different as well. However both are caused by microbes, and they spread through symptoms such as coughing and sneezing, contact with infected people especially through kissing and sex, contact with any contaminated surfaces, food, or water, contact with infected creatures such as pets, livestock and insects such as fleas and ticks.

This medication is a combination of two antibiotics: Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim. It is primarly used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections such as middle ear, urine, respiratory, and intestinal infections. It is also used to prevent and treat a certain type of pneumonia. This is an infection in your lungs caused by the bacteria. And it is commonly found with those with weaker immune systems, such as those infected with HIV.

This medication only is used for bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections such as the common cold or flu. Unnecessary misuse of any antibiotic can lead to have a decrease in its effect for any future infections

Before each dose, make sure to shake the medication well. Then carefully measure the dose using a special measuring spoon. Do not use a household spoon; if you do you may get the incorrect dose. Take this medication with a glass full of water. If an upset stomach occurs, take it with food or milk.

Be sure to drink plenty of fluids while on this medication to lower any risk of kidney stones forming and remember dose is based on your medical condition and your overall response to the treatment.

For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time every day.

Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic Sulfamethoxazole or Trimethoprim; or allergic to sulfa medications or trimethoprim; or to any other medications or allergies in general. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.

It is best to inform your doctor of your medical history. Therefore, it is best to speak with your doctor if you have ever suffered from any of the following;  kidney disease, liver disease, certain blood disorders (such as porphyria, anemia due to folate vitamin deficiency), history of blood disorders caused by trimethoprim or sulfa medications, vitamin deficiency (folate or folic acid), severe allergies, asthma, decreased bone marrow function (bone marrow suppression), a certain metabolic disorder (G6PD deficiency), underactive thyroid, mineral imbalances (such as high level of potassium or low level of sodium in the blood).

This medication may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) to not work as well. Do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication unless your doctor tells you to.

While minor, some of these side effects may occur. They are as follows; Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite may occur. However if any of these persist or worsen, it’s best to speak with your doctor right away.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: muscle weakness, mental/mood changes, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine, blood in the urine), extreme drowsiness, signs of low blood sugar (such as sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet).

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: persistent headache, neck stiffness, seizures, slow/irregular heartbeat.

This medication may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) allergic reactions and other side effects such as a severe peeling skin rash (such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome), blood disorders (such as agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia), liver damage, or lung injury. If you notice any of the following, get medical help right away: skin rash/blisters, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), persistent sore throat or fever, paleness, joint pain/aches, persistent cough, trouble breathing, easy bleeding/bruising, yellowing eyes or skin, persistent nausea/vomiting, unusual fatigue, dark urine.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

What is Sulfamethoxazole -TMP?

TMP stands for Trimethoprim; Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim are two separate drugs used together in a single medication, sold as Septra. Sulfamethoxazole belongs to the drug class called sulfonamide antibiotics and Trimethoprim belongs to the drug class called dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors. Septra contains 400mg of Sulfamethoxazole and 80mg of Trimethoprim, which can be purchased as the generic alternative at My Drug Center. A valid prescription is required to obtain this medication.


What is Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim used for?

Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim are used for the treatment of certain infections caused by bacteria (bacterial infections). To name a few infections one may be prescribed Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim for, includes bacterial infections of the middle ear, urinary tract, respiratory tract, and the intestines. Additionally, this medication may be used for the prevention and treatment of pneumonia, an infection of lungs caused by bacteria, commonly affecting those with HIV due to a weakened immune system.


What is the difference between Bactrim and Septra?

These two medications are very similar, as they contain the exact same active ingredients; Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim. However, they do present some differences. The main differences between these two medications are the trade names, manufacturers, appearance of tablets, and price.  There may also be additional differences not listed here.


How long does Sulfamethoxazole /Trimethoprim stay in your system?

The exact amount of time it will take the drug to clear the system may vary between each individual, especially in those with severely impaired renal function, but there is a way to get an estimate. You can do this by using the half-life of a medication, which measures how long it takes for half (50%) of the medication to clear from the body; by multiplying it by 5. Septra (Sulfamethoxazole & Trimethoprim) has a half life ranging between 8-10 hours, so it will stay in the system for up to about 50 hours, a little over 2 days.

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