Septrin - Septra - Bactrim - Sulfatrim: mail to this site on side-effects (1)

This page is from a campaign by award-winning investigative journalist Brian Deer in The Sunday Times of London over risks and side-effects from this antibiotic, marketed under many names, such as Bactrim, Bactrim DS, Septra, Septra DS, Septrin, Sulfatrim, SMZ/TMP, Septran and co-trimoxazole | The investigation | Symptom searcher | Tell Brian & help others
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  SEPTRA DS: 2 November 2002

Mr. Deer,

I am a 28 year old female who has never had any serious health problems in my life. I recently took Septra DS for a urinary tract infection because I am deathly allergic to almost all other antibiotics on the market. It has been about a week and a half since I finished the medication and I have been having some fluttering in my chest and chest pains. It seems as if my heart is not beating regularly and I am very weak a lot of the time. I do not seem to have the energy I used to. I am the mother of three children under the age of 4 and I know that makes me tired also but it is all I can do to keep up with them, much less laundry and housekeeping.

I recently had an echocardiogram, ekg, holter monitor, and bloodwork done at my internists office to see what could be causing my problems. I just wondered-does this correlate to any of the people who wrote in to you about injuries and deaths regarding taking septra ds? Also, how long did it take for most of them to have these problems? I am frightened by what I read in your articles and would like any information you have regarding effects people had. I also have been having memory problems as I read one man say that he had. I was on the medication for a week and I never had any bad side effects while taking it-which is extremely surprising considering I am allergic to all the other drugs. I felt sure I would be to a sulphur drug. Please e-mail me with the information you have if possible. I would appreciate it. Also, I am nursing a three month old and was told that it was safe to take Septra while nursing. What is your knowledge of this also?

Thank you,

Mrs Charley M.

SEPTRIN: 6 November 2002


As a teenager I suffered badly from acne. Around 1981 I was prescribed Septrin by my GP. This drug I took twice a day for the best part of eighteen years. At the time I suffered few side effects, other than an ocassional rash and a general ache in my lower left side. I consulted my GP (I think around 1990 time),who dismissed this as nothing to worry about.

My problem now, is that although I no longer take septrin (and have not done so since 1998) I now suffer from discomfort in bones and joints, have microheamaturia, tingling and stabbing sensations mainly around the left side/kidney area.I have consulted my GP and suggested that Septrin may have a part to play here. He said to me and I quote, 'it;s all in your mind man'. However I insisted that I be seen by somebody and was sent to a Kidney specialist(nephrologist) After having undergone numerous tests the the doctor thinks that it is unlikely that there is any serious disease of the kidney.

I am therefore still left with the dicomfort and the pains which seem to be getting worse but with nowhere to turn. Can you tell me am I alone in experiencing this, are there others I can speak with and where can I get advice on my best course of action.

Although my condition is not a bad as some that I have read about I would be grateful for any help that you could provide.

Many thanks

Peter H.

BACTRIM: 4 December 2002

Dear Mr. Deer:

I am the father of a four year old girl; her name is Ibeliza and she was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Linphoblastic Leukemia) since October-17th.

Now she is receiving chemiotherapy and BACTRIM is been used to protect her from infections due to the low levels of defenses she have. In fact, BACTRIM is part of most of the chemiotherapy protocols used worldwide in the ALL treatment.

Right now she is neuthropenic and I was reviewing information about sides effects of BACTRIM. In some web sites, I found that it causes neuthropenia and I read about several effects on the formation of blood cells.

Suddenly I found your extense information and one question come: CAN BACTRIM BE AN EXTERNAL FACTOR IN THE DEVELOPING OF ALL? This is because Ibe used this drug often, prescribed by her pediatric physician, each time she had some kind of infections (several, several times, especially when she returned each new year to school, since she was 1.5 year old.

I understand that genetic predisposition is the main cause of developing cancer buy this condition need an unknown ambiental factor.

Maybe, your research will have some kind of information in order to let us continue looking for answers.

We are from Ecuador; sorry for my English but it will be very interesting to count with your comments if I could tell you my doubts!


Vera S. Ecuador

SEPTRIN: 16 December 2002

Dear Brian,

I have your site and read with interest the info on septrin. I read too, Kate's story. I have met Kate a few years ago when we were both campaining against Septrin. My son Sxxxxxx Wxxxxxx was also affected by Sxxxxxx but was not quite as fortunate as Kate as regard to long term damage. My son was 17mnths old when he received (without my knowledge) the devastating drug. He had septrin for a minor chest infection. A few days later we were on a train to London and Sxxxxxx's skin turned bright red, almost like sunburn. By the time the train reached London he was having difficulty breathing and we were rushed to Great Ormond Street Hospital. About 1 hr after reaching the hospital Sxxxxxx's lips blew up before my eyes, then burst. Just minutes later his skin started to bubble and he became totally covered in blisters from head to foot, he looked as though he had been dipped in a vat of hot oil. Sxxxxxx remained in intensive care for a few weeks and was then police escorted back to Swansea's Singleton Hospital where he remained a while longer.

When in hospital, Sxxxxxx started having apnoea attacks which would last 15 mins or so and he would need resucitating, he could have as many as 20 in one day. He was also left unable to digest food and needed tube feeding as he still does. He lost the ability to speak and at the age of 12 (his present age ) still has the mental age of a small baby. He is wheelchair bound, although he has just learned to walk a few steps.

Sxxxxxx was not expected to live beyond the age of 5, he was just like a little rag doll unable even to support his own head. He is 12 now and has supprised the doctors, although he has started losing all the pottassium from his body which is doing no good for his kidneys.

There have been times where we have so very nearly lost Sxxxxxx and all down to a drug that they gave for a MINOR chest infection. I also took Sxxxxxx in to hospital on one his very many emergency visits and was once told that if he should suffer the apneoa attacks again, that I should not bring him back in. That was said by the same dopey doctor who gave him the antibiotic.

That is a quick run down on Sxxxxxx's story, I felt I had to write as I felt your website to be very interesting. I have every sympathy with Kate as I know what a struggle she has been, and still is, going through. I also know what a wonderful person she is. If you have contacts with Kate would you please pass on my e-mail addy so we may be in touch again.

Yours Faithfully

Claire W.


BACTRIM: 22 December 2002




SEPTRIN: 29 December 2002

I was prescribe Septrin in 1989 for a water infection at the same time as taken Oravail Capsules. Within 1 day I had pains in the pit of my stomach. Visited the doctors next day he changed the Septrin for another antibotic. May life changed the 1 day after taking Septrin.

After a long struggle and various tests over 2 and half years and having stomach ulsers from that one day. I had been burnt from my eosphagus to dudenum 3 ulsers, food wants to come back 10 minutes after every meal and is still doing the same now. Dumping syndrome which is a mystery as to the cause because I have had no surgery. Sensitive to food, drink and medication and spent most of the early part of the illness living on baby food and custard. Now experiencing profuse sweating every time I move and the specialist cannot find any reason for it, my whole body tingles and I go red and then start sweating and then have a violent pressure in my head doctors now tell me that this is porstal hypertension. Doctors are now thinking it is Atonomic neupathy but hasnt been proven as no tests have been carried out. 7 years as passed and I still have all the side effects plus more and seem to be getting worse not better.

I hope that you will find the details of interest and if you know of any one that can help me I would appreciate a response, I have been told that I am the only person with these symtoms.

Many thanks


BACTRIM & SEPTRA: 7 February 2003

Mr. Deer: I work for an attorney, xxx xxxxxx, in Birmingham, AL, USA. We have been extremely interested in your articles regarding Bactrim/Septra and the adverse side effects of this drug. We have a case regarding an 18 year old who had acne. His dermatologist gave him Bactrim, double strength, after 7 months without any blood work being done he developed aplastic anemia and died. We noticed that most of your information (that we have found) stopped in or around 1994. Mr. xxxxxx would be very interested to know if you have any additional information? Or do you know of any such situations in the USA? Anyone here that is aware of these side effects? We are in the process of trying to get statistics on the number of reported deaths regarding this drug but to no avail. Lots of information on internet but nothing concrete.

If you can offer any help or give us any additional information it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for any help you can offer,

J.T, Birmingham, AL.

SEPTRA: 17 February 2003

I was put on Septra for 4 years. I took my self off of it. My doctor told me my bladder looked like raw meat. Septra did something to my mind. Even my boss at that time told me I was getting forgetful and did not give me a raise. This happen about 6 years ago. I am still having trouble with memory. If you know of anything I can do to reverse it I would appreciate your help.


Ellona R. Waco, Texas


I was given Sulfamethoxazole by my gp dr. as I left Illinois to move to Southern California--I had a sinus infection...respiratory problem.

After taking the above for nearly 3 weeks, after I got off the meds I noticed I was extremely tired and dizzy, numbness in my body...to make a long story short, I have had extensive blood test, cat scan, etc. and the drs. don't know what was wrong with me.

I am seeking a holistic dr. for allergy problems...she mentioned yesterday when I went in for a treatment, that the sulfa in the drug drained all the calcium from my body...the dr. did her treatment regarding calcium and today is the best day I have had in two months....

This drug should be taken off the market...it has side effects....have you ever had anyone tell you of light headedness, numbness from this med? Pls respond.


COTRIMOXAZOLE: 12 March 2003

Dear Brian,

I have a friend who suffered from gonorrhea and after consulting to a doctor he was given cotrimoxazole ( Pharex 800mg/160mg) for medication. During his medication (February 4 2003) he suffered several illness: fever, sore throat (which he still suffers up to now), severe stomach cramps, and photosensitivity. He only took it for four day (twice a day) and stopped because of the side-effects. As of now he is really depressed thinking he had HIV. We always cheer him up but our efforts are all in vain. Recently I made research about HIV/AIDS and about his medication. After reading your article this could possibly the answer to his depression. I would like to ask you honest opinion since you made a thorough investigation about the drug.

Thank You and God Bless!



I took sulfamethoxazole in January for several weeks for a sinus/throat infection. After I was off the drug for two days, I have been feeling dizzy and walking off balance.

I have been in the Emergency Room...they did a CAT Scan, blood tests and have found nothing. At first the doctors and I thought it was an inner ear viral problem (I had one that lasted for two weeks before and went away). The doctors said that there was nothing in the CAT Scan that showed the problem and that it was not an inner ear problem.

I am desperate! I asked two doctors and they said my problem is not due to the antibiodic. I saw your articles on the website...could I be having a reaction to this NASTY drug? From what I gather, the Sulfamethoxazole is the part of the drug that causes the problem. When I was on the drug I was ok...afterwards, no. If I was ok when I took the drug would I have the balance/dizzyness afterwards...Have you heard of anyone having the affects after taking the drug?

Pls respond with any info you can help me...I have been suffering since January and the doctors think it is all in my head...by their reactions. Thank you so much for any help you can get me.


SULFATRIM: 22 April 2003

I hope that this is still a current e-mail address for you and that you receive this e-mail successfully.

I just wanted to let you know how helpful the information you have on the internet regarding reactions to Sulfatrim was to my husband and I this past weekend.

We leave in Canada and I found no similar information on Canadian or US sites.

My husband was prescribed Sulfatrim for a sinus infection and began it last Wednesday night. By Thursday night he had a fever, anxiousness, muscle aches and stomach ache. By Friday he was feeling very, very ill and was so exhausted he was virtually incapacitated. After I read the frightening but so valuable information you have provided, he stopped the drug on Friday and got in touch with his specialist.

We feel very fortunate that his reaction was limited compared to those suffered by many patients. After coming off the drug, he began to improve after 2 days.

You have done such a great service to many people by making this information available, and my husband and I are so very thankful to you for that - you may very well have saved his life.


Marian & Peter B. Vancouver, BC

SEPTRIN: 1 May 2003

Dear Brian, I have just for the first time discovered your website in regards to the drug Septrin. Todays a hard day for me as its 21 years today that my Mum died due to taking the drug Seprin. I was 7 at the time & my brother was 12 due to be 13 in 9 days time. I can remember the day my Dad sat me and my brother Jason down and said she had gone to heaven. It seems like only yesterday. Within 2 weeks she had gone from a healthy 33 year old to death. Although my Dad has been a rock for the last 21 years, I can help but feel fustrated how this drug has totally changed our lives. I would not be the same person I am today if she was here and I can see in my Dads eyes he can see her in me.

I am going to contine reading up on your findings as I feel I am old enough to understand, also it has been a taboo subject in my family for years.

Just knowing other people have been in my suituation gives me comfort.

Please continue the good work, if I can assist in your findings in anyway please contact me.


Jenny W. Sefton, UK

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