Bactrim - SMZ-TMP - Trimeth-Sulfa: mail to this website on side-effects (10)

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
<<< Sunday Times letters <<< Side-effects of Bactrim - Septra - Septrin >>> Next page of emails >>>

  SMZ/TMP: 16 June 2004


I was prescribed a Bactrim Generic (SMZ/TMP Double-STR TAB MPC) to treat a throat infection. Immediately I felt relief from my infection the next day. Four days into my taking the generic, I noticed a sense of lightheadedness and as the day progressed I could felt a little anxious. When I went to bed I had the most horrible, vivid night mares which I had trouble awaking from. I woke feeling hot and sweaty and my skin kinda tingling and a little itchy feeling.

This morning I took my usual dose but called my doctor to inform him of my side effects I seem to be having.

Right now I feel very anxious and panicky, my mouth is dry, skin is still tingling...and just don't feel myself.

Having stopped taking the generic....how long does it take for the drug to get out of your system and start feeling some relief from the side effects? I have read through the letters but haven't really read any that touched on this.

Andy S.

SEPTRA: 22 June 2004

I too had a bad reaction to Septra. Gallbladder on verge of bursting from irritation (went into emergency surgery) and I had flu like symptoms (fever and vomiting).


SULFONAMIDE: 26 June 2004


i was trying to figure out what to do, i had a severe allergic reaction to sulphate, i only took 3 total (for an infection) and since then i have been vomiting, fever , rashes, fatigue,weakness,chest pain, short breath, sore throat, i called my doctor and she said if the vomiting come back to go to the ER, its been 3 days and alot of these symptoms are presisting (i know my doctor isnt very good and i NO money for an emergency room visit and no insurance)

theres nothing on your site that tell me what i need to know. are these symptoms going to last for weeks , how many days before it wares off? or do i need to take something else to counter-react it?

thanks in advance


SULFATRIM: 28 June 2004


I was prescribed Sulfatrim several weeks ago for a urinary tract infection. The doctor gave me enough medication for five days telling me to take it twice a day, and further said that I was only to take it for as long as it took to feel better; that I needn't finish the medication. I took it for two days because after that long I had developed a bad headache but even more disturbing was the severe pain in my legs that kept me from both staying still and from moving too much. I had lost my appetite, and when I began to develope a rash I decided that the drugs were too strong for me. Thanks to your website I know that it's not just me.

Shari C.

SEPTRIN: 30 June 2004

Dear Brian,

I have just for the first time discovered your website in regards to the drug Septrin. I was first administered this drug in 2003 as an antibiotic to treat cough thus so great reaction resulting to skin rashes, black spot all over my body, itching and general discomfort.

January 2004, mistakenly doctor in a different hospital admistered this drug for me. It was just 2 tablets I took but then it was hell. The discomfort of that night is enough to kill. While worring on the black spot the drugs left on my body. Doctor now strongly advised that I should not be taking sulphonamide drugs, giving series of drugs that contain sulphur, I just decide to check the internet to know more about the effect of this drug and I got your site.

I will appreciate whatever information you are passing around on this. I will not mind to be part of the team that will share their experience as relate to this drug. Actually I am indicating my interest in joining the Septrin Action group with the stated objectives.

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 situation gives me comfort.

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


Seyi O.

BACTRIM: 3 July 2004

Hello MR Brian Deer:

I am very shocked about all the research and side effects regarded Bactrim. However I can deduce that most of the times the problem is due to an allergic condition.

My case is pathetic. I have been suffering from a disease in my skin for ten years, nobody could ever help me, not even the more recognized physicians, but once, I met a doc that prescribed me Bactrim F. It was a miracle for me, my problem was solved but… if I stop the drug for a long time the problem returns. I’m very afraid for all the side effects I could suffer but there is no other help I can receive. Once a dermatological doctor suggested a drug called Racutan (Accutane) but side effects are worst besides is prohibitly expensive. Now a days I continue consuming this drug, without any prescription. My health is in risk, I know that now, but I have been suffering for ten years and I prefer not having the disease, ten years from physicians to physicians even alternative medicine but nothing, just the Bactrim helps. What an irony.

I have dental problems as I never had, maybe this is one of the side effects, but who knows.

Best regards,


SMZ/TMP: 5 July 2004


Thank you so much for your website. I had had slight prostate pain and slight shortness of breath so I went to see the doc. He diagnosed a slight prostate infection and slight lung infection due to exhaustion. He prescribed one heavy duty and EXPENSIVE antibiotic. When I found out how much it was going to cost, I asked the doc for free samples or some cheaper alternative. So he prescribed SMZ/TMP DS Tab (Generic for Bactrim) twice daily along with Doxycycline 100mg Tab twice daily. Two hours after taking the first dose I felt a burning/boiling in my head but discounted it as the battle going on inside of me. The next day a awoke with pressure and burning to the back of my skull and neck. Almost a tightness though I had full range of motion. For the next 9 days I experienced dizziness, tingling in my right arm, weakness to my extremities and a surreal burning nerve stiffness/pressure to the back of my skull and sides of my head. I also felt a mental cloud feeling which made me feel like I was losing my mind and barely able to be in social situations. I saw another doc who said I was having panic attacks and not to worry about it. I finally saw my GP on the 10th day and he said he didn t know what was going on and told me to go ahead and stop the antibiotics. I immediately felt a majority of the dizziness/cloudiness go away after stopping the Bactrim and Doxycycline. However, now three weeks later- I have continued to have a stiff burning neck and nerve burning to neck and sides of head. I am also experiencing tingling to my right arm and leg and very light tingling to other extremities. I also have just experienced the worlds worst back spasm which has me down in agony for the last 2 days. After reading the many accounts on your site, I am convinced that it is too much a coincidence that these symptoms began the day I began the antibiotics. Is there any hope these symptoms will go away? Please help. Thanks so much for your help. My wife and children also thank you.

Josh, CA

SMZ/TMP: 7 July 2004

Hi Brian. This week I took the SMZ TMP DS TAB 2x a day for 3 days for a UTI. I had loss of appetite, nausea, couldn't get to sleep till late, Depressed, tingling hands, inability to focus, and burning sensations in my stomach. I am still taking Metronidazole, but my hands still tingle. Could the Metronidazole cause this tingling?

BACTRIM: 9 July 2004

I began taking Bactrim 2 days ago for bladder infection. Since then, I have had extreme gastric pains shooting in my stomach and up toward my chest. This is scaring me since I have read all your articles. I am stopping it immediately. These gastric pains made me feel like I was having a heart attack, but I had just had a cardiolite stress test this week before the bladder infection began and everything was normal, so this leads me to believe it is the bactrim.


Hi Brian,

I have a Lab/Sheppard mix that is about 6 1/2 years old. She got what the vet called a "hot spot" on the side of her face. They believe it was caused by a flea or tick along with her constant scratching down to the skin which caused an infection. The vet sent us home with a spray and the trimeth pills. The first day or two she did okay. Now she is vomitting and not really wanting to eat anything. We stopped giving her the trimeth this evening due to her not being able to take it and reading your articles on this site. I have seen a few people write in with side effects of nausia, etc... After a period of not taking the trimeth, my dog seems to be more like herself (i.e. alert, tale wags when we go to pet her, finally drinking some water). Could this trimeth be the cause of the sickness? It's only been a few hours since she got sick and hopefully without the medicine this evening and tomorrow, she can hold down some
food and stop getting sick. The vomit is very paste-like (viscous). Thank you for your help and time. This site is a huge help.

Scott C. Cincinnati, OH

SEPTRIN: 13 Jul 2004

Dear Sir,

I have just read articles on the toxic effects of Septrin and wondered if you have any reports of growth problems for children prescribed this drug.

My son, Mark, was prescribed Septrin at the age of 3 months in January 1988. He had kidney problems which resulted in continuous infections until he was 6 months old and had a hemi nephrectomy. Investigations showed that he still had reflux from the bladder after his operation and he remained on Septrin . This was a daily maintenance dose, 5ml every night before bedtime. After his operation he remained fit and well and there appeared to be no side effects from the drug and he continued on the maintenance dose. until he was about 4 years 9 months in 1992. At this point it was decided that he should stop the drug and no further kidney infections occurred.

By the age of about 7 years old it became apparent that my son was far too small for his age. We were referred to Great Ormond Street hospital for further tests. His father is 6' 4" tall and I am 5' 7", this is considered to be above average for both male and female. A close eye was kept on his growth and although he was very small, he still appeared in proportion and very healthy. Measurements were made of his wrist bones and his predicted adult height was 5' 2". This is very small for two such tall parents.

As he approached the time for adolescence to commence there were no developments at all. He progressed to the adolescent clinic at the Middlesex Hospital in London. At the age of 15 Mark was prescribed a monthly dose of Sustanon in order to kick start his body into puberty, an event that showed no sign at all at this stage. Sustanon began the changes needed for Mark and he began to develop into a young man, however, it did not also have the desired effect of helping him to grow. In December 2003 Mark started on a daily injection of Genotropin growth hormone in the hopes that this would increase his statue, unfortunately this has been unsuccessful. His height remains at under 5' tall and his 17th birthday is in October this year.

Mark's consultant has no answers as to why Mark is so small. He says that he will revisit Mark's endocrinology when he has attained maximum growth. Recent x-rays showed that Mark's bone age is 15 months behind his years and so there is room for improvement. There is a strong possibility that he will have to remain on the Sustanon for the rest of his life. His predicted adult height is still 5' 2" maximum but this just may not happen.

My daughter, who is now 20 years old, is the same height as me so there does not appear to be a problem for her. There are no height problems in either of our families, in fact my ex husband's family are all well above average height, even his sisters, one of whom is 5' 10".

Mark is a healthy and well adjusted lad. He has always been aware that he will not be tall and of the problems that he had as a baby. He was born by caesarean section, two weeks early, at a good size, 7lbs 12 ozs. He was a normal size baby and his growth just appeared to slow down after he was about 6 months old.

I may be clutching at straws but I would like to have some answers for Mark. His consultant says that if Mark ever has children they will need to be checked for growth from birth. At the moment we have no idea why he has his growth problem. Maybe it was the kidney problems, maybe something in our families, perhaps it was having a daily dose of Septrin for over 4 years.

Please would you let me know if you have had any other enquires of this sort, it may well help to answer our questions. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should need more information.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Yours sincerely,

Suzanne T.

SEPTRA: 13 July 2004

I was prescribed Septra for a spider bite. Within two hours of taking one dose my air way and chest felt "tight" and it was very difficult to breathe. I was taken to the emergency and was given steroids and Benedryl for the side effects. I am now taking three different medications for three days just to offset the one dose of Septra. My emergency room doctor and pharmacist did not seemed surprised by the reaction.

Jennifer. Baton Rouge, LA.

SMZ-TMP (VETERINARY): 20 July 2004

Good Afternoon Brian..

I am writing to you to see if you have heard from anyone who has taken SMZ-TMP or has had their veterinarian perscribe this drug to their dog and experienced problems with their thyroid levels dropping well below the extreme lower levels....If so, could you e-mail to me those encounters...This is why...

My 12 pound, 15 yr. old dachshound had symptoms of having a possible urinary stone or infection...His urinary test came back okay but he was urinating more frequently than normal and also while sleeping and seemed to be in discomfort when he went to sit or lie down...So the Vet but him on 480mg. of SMZ-TMP for 14 days, 1/2 tablet twice a day...just in case he had an infection that was not picked up in the UA....The medication made him drowsy during the first week and where normally he is very verbal (not barking...he makes all kinds of verbal noises as if talking) he became very silent...That seemed strange but I thought it was just because the medication made him sleepy...By that Saturday and Sunday he was in such a deep sleep it was scary so I stopped giving him the whole tablet and only gave him the shorter of the half of a tablet once a day on Sunday and Monday...He seemed to improve a very very slight bit...On Tuesday during the day, I called the doctor's office to be sure this was an antibiotic and that the dosage was correct for Theodore's size...I was assured all was well...By Tuesday evening when I got home from work, Theodore had much problem standing up without falling to one side or the other...I took him outside to go to the bathroom and he just stood against the little garden fence as though he were still asleep...He tried to eat his dinner but seemed to have much difficulty eating...I called the doctor's office again...This time they went over symptoms but not the one's he had...I told them I was going to stop the medication and that was agreeable...My Vet was not in and would not be in until Friday...I was advised that if Theodore was not better in the morning I could bring him in for another Vet to see him that the medication should be totally out of his system by Wednesday evening...He was a little more improved but not enough in the morning so I took him to the Vet's office and he was seen by another associate. I asked if Theodore's system could be extremely sensitive to this medication and that would prompt the symptoms...I was again told that this is a very commonly used antibiotic...that the dosage was appropriate for his size and the likelyhood was very small...This vet said he looked good...She did not see a need to give him fluids to flush out his system or to take blood or UA test...I asked if she was sure and she said no...They could observe him if I wanted to leave him but they would not take any tests at this time...I felt that would just ad to his stress and brought him home...He did not improve completely by Wednesday evening so I call my vet...Again I asked if he would be sensitive to this medication, how long before it would no longer be in his system and the symptoms to stop...I was not answered..It was suggested I bring him in on Saturday to see my vet. I did...He took an extensive blood work up and called me yesterday, Monday 7/19/04, to report the following:

The tests revealed emzines in his liver which has caused some damage, his chloresteral was extremely high and his thyroid levels were far below the lowest level point...

I again asked if Theodore could be extremely sensitive to this medication and again was told most likely not but there are exceptions..

Mostly, I was repeatedly told that I had to keep in mind that Theodore was old....I do not accpet that...I am right on top of my dogs' health and they lack for nothing...These symptoms were not there before he took the medication....I also went through the list of meds the dogs had been prescribed prior for UA infections and bladder infections and found that this very drug had been used on one of my dachshunds who suffered with a brain tumor and was having a repeated problem with bladder infections and the usual antibiotics were not working...She became so lathargic (sp?) that I thought she had died...rushed her to the vet...He flushed her system and she recovered....that was about a year and a half ago and I had forgetten the name of this drug until I fould the bottle with the remaining pills that I had saved so I would not forget and ever have perscribed again...I took those to the doctor's office with me and showed them to him and his associate and shared to joggle his memory Cricket's episode...He remembered. Theodore has been almost as lethargic as Cricket but he has moved when I tried to awake him and he could walk somewhat where she could not...Her health problems might have also contributed to her extreme reactions...So now Theodore is on thyroid medication to hopefully bring up his levels....I am to see the vet in a week to review his improvements...If he does not show the improvements the vet thinks he should show then the vet wants to do a two part blood test...

If this drug is this dangerous...WHY IS IT STILL ON THE MARKET!!...Does the medical community have to experience massive deaths before they admit to it's danger before they remove it from the market!!!!

Theodore seems to be progressing...I do not contribute that to this new medication as he just began it last evening and has only had 2 pills...I think just being off the antibiotic and it slowly leaving his system has allowed for the sightful improvement....I NOW WORRY ABOUT WHAT PERMENENT DAMAGE IT HAS CAUSED AND WHAT MEDICAL PROBLEMS WILL RESULT....

I am taking pages from your website to the doctor's office for his review in hopes he will stop perscribing this terrible drug....

Many thank yous....

Linda. Baltimore, MD.

SMZ TMP: 21 July 2004


I didn't expect to find this site when I was searching for side effects of SMZ TMP. I am on my second day of 2 pills a day- prescribed for a UTI. Last night I had diarrea, & today I woke up feeling like I have the flu. I have a terrible headache & my neck & back feel achey.

Leah. Texas.


BACTRIM: 21 July 2004

i took 1 dose of bactrim next morning had blisters all inside my mouth,down my throat,on my hands.rash on legs & back,face & lips swelled.pain in left kidney which seemed fine before that dose,its been 14 days my gums are still swollen & kidney hurts severely still.now i'm told i may have a kidney stone which is hard to understand.i wish this medicine was off market it causes so much damage to so many even death.i wish u well with ur health

.thanks for listening.but what can a person do to if the doctors do not listen & understand.its real depressing for me so many have to suffer.

Vickie G.

BACTRIM: 22 July 2004

Mr. Deer,

I really kind of stumbled across your web site.... was recently looking up any info with neuropathy and bactrim when I stumbled on the below information. I had a problem with "cold feet" over the last couple of years (during the winter) and that had evolved into including a usually mild burning / tingling sensation periodically in the feet. Was weird, but the feet themselves felt very cold (at times) while the surface of feet would feel burning (like what has been described as a frost-bit sensation).

About a month ago I had Bactrim prescribed for a chronic case of prostatitis that had suddenly gone into severe symptoms. The Bactrim has been doing a good job with the prostatitis, but I have since noticed that the "cold feet feeling" of the feet has increased ten-fold (and is now permanent rather than occasional!) and that the sensation of burning / tingling in the feet has worsened... and that a "itching / burning feeling" has spread up the lower legs. That has been over the last two weeks.

In addition, that itching sensation (sort of a mild itching and burning sensation like a light sunburn only with more itching) has started into my hands then lower arms, upper arms, my torso (mainly my back), my lower face and my scalp... in just the last 3-4 days.

My doctor has simply diagnosed "peripheral neuropathy" and that "it's just something that you'll have to learn to live with" that "there's not much that can be done".

In addition, my anxiety problems have greatly worsened (I was already being treated for PTSD and general anxiety).

Obviously I'd like to stop the Bactrim but it has been working with the prostatitis.


Larry S.

<<< Go to first page of emails <<< Side-effects of Bactrim - Septra - Septrin >>> Go to next page of emails >>>

Deer's Bactrim - Septra homepage