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Septra - Bactrim - cotrimoxazole: mail to this website on side-effects (13)

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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  SEPTRIN: 6 December 2004

Dear Brian Deer

I had just been looking up on the internet, a drug prescribed for my dog and was rather horrified to read the adverse effects of Rimadyl on animals.

As I have always, without any definite evidence, blamed some problems I have on Septrin, I, idly, decided to look up Septrin and was flabbegasted, to put it mildly, by the vast stack of evidence against this drug.

I have felt annoyed that various problems I have were, I felt sure, as a result of taking Septrin but having ready of the horrendous effects it has

had on some people I suppose I can consider myself lucky.

I can't remember when I had Septrin exactly but somewhere about 1984/6. Nor do I remember what it was prescribed for, I know that I only took it for 2/3 days at the most when I developed bright pink, puffy legs. I stopped taking it immediately and went to see the GP who displayed me to his nurses and told them to take note of a typical reaction to Septrin.

It was some time later before I developed a reaction to the sun. Never, I'm happy to say, as catastrophic a reaction as other people mentioned in the e-mails, but still one which means I have never been able sit in the sun since without coming out in an itchy rash - something which I hadn't associated with the Septrin until now. I also, from not long after having the Septrin, have developed very dry eyes, which cause me considerable discomfort, and a very dry mouth - both of these I have always attributed to Septrin. Possibly the osteoporosis, which I have developed in more recent years, has been exacerbated by Septrin since it apparently reduces calcium?

Why have the manufacturers never been brought to book for this drug? The drug firm which produced Thalidomide tried to wriggle out of things but were eventually forced to pay out and Septrin's owners should have to do the same as they have killed some people and blighted the lives of others.

It is time the medical world opened its eyes to the problems caused instead of accepting the drug companies publicity for their products.

My very best wishes to all who have suffered bad effects from this appalling drug.


SEPTRA: 27 December 2004

I was prescribed Spectra for a Stash infection as well as another med called Clindamycin. I was told to take both twice a day, the Spectra for 30 days and the other for 7 days. I took the first dose of both at night and woke up with a bad stomach ache. I assumed that I was hungry so I ate an entire meal and took my second dose of both prescriptions. I felt awful that afternoon and vomited once. I skipped that night for fear of another rough night and next day, so I just took one of each pill for the next three days, then I woke up with a horrible rash which was itchy all over, including my face and ears, butt and stomach! This is where I am today, scratching and praying that my rash will be gone by new years! I cannot visit the doctor's because it is the day after Christmas and doctors are closed!!!! Thank you for letting me know that I am not the only one!

Jenny, Houston, TX


BACTRIM: 29 December 2004

Hello Brian,

I am writing again with an update. I got Bactrim the first weekend in October 2004 for a UTI. I had never taken it before. That day I was not sick, went out to lunch before coming home and taking the first Bactrim pill. Within an hour or so I had shaking chills and fever and went to bed. Thinking I must be sick from the UTI I took my second Bactrim pill that next morning. I was so sick all day Sunday, shaking chills, I thought I would die. By this time I thought it must be the Bactrim. I did not take any more and by Sunday evening my fever was gone but I was wiped out. I called my doctor the next day - Monday- I called off work, too. I asked him if Bactrim could bring on fever and chills and he said "No, you must have had something else going on." About a week and a half later I broke out in reddish/purple bumps all over my legs. The next week I had red spots (later they were called petechaie) A biopsy revealed leukocytoclastic vasculitis - possibly from an allergic reaction. One doctor said it was serum sickness - lupus has also been suggested. It has been three months and I still have bumps the size of half dollars that are blackened and scabbed over on my legs, also fatigue and joint pain. I have been on prednisone this whole time and a round of Keflex cause he thought the bumps were infected. Also, I am learning that sulfa is a component in many drugs. I take the blood pressure pill Lotrel. I have since learned that it contains a sulfanomide. I cannot believe that taking just two Bactrim could cause all this misery that has lasted for three months now. Thanks for listening.

Rebecca L, Ohio, USA


SEPTRA: 31 December 2004

Dear Brian

Your site has been very helpful. I thought I was losing my mind. I was taking Septra for a UTI. I developed bright red spots all over my body. Then these spots turn brown and flaky. I also have developed diarrhea and stomach pain not to mention the severe headaches, which cause me to be tired and sleepy.

Also, I told my physician that I was allergic to sulphur products however, he ASSURED me that I would be okay.

Angela, Georgia


   

BACTRIM: 11 January 2005

Hi,

An ER doctor prescribed this medication to my daughter (she is 16) and nearly killed her. She has been on medication to stop the side effects but it is such a slow process. I am desperate to stop her pain and have tried to find homeopathic remedies to help- such as oatmeal bath to soothe the rashes, etc. Her doctors just add on more and more medications. Do you have a list of web sites or resources that may have less traumatic remedies to undo the damage this medication has wrought?

Thank you for your time,

Linda


SEPTRA: 20 January 2005

On the positive side...

I have peripheral neuropathy and use Vicodin and Neurontin for pain.

I was recently prescribed a Septra generic for a penicillin resistant foot infection and found it unnecessary to take the pain killers while taking the antibiotic.

Sincerely

Jim M


SEPTRA: 22 January 2005

Dear Brian,

This week was the week from hell. I was given a prescription of a generic of septra for an infection. After the 3rd dose the left side of my jaw was VERY painful and the teeth on the left side of my jaw felt like they were dying and i needed several root canals.

I went to my dentist and found no problems with my teeth.Eating was excruciating. I went to the pharmacist and asked him the side effects of the this drug. He gave me a sheet to read. I stopped taking the drug and called my doctor. I was told i probably was having the flu and to keep taking the drug. I said no.

I wanted another antibotic which was prescribed upon my insistence. I can not express the amount of physical pain that went along with this. I also had a sore throat going into my ear. It has been three days since i stopped taking the drug. The jaw pain has reduced somewhat. My teeth are very sensitive as well as the inside of my mouth. My throat feels very strange. The mandibular joint is still sore and the muscles tight.My heart beats and chest feel unusual and there is general body weakness. I hope that these side effects leave soon.

I am very grateful for this site. My doctor nor dentist would believe that this drug could have caused all of this. I am a healthy person and this onset was very rapid after taking this drug. I have not doubt.

Thanks.

Randal


APO SULFATRIM: 22 January 2005

I took this drug about three weeks ago for a suspected UTI. Five days ago I found large itchy sore welts on my head and many other places on my body. My knees swelled up to almost double the size they normally are, and I could barely walk or bend them. I was prescribed Benadryl and Prednisone because my doctor told me I had an allergic reaction, but four days later my condition worsened, rash all over my body, itchy and uncomfortable. My mouth was inflamed and the rash was now large patches of itchy red bumps instead of welts. I was admitted to the hospital yesterday and they told me that since I was able to breath and all my vitals seems fairly normal, all they could do is change my prescription (to higher benadryl dosage, and add 150mg of Zantac). I am still very uncomfortable and the rash is still in full form. This is a terrible drug, and I am not sure why it is still given out. Prednisone is supposed to be the strongest drug to treat Severe allergic reactions and it didn't work. I have been told that I should start to feel better in a week - 10days. Someone should sue this company.

Thanks

Kelsey


SEPTRIN: 24 January 2005

hello Brian,

just had a quick search re 'septrin' and found your site. i had a bacterial infection, that affected my central nervous system, ' Whipple's disease' . it appears that i will have to take cotrimoxazole for the rest of my life, i just picked up my prescription today and septrin had been substituted. Hence the search as i had time to do it as it my day off. i have always vented my concern over the use of the drug but to no avail as they have no other alternative due to insufficient track record on condition, have tried to research further but found no more than i was told at hospital. just thought that you could add my name to your list if you think you have any interesting facts that may enlighten me or inform me. thanks for taking the time to read this, my life has been somewhat on the downhill since this affliction, lost reasonable job and wife and family as they could not cope with me, but i still alive and thankful, all the best.

yours sincerely

Daniel Sinclair


SEPTRA: 28 January 2005

A rash all over my body. I look like a burn victim and it burns and itches like hell.


SMZ TMP: 28 January 2005

Brian Deer,

We have recently experienced a tragic effect from the prescribed use of SMZ TMP in our Labrador Retriever. Our vet concurs that his death could have been caused by the antibiotic. We are just trying to find out why our healthy friend is suddenly dead when his only medical issue was hotspots for which he received SMZ TMP and prednisone (sp?).

Thank you!

Jim C, Virgin Islands


BACTRIM: 28 January 2005

When I was in college (around 1983), I had a SEVERE reaction to Bactrim and almost died. It began with a headache and backache, which became extreme, to the point that I couldn't get out of bed. I ambled to a hospital, where they diagnosed erythemia nerdosum on my legs (blister like hives), told me I had herpes of the eyes (for the blister type rashes around my eyes), and arthritis for the aches in my back, head, and now elbows and joints. They kept giving me the bactrim (I was on it for a UTI). I discharged myself from the college hospital, had my sister drive me home to a local hospital, where the resident in the ER IMMEDIATELY told me I had a severe reaction to the bactrim. I began hallucinating (toxicity in the brain, I was told later). They pushed IV fluids, gave me pain medication, and after 2 days, I was slowly recovering. I had an immune-suppressed reaction for several years afterward (my allergies all came back, I sickened easier).

My daughter was recently prescribed bactrim for acne, and after 4 days, she came home from school complaining of a headache and backache. I am stopping its use immediately.

Debbie G


APO SULFATRIM: 5 February 2005

I am 31 years old and four months ago I was treated for a urinary tract infection, I was prescribed sulfatrim. I have never been on this drug before. Five days into taking the drug I started to have severe heart palpitations, fatigue, and dizziness. I went to the doctors and they said that it wasn't related to the drug and they ordered blood test. A day later I still did not feel quite right and went to the hospital where I became worse. I all of a sudden became very anxious and was going to pass out. They rushed me in to emergency to make sure that It was not a heart attack, my EKG was abnormal, but my chest scan was fine along with my blood work. The doctor at the hospital told me that it had nothing to do with the sulfa drug and that it's just a coincidence, that I am just suffering from a panic attack even though I have never had them before in my life. Now to this day I still have irregular heart beats and chest discomfort on a daily basis. I have also suffered a few "panic attacks". I have been back to the doctors and they are now sending me to a cardiologist in two weeks, not that I am going to hold out much hope. Will I ever get back to a normal feeling or will I have to suffer this heart discomfort for the rest of my life? Any info you can offer would be helpful.

Thanks

Rebbecca, Surrey, BC, Canada


BACTRIM: 6 February 2005

Hi

I was taking generic Bactrim 800 mg 2 x a day for 3 days, 8 hrs apart. I had brown rashes insomnia, red inner thighs and back pain. I weigh 150 at 5'2" with shoes on. I also had skin burn rashes on my chest over my heart after a seemingly"hypertension" episode yesterday. My jugular pulse slipped. and my vena cava changed position. I was in tachcardyia beat anxiety when I went to ER. I wonder if this would have affect. In my test I had only 3% over the normal range blood count for the marker for it and was urinating continually.

Kept drinking water 8-10 my spots were black on my face and brown on my chest I still have aftertaste. I stopped Wednesday? It think, because I have memory loss. I blacked out form the day before.

I was concerned from the get go. I have less feeling on my left side. I also have an aftertaste.

Why isn't this banned???

THANK YOU

Clare, USA


BACTRIM: 7 Febuary 2005

I JUST READ ONE OF THE LETTERS RE: BACTRIM AND I FIND MYSELF BACK IN 1985 WHEN MY DAUGHTER WAS TWO YEARS OLD...OFTEN ON ANTIBIOTICS FOR CHRONIC EAR INFECTIONS WE WERE PRESCRIBED BACTRIM AND AMOXICILLIN...AFTER THE FIRST DOSE MY DAUGHTER BROKE OUT IN A RASH ALL OVER HER ARMS AND LEGS...AS WELL AS HIVES AND BRUISING DX: AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO BACTRIM (SULFUR) AND/OR PENECILLIN... PRESCRIPTION... DECADRON AND VYSTEROL ...FIRST DOSE CLEARED THE HIVES ETC BUT,PRODUCED EXTREME MOOD SWINGS (CRYING,SCREAMING AND A LITTLE TWO YEAR OUT OF CONTROL... ALLEDGED ANOTHER ALLERGIC REACTION?) I TOOK MY BABY TO THE ER...DX ALLERGIC REACTION TO THE NARCOTICS....ONCE SHE WAS TAKEN OFF ALL MEDS SHE WAS FINE...EARS INCLUDED...IT DIDN'T TAKE LONG TO REALIZE THAT THE MORE INVOLVED WE BECAME WITH ANTIBIOTICS THE MORE ISSUES AROSE AND MORE ANTIBIOTICS AND DRUGS INDEED WERE PRESCRIBED .... AS A THEN NEW MOM...I LEARNED THAT SOMETIMES WHEN WE DID NOTHING EXCEPT KEEP THE BABY COMFORTABLE, THE BODY WOULD PROVIDE THE HEALING......

THESE DRUGS ARE WONDERFUL AND CERTAINLY HAVE THEIR PLACE IN TREATING DISEASES HOWEVER, OVER PRESCRIBED AND THEREFORE NOT ALWAYS EFFECTIVE

.... STILL A MOM .....


BACTRIM: 8 February 2005

I was recently given this drug for a sinus infection within hours I had the muscle tightening, I could not move out of bed for days. I received 104 temp for days, when I spoke to my Doctor he told me it was a viral I picked up then finally realized when I broke out in hives that I had a severe reaction to this drug. I am still suffering with lower back pain with this drug. Only took 4 doses. I cant believe they sell this drug and doctors actually prescribe this drug to any human. Its very destructive. FDA should really pull this antibiotic from the market

Ginette


BACTRIM: 9 February 2005

Mr. Deer:

My youngest son was recently prescribed Sulfatrim Pediatric suspension for an upper respiratory infection. I was quite shocked at some of the information I read on your website.

I do have an interesting experience. In February 1996, my middle son, at the age of 18 months was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome (a condition affecting the filtering unites of the kidneys, not actually a kidney disease, per se). His recent medical history (6-8 weeks prior to diagnosis) included a course of Bactrim which had been prescribed for an ear infection after a course of another antibiotic did not clear it up. At 15 months he had received his varicella vaccine (which was relatively new at that time - my middle son is now 10). Plus, we have a strong family history of allergies. The doctor who admitted him into the hospital for the NS, told us our son was the third or fourth patient he had seen who had developed NS recently after taking Bactrim. Now, of course, my son is considered to be allergic to sulfa drugs.

Over the years I have done quite a bit of research on nephrotic syndrome as well as sulfa drugs. I don't think I'll ever be able to prove conclusively what caused my son's NS, but I was a very staunch opponent of Bactrim and sulfa drugs following his diagnosis, but our pediatrician has, over the years, tried to ease my apprehension. The information on your website was very interesting and I wished I would have found it sooner.

Sincerely,

Gloria V, Alvin TX


SEPTRA: 12 February 2005

yes i have taken bactrim last year for 7 days and now this year again,,,eveytime i have been on it i look very sick and feel very very ill,,my eyes look like iam drunk and i have severe headaches,,do you no if any of these reactions can be from septra,,,the headaches alone are the worst i have ever had,,i have stopped taking the drug due to these effects i cant control...

Robert L


TRIMETH/SULFA DS: 19 February 2005

Dear Brian,

I was given Trimeth/ Sulfa DS for a tonsil infection. After a day and a half my hands were red and itching. I also had a rash on my arms. I discontinued using it and notified my doctor. But now I am experiencing itching all over my hands, feet and legs. I have tried Benadryl and Cortizone cream. Is there anything that I can use to make it stop? It feels like little pins poking me all over! This is starting to drive me crazy. How long will this last?

Sincerely,

Kellie R


SMZ/TMP: 19 February 2005

Fortunately, I just found the site on the web about side effects of smz/tmp. I was started on the drug Wednesday for a sinus infection. My symptoms felt like a head cold but by Thursday night I felt like I had the flu. Friday I couldn't go to work, I couldn't get out of bed due to exhaustion and weakness, this has continued until today. I will not be resuming the med tomorrow and will be calling my doctor on Monday. I feel worse now than before I was put on the medication. Thanks for your informative sight!

Debbie


SMZ/TMP: 20 February 2005

I have read many of your messages on the Bactrim/SMZ/TMP site, with interest, since I am on SMZ/TMP for chest congestion/sinus infection. It has been effective for me on this round, with no side effects, so far and was effective last November for the same things. The first question my doctor asked was whether or not I had ever taken Sulfa drugs (yes) and had I had any reaction at all to them (no). Sulfa is a very old drug, stemming from before WWII and widely used in the war to sterilize battle field wounds during surgery. There are fairly simple sensitivity tests for it and anyone who is in doubt about any drug in the Sulfa family or any other drug should be tested.

Most, if not all, of the letters reflect a problem with an old, very reliable, drug and most of those letters evidence a varying degree of alergic reaction. Robert L., posting on 12 Feb, is skating on very thin ice. His system has already told him twice and he better listen to his body and leave the stuff alone.

Tom H.


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