Side effects risks
Bactrim Septra: a secret epidemic

Bactrim Resprim Forte Sulfatrim

TMP/sulfa side effects reports


Page 19 of mail to investigative reporter Brian Deer (left) recounting sometimes serious side effects of the antibiotic often known as Bactrim DS, Resprim Forte or TMP/SMZ

Resprim Forte Bactrim Septra TMP/SMX Sulfatrim cotrimoxazole TMP-SMZ side effects

SMZ-TMP: 14 December

I got cryptoccocal meningitus because my immune system was suppressed due to my having hemolytic anemia. I was put on a multitude of drugs one of which was SMZ-TMP. I came out of the hospital on 90mg of Prednisone, that was July 23, 2005. For approxiamately five weeks I've been breaking out in a rash that has continually gotten worse and itches really bad. At this point I'm down to 20mg of Prednisone but the rash practically covers my whole body. My infectious disease doctor took me off the SMZ-TMP yesterday thinking that might be the culprit.

Lisa C

SULFATRIM DS: 15 December

Mr. Deer,

I found your website as I was searching the web for sulfatrim side-effects. I have to admit it was really helpful since it reveals accurate symptons and not only theoritical side-effects.

Here's my story. I am 27 years old and last Thursday I consulted my doctor for a UTI and he prescribed sulfatrim, twice a day for 10 days. The next few days were not that bad, my health seemed to improve. On Tuesday night I started having chills and I suddenly felt very tired. Then fever appeared. Wednesday morning I noticed a few red spots on my chest. At night things had gone worse : fever, muscle ache, extremely sensitive skin, red ithchy spots from head to toe, serious neck pain, swollen ganglions, a sore throat, short breath, no energy at all and backpain in the left kidney area.

I went to the doctor today, he prescribed complete rest for 5 days, had my blood tested and I'm going back on Monday for a check-up. Being aware of my health background; I have been hospitalized for left kidney infection last summer and my mother suffers from severe kidney problems...this worries me a little. The side-effects of sulfatrim are absolutely not worth the risks of taking this drug. And since the side-effects are not necessarily clearly stated, I consider this drug very dangerous. Experiences like mine and those of so many other people cannot be left unsaid.

Thank you,

Nancy B

BACTRIM: 19 December

Brian, I wanted to share my experice because it is different than most i have read on your site. I had taken Bactrim straight for about 2 years to clear up acne and keep it away, this was the only thing that worked for me( in combination with Retin A and Benzoil peroxide ) I stopped taking it because i didnt like the idea of taking it all the time. , and eventually my acne came back. I took it again for another 2 years or so, and it worked well again... eventaully i wanted to stop taking it again... and back came the large pimples. So once again i went on it.. acne began to clear up but this time i had side effects. I began to get a bloody mucusy stool... it lasted a month or so even after i stopped taking the med. i also got a minor yeast infection in my penis that went away away when i stopped Batrim.. anyway i went to a GI doc, he suggested that a diff type of bac had taken over when the "good bact" where killed inadvetantly..He said it wouldnt make a diff if i continued to take Bactrim so i stared taking it again (i hate pimples) i got tested for the other bactiria but, it was not there,however i also stopped having the sysmtoms by then.. and i started taking Bactrim again at this time.. now here i am still on bactrim and i have what could be another side effect/.. the past week or 2 i started gettin little itchy bumps, kind of like poison ivy, kind of like aquatic dermatosis... I thought it was the second of the 2 because i go in the ocean alot, and have had it.. anyway now i think it may be from im not sure what to do!!!!!! ill let you know how it works out...


BACTRIM: 20 December

I started taking this med last Wednesday for a common sinus infection. I took two each day until I woke up Sunday with severe nausea. I have stopped taking it but so far (this is early Tuesday morning), no improvement. I'm also beginning to be very very sore in most joints.

Jan S

BACTRIM: 21 December

Hello, i am a 20 yr old female, otherwise healthy who was prescribed bactrim for a sinus infection. I took 6 days worth and then began to feel chills...tookanother days worth and got hives... really really itchy and cover me from head to toe hives. I stopped taking the bactrim, but at what point should i worry.

do symptoms typically worsen from here.. ???

Dierdre H

AP0-SULFATRIM: 22 December

Hi Brian,

I just spent the past hour reviewing your very interesting, informative site.

I had a UTI a three weeks ago. Took Apo-Sulfatrim for three days. After taking the first pill, 15 mins later, like hitting a brick wall, I experienced the most intense vaginal itch ever. I have heard before that yeast and bladder infections go hand in hand and didn't give it too much thought. Went back to the pharmacy and purchased a 1 day Canasteen application. I was surprised though how strong and quick it came on.

Immediately my bladder infection started to feel better after the first antibiotic. The vaginal itch continued for two more straight days, keeping me up throughout the night and bedridden, therefore missing work. Finally on the eve of the second day I called a pharmacist to get their opinion as to whether the antibiotic could be causing this and whether I should retreat the yeast infection. The response, continue the antibiotics and if I don't feel any better go to a doctor tomorrow. So on the third and final day of the antibiotic treatment I went to the see a doctor at a clinic. To my surprise he told me to take my last pill and to retreat the yeast infection with a 6 day application. The physician never did a physical exam. Could not believe it! If he had he would have know it was not a yeast infection. I even spotted blood which I suspect came from the intense irritation. I finished the course of my pills and Canisteen and within two days after the antibiotic, I started to heal.

Nine days after taking my last Apo-Sulfatrim my bladder infection returned. After struggling all day with it that eve I took another antibiotic, and low and behold the vaginal itch returned within 15 mins. Needless to say I did not take another pill and I had my confirmation that the itch was an adverse reaction. I was in discomfort for three more days. I was so angry especially with the physician, as well as the Pharmacy Pamphlet which neglected to highlight any effects related to vaginal itch.

Three weeks after taking my last pill, my GERD is out of control. I am normally on Pantoloc daily and that is making no difference. My stomach is burning, it feels like someone punched me and I am nauseas. I suspect these symptoms are remnants of the antibiotic. Do you have any idea how long it takes to leave your system?


Kellie M. Ontario, Canada

SEPTRA: 22 December

Hi, my Dr prescribed Hydrochlorothiazide which is a water pill for high blood pressure last March I was told by the pharmacist's that it contained Septra which my Dr knows that I am very allergic to, the pharmacist phoned my Dr as they know that I am allergic to that drug and there is a certain amount of Septra in the drug I was told it was just a small amount I was prescribed 25mg to be halfed and half taken in the mornings a few weeks later I developed burning sensation in my legs and my tongue was covered with ulcers it has gradually been getting worse and now I have terrible sweats and get really dizzy,feel very weak and breathless my whole body feels its on fire I have to be careful what I eat or I get stomach pains I can't sleep at night I feel frustrated and depressed as the Dr can't tell me what is wrong with me.


Ailsa S

SULFATRIM: 24 December

To: Brian Deer

I often have bladder infection my Dr. prescribed Cypro which worked very good until the bacteria became immune to the antibiotic,he then prescribed APO-sulfatrim-DS after taking the first dose my face started itiching my lip broke out in what looked like a cold sore and I had different rash spots on my face and one eye after I stopped taking it these side effects went away.It sure was,nt fun.

Wayne M

SEPTRA: 27 December

I am writing this email because I have never experienced any allergic reaction in my life to antibiotics. I have taken a few doses of septra for a recurring UTI and my entire body was covered in hives. These hives were more like large welts, and lasted for several days. As uncomfortable as this rash and burning itching was, I am more upset over the terrible peeling scaling skin. I now have patches on my chest, arm, lips, and chin.

No amount of moisturizers, Vaseline, or creams seem to stop the peeling dry skin and pain.

Melissa C

SMZ/TMP: 28 December

Dear Brian,

My husband was diagnosed with having a prostate infection and POSSIBLY a urinary tract infection. The doctor gave him ten samples of Levaquin 750 mg. He also prescribed Flomax .4mg in tablet form, along with SMZ/TMP DS 800/160 to be taken 2x daily for 20 days. (to be taken after the Levaquin was gone.)

He started taking the septra on the 20th of December, and continued taking the drug for 5 days. On day 4, he started feeling weak and had the all-over blahs . The next day, he still had those symptoms, along with loss of appetite, chills with uncontrollable shakes, profuse sweating, and inability to sleep even though he was exhausted.

He stopped taking the drug after I did some research and came to your website. I was appalled at what I read and angry at the doctor who prescribed this to him. My husband has already had two heart attacks in his life; he doesn t need another. He also takes meds for that, which makes me wonder if the doctor even took that into consideration. I m sure he did, but I still wonder why he would prescribe something that he most likely has no clue about the side effects or he s one of those that doesn t care, just wants his money.

We called the doctor back to inform him that my husband was having these awful side effects. His nurse called back to inform us that they would call in a new prescription, however, never even bothered to ask what side effects he was experiencing. She asked no questions nor did she provide any other information.

The new drug is Cephalexin 500 mg generic for Keflex. I haven t done as much research on this one yet, as my husband s not going to take it until he starts feeling better and getting over the effects of the septra. Any information you can provide on this drug will be greatly appreciated.

Also, I would like to know if you can offer up some ways to get him feeling better quicker. It s been two days now that he has not taken the septra and is still feeling ill.

Are there certain foods or drinks he can take that would help quickly? I ve got him on ensure to at least replace lost vitamins and minerals, but am having a hard time getting him to drink lots of liquids or eat anything.


Melinda, Nashville, TN

SEPTRA: 30 December

I started septra 5 days later my tongue started itching and swelling well the next day when I woke up , my neck glands looked like golf balls its been 4 days since I have stoped taking the septra and my toungue amd neck are getting worse I am on aumentan for a sinus infection and have been using this drug for years no problems I know that septra has done something to me is there a time frame for the sulfites to leave ? this sucks I look like someone with a tumor on my neck Thanks for any help very painful

Tony T

SEPTRA: 30 December


I took Septra about two weeks ago for a UTI and had no side effects. Then a week and a half later I suddenly received a fever that started off with a white tongue, light sneezing that all disappeared except for the fever. I have this fever still and it is going on day 10. I do not have any rashes. I feel hot on the top of my back and on the top of my hands. My normal body tempertature is 96- my fever has been between 97.2-98.5. Could this be the effects of Septra? Is there a way to flush this out of my system completely before it gets worse? I am 29 year old female with no health problems. Thank you

Jenny F

BACTRIM: 5 January

Great site. After having some nasty side effects from this drug, I wonder in your experience, what is the average time for it to be flushed from one's system. I had the typical itching, burning, dizzyness, and now I have been off it for about three days and still have numbness in my feet and a sore back (which might not be from the bactrim). It did knock out my epydidimitis, but was a tough drug to take.

Ryan C, Fort Worth, Texas

SEPTRA: 6 January


When my daughter was 3 years old, she started getting recurring pneumonia, many drugs were tried and tested. All of a sudden, after a year and a half of pneumonia, endless tests and tribulations, my daughter's illness suddenly went away. Relieved? No, it was the beginning of an even worse nightmare. With each day that passed, my daughter grew weaker and developed a strange hue of skin.

I took her back to her doctor who ordered blood tests, my daughter needed an immediate transfusion of packed red blood cells or she would die. From then until now, she is ten years old now, she has needed monthly transfusions. The specialists finally diagnosed her with Acquired Red Cell Aplasia (Her bone marrow was incapable of making red blood cells.). I wondered and drove myself nearly crazy trying to find out what caused this. It was decided that the antibiotics she was on for nearly two years caused the bone marrow failure. What drugs had she taken? Augmentin and Septra. Was the treatment for the pneumonia a life saver or a killer? Time will tell, I just want people to be aware of the many risks associated with these drugs. Don't think this could never happen to you or your family, that's what I used to think.


Jennifer F

SULFATRIM: 7 January

I have been going through your E-mails in search of side effects. It was very informative. My normally healthy 24 year old son came down with this flu-like stuff around Christmas. He let it drag on too long and ended up with two badly infected ears. The doctor at the local clinic gave him Sulfatrim 800\160 to take for 10 days. The first day he took two doses. About midnight that night he felt strange, leaned up against the wall and woke up face down in the floor. He had barely eaten that day, and although alarmed, he seemed fine after a big glass of orange juice and some grilled cheese sandwiches. Before eating his hands were shaking like someone with too much caffiene.

The next day he took another dose, and by about eight that night he felt very close to passing out again, but again he seemed to get over it. Day three he took both doses again, and seemed for the most part to be fine.That night he still seemed very nervous and said he still felt wierd, I tried to ask but he said he could not describe it, that he just didn't feel right. The key thing on each of these days that scared him the most was that he could feel his heart beating really fast. This is day four, and he almost skipped it for fear of something else happening. But yesterday we went back to the doctor and had lots of blood work done to check for any reason for the blackouts. They found nothing, and of course said there was no way the medicine could cause him to pass out, so he decided to take one more dose today. That was about six hours ago, before I found your website. After reading all of these stories, combined with the fact that he had been really sick for nearly two weeks, but didn't pass out until after taking the medicine, it will be the last dose he will take regardless of how he feels tonight. In your studies, do you believe this was caused by the Sulfatrim? Thank you for your website, it may save a lot of people from suffering. By the way, my other son could never take it because he would throw it up immediately. Guess that was a blessing in disguise.

Sybil S.


Dear Sir,

I read your articles with interest. I was given sulphonamides as a child for a urinary tract infection, which I suspect was Septrin as the name seems so familiar. Whilst my reaction was mild compared to a lot of other people, I became very ill with a rash from head to toe and constant vomiting. At first I was diagnosed as having German Measles, but it soon became clear that this was not the case. Once the drug was pinpointed as the problem I was told that I could never take sulphonamides again. I am a British ex-patriate living in Abu Dhabi and today I took my 3-year old daughter to a paediatrician with a suspected urinary tract infection. I was prescribed Bactrim. I noted from the box that it was a sulphonamide and I became concerned. I then stumbled across your web pages. As a result I have made and informed decision not to give this drug to my daughter as I feel that there must be a safer alternative and shall be consulting her doctor accordingly.

Jane K.

BACTRIM DS: 22 January

Brian, I just currently finished a 3 day dose of 2x day Bactrim DS for a UTI. It worked. However, I had quite a lot of dizziness, nausea and strange nervous/weak feelings. I am still experiencing these symptoms, but as I just took my last pill this morning I assume, it will take a day or two to leave my system. I hope so! I am glad to be finished with this drug. I was concerned about taking this drug because I have asthma and allergies. So far no problems with this concern. Even the pharmacist didn t seem to know why asthma should be a concern. I found that strange. After reading that the usual dosage is 12 days, I am glad my doctor only prescribed for 3. Bottom line, it is scary taking any medications.


BACTRIM DS: 23 January

I was taking bactrim ds because my doctor felt that I had a stomach virus. After taking it for just one day I could not get out of bed. I couldn't even move in bed. I had a fever of 103 for 2 days. Felt week dizzy and like vomiting. could not do anything for myself. So I decided for myself that this was not gonna work so I stopped it. Thank God I did because who know what would have happen, Now it been 3 days and I cannot fully move my legs and my nerves are shot. I cant eat certain things because it does not taste good and certain smells that were pleasing are not annoying. This might not have anything to do with the pill but I was OK before that.



Obviously, you are a "David" fighting Goliath for all of us who have been victims of the drug, Sulfamethoxazole. I experienced this on Monday, January 23, 2006. I had made my breakfast so that I could take my 5th of 6 pills. I took it around 9:30 that morning and never remember anything else. I was told I answered phone calls, talked with people, and was even telling them that something was wrong with the medicine, but I don't remember any of it. I visited the doctor the next day (yesterday) and all she said was, you must be allergic and we will note that in your file! Thank heavens I didn't get in the car and drive to work after taking it. I could have killed someone.

In addition, I still don't know what the actual fallout from this medication will be. I may still develop the blisters or my kidneys may be damaged.

I haven't decided what course I am going to take on this, but I am going to do something to help others. While I feel there will be retribution from my doctors if I might need another antibiotic, I can't sit by and let this be ignored.

Carol, Texas

SEPTRA DS: 28 January

I had urinary problems and my doctor prescribed septra ds 2 a day. I started taking the medication I started to have headaches that felt as if my head was going to burst, I developed severe nausea and could only lie on the sofa with an ice bag on my head to feel any relief. After taking my 3rd dose of the septra ds, I went on line to check out the med. I never have headaches..and they were so severe I thought I was going to die. I stopped taking the medication immediately after reading your articles...the headaches are subsiding...I reported the problem to the doctor and am now on another antibiotic. I usually check out medications before I take them, but I never thought I would have a reaction to an antibiotic. It is the second day after discontinuing the medication and still have mild intermittent headaches, but the nausea is gone. Hopefully the headaches will stop altogether soon. It is funny because I have had no allergies to medications and am 54 years old. Thanks for your web site. It was so very helpful.


SEPTRA: 31 January

Hi Brian,

I never thought about looking for side effects on the internet, until today after I found your site and scary email from all over the world.

I started to take Septra DS sometime around September 2005 prescribed from a dermatologist for acne. I took it for about a week and I was fine. Then I remember stopping it for couple days (just forgot), and when I started again, I had rashes in my right arm. It was bumpy, red, and itchy. I even thought a mosquito bit me or our rented apartment had some kind of bug. The rashes were still there. I continued to take Septra for few days more, when I for forgot again. Then I noticed the itch was better. I had a thought and I quit to take it since then. Just for precaution. In my right arm, where I had the bumpy and the itches, a small gray scar was left. I thought it was a scar left of too much itching.

Today I went to see my doctor (Family practitioner) and she prescribed me Septra DS for sore throat. The name of the medicine sounded familiar... and when I got home I found enough medicine for the days she asked me to take. I called the pharmacist to check if they were the same drug and he confirmed it. I took one pill with my lunch and about 6 hours late I got the rash at exactly same spot I had before. And the small scar left before was the eye of the red itchy bump.

That's when I decided to look for side effects on the Internet... and I found your site.

Just some more additional information: I also started to take one baby aspirin at that time, and I am taking the baby aspirin since then. And I always take two pills of Benadryl for my allergy.

I hope this info will help someone, because for sure, after reading all this, I will never let anyone in my family take Septra.

Celia, Utah

Side effects of Resprim Forte, Septra DS, co-trimoxazole, Septrin, Bactrim, Bactrim DS, cotrim, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, cotrimoxazole, Trimeth-Sulfa, Sulfatrim, Septran, TMP-SMX, SMZ-TMP, Sulfa/Trimeth, Trimethox. Your feedback is appreciated, and your experience with this drug may help others