Bactrim - Septra - Sulfatrim - Septrin: mail to this site on side-effects (27)

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: 2 April 2007

Dear Brian,

I wish I had paid attention to my symptoms the first time and read your website. I went to the ER on 1/2/07 with what I assumed was a UTI....well, I was correct, I was prescribed Septra to clear up the infection as there was also blood in my urine. on 1/5/07 only three days later I could barely move, I was a shaking, crying, mess complete with the diarrhea and lack of energy.

I went to the urologist for a follow up and got a clean bill of health, he told me to take Urised if the pain of the UTI came back...

Went a few months and started having that sever pain...Had a few Septra/Bactrim left so I took them...MISTAKE....This time it was very severe and what I thought were flu symptoms like what I experienced in January turned out to be some sort of reaction....complete with left side paralysis, foggy mind, chest and back pain, swollen throat, vaginal discharge, paranoia, muscle spasms, SEVERE depression and nervousness and inability to sleep....

I went to the doctor to have this checked out and of course they ran the full battery of tests, Urinalysis, Vaginal tests, blood work and even an ultrasound...What I overheard while sitting in the office was that the NP thought it was a reaction to the Septra/Bactrim...he never came out and said it and I questioned him on what I heard...He said "could be", but let the tests tell the tale...Well that was on Thursday, I of course stopped taking all medications...sticking with natural remedies...Now on Monday, no results yet on the tests...but I feel better, returned to work today, and of course they are all looking at me like WOW, what happened to you!!!

SEPTRA HAPPENED TO ME!!! I will NEVER put another one of those pills in my system again....

Thanks for your website, I was thinking all sorts of horrible things about what might be wrong...I am still waiting for the tests, but I feel that they will all come back negative!

Chandra L,J, Charlotte, NC.


Bactrim/sulfamethoxazole with tmp was prescribed for a staph infection. I wasn't even sick, just have these red pimple things on the skin under my nose and the antibiotic was prescribed by my dermatologist. Took one pill, yesterday about 1:30 pm, with lot of water as recommended. I felt fine, had a good nights sleep, an not under undue stress, and am a very healthy, energetic person.

About 5 pm, I went back to my office after a meeting. Once I sat down I could barely get up. Horrible, horrible reaction, which continued all night.

So exhausted I could barely dial the phone or take my shoes off. All night I got zero sleep...had restless legs, and entire body was aching, could not get comfortable in any position, felt as though the blood in my veins was replaced with poison. It was like restless legs syndrome, but all over. Achy, tingly, extremely weak. My skin was very hot to the touch although I did not take my temperature. Found it felt slightly better when I sat upright, or stood. But, did not have the energy to do so.

I am imagining this must be what chemo feels like. Totally wiped out. I have not felt this horrible EVER physically. I am not the 'sensitive to medicine' type, and am not a hypochondriac in the least. But this was much worse than anything I have ever experienced in my 48 years. I am an athiest who started praying about 4 am. I almost wanted to die. I would not take one of these pills again for a million dollars.

My adverse reactions seem different from those I've read about and different from those on the 'official' list. I took a sulfa antibiotic (one pill) about 10 years ago, and felt bad (not this bad though) but bad enough that i called the doc and he said stop taking them. But, the feeling was similar....fatigue (I am a very energetic person usually), aching all over.

Diane C, Virginia, USA.

BACTRIM: 8 April 2007

About 3 years ago when I was a sophomore in college (a healthy 19 year old), I was prescribed Bactrim for a recurring throat infection. I had been fighting the infection for a while, so I didn't even think about it when I started to feel worse - chest pain, general fatigue, sore joints. About 4 days into treatment, I woke up with a nose bleed that refused to stop. I ignored it because I have been prone to nose bleeds all my life - I just figured it was a particularly bad one. Later that evening, I started to notice what appeared to be a rash all over my body. I stopped taking the drug and went to see my doctor the next day. I found out that the "rash" was petechiae and my blood platelet count was only 5,000. Thankfully, I recovered quickly. However, the doctor still doesn't believe that the drug was the cause of my reaction. Regardless, I tell all my physicians that I am allergic to sulfa drugs.

Carla S.


Hi all,

This is my second time writing on this site. I posted last year when i found out that my now 2-year-old son had a side effect to Bactrim. We now know that he has suffered neurologically. He has went through extensive testing and it has been concluded that the Bactrim has caused him some permanent damage. Both to his brain and eyes. He is well enough. He seems perfectly normal to those who do not really know him, however, we know what he really goes through on a daily basis. He has permanent vision loss and pain in the eyes and his eyes are very sensitive to light. he gets sick like every two weeks ( mind you, i have 5 kids, they almost never do) and he still has absence and petite-Mal seizures. He was put on this drug for urinary reflux at 4 moths old and i will NEVER forget the first time i gave it to him...if only i had followed my instinct!!! He lie there for like an hour just staring off like he wasn't even there. I insisted to my husband something was wrong he kept telling me he was fine and thought it to be cute. I hate myself for not listening to my instinct. I thank Brian for having this site and call him my sons hero...because i can't imagine where we would be today if I had not found this site. My main objective is to now inform people of the NEUROLOGICAL side effects of this drug, not just the physical. Your vertigo and balance issues may be from this drug effecting your BRAIN. PLEASE, have an EEG if you feel it may be. It couldn't hurt. As soon as we pulled my son off this drug he stopped collapsing. His vertigo seems fine now, but the seizures are still off and on. The best of luck to u all. Please feel free to contact me if you would like at rachellecastiglione@yahoo.com And thank you Brian!!!

Rachelle C.

BACTRIM: 9 April 2007

Unlike most of these horrifying incidents, mine is a little different....but still horrifying!! I will remain anonymous simply because I have a courtcase pending. After reading all of these stories I will fight for each and everyone of you.

I found out I was allergic to sulfa drugs around age 16. I had the burning, itching and hives and found out very early but still have never forgotten this mild incident. I am 37 now and on Oct. 24th, 2006, I went to the doctor for a sore-throat and a rash on my torso and my eyes were more sensitive than usual to the light. It originally started a couple of days prior with a feeling of "malaise". My PA diagnosed me with strep and scarlet fever. He simply had me lift my shirt up to see the rash and then open my mouth and looked at my throat from a distance. Keep in mind, since I was 16, if a doctor asked me if I was allergic to any meds I would respond just like I know my own name. I was really tired and my eyes were really sensitive to the flourescent lights, etc. basicly, I was getting very agitated and could only focus on my symptoms. When he asked what meds I am allergic to---- for the first time ever I am a complete blank!!! I couldn't beleive it. Usually I would beat my brain in trying to think of the answer but for the first time I can ever remember I just thought, "hey, he'll figure it out himself, he's holding my folder in his lap and I've only been here at least a dozen times in the past six years". ISN'T THAT HIS JOB!!!! It's not like I said "no" I said "yes, but I just can't think of the name right now". So while I am sitting on the table with my head completely down because of the light I am thinking he looked in the folder to see what I am allergic to...well think again. He went ahead and wrote out my prescriptions, one for pain, the other an antibiotic, and also a shot of penicillin for right then. Right when he got to the door to leave I blurted out "sulfa". (This must of been a God-thing because I never even thought about it after he asked me earlier). He immediately stopped, turned around, and walked back to his stool. I said in somewhat a humorous voice "you were gonna give me something with sulfa in it, weren't you?" He undeniably answered "yes". He said "I sure am glad we caught that" and I agreed. It really hadn't dawned on me " hey, why would you even right out a prescription until you find out what the heck it is I'm allergic to?'' or "maybe you could try opening the file in your lap"----- I was just thankful the mistake was corrected. (We're all human, we all make mistakes). So he scribbles out the Bactrim on the lab invoice and corrects it with Keflex and all is well, or so I thought. The nurse comes in and gives me my shot and then walks with my folder and scripts in hand to their in-house pharmacist which is all of 20ft from the room we came out of. My scripts are filled, she walks me up to the receptionist, I pay the bill and anxiously leave just so I can get home and lie down. I cannot remember a time that I have not read the label and follow up material on the meds I have been given, but my eyes had never been so sensitive to the light before and besides that....we caught the mistake.


Well I can hardly wait to get home and get some of these antibiotics in me so I can start feeling better. I have 5 horses, 6 dogs, and five acres that I take care of myself and no family in the immediate area so being sick is really not an option for me. I know the routine also--"take every last one of them even if you start to feel better" and that's exactly what I'm gonna do. I have ten days worth of antibiotics to be taken twice daily. So I go home turn off all of the lights and take my first pill. Next day I am starting to have some new symptoms, muscles aching a whole lot worse, I can't move my eyes with out it hurting with every single little movement, and my neck is getting a little stiff. I think well this is just my second dose so maybe not enough time for improvement yet. By the third and fourth dose every thing is now amplified. So I call the office, leave a message that I think I'm getting worse. Please call me so I'll know what the doctor wants me to do. (There rule is to at least give them 24hrs to call back.) So I did, and right about the time the 24hrs is up it is now Friday and the ofc is now closed. Also I called my best friend in town and asked her to stay with me Thursday night which I have never done because I know how busy her schedule is just like everyone elses, but she knew I wouldn't ask if it wasnt serious. By Saturday I am so weak I cannot get up to feed my animals, and I have no one to depend on and the people I can depend on really aren't familiar enough with my animals to be out around them. So I call my friend and boss John whom I do books for and other odds and ends and he is in Texas at the time in the panhandle which is 4hrs away. I could barely get to the phone and he was my last and only hope because I didn't think I could even dial again. Thank God he answered. I told him not to go home,,He HAD TO come straight to my house. By the time he gets here I'm in bad shape. But I'm thinking if I can just hold on til Monday and surely I can't get any worse than this. At this time I am splitting my pills into and cannot even eat a cracker. I just know I have to keep taking these to get better. I am in the most excruciating pain I have ever,ever felt in my life!!!!! My neck was stiff like rigormortous, I cannot move my eyes not one centimeter with out yelling out in pain, my joints are aching like nothing I have ever felt, especially my hips and I am too weak to go about 10ft to the bathroom. John is now literally carrying me. I kept thinking I was sleeping like every four hours but in the end I found out differently from John. I had refused to call an ambulance for the simple fact NO ONE BUT NO ONE was going to touch me the pain was the most horrific pain I have ever indured. I lay now on an automan and chair---head in the automan and legs in the chair, face up towards the ceiling,eyes closed but still had to focus on a certain point with them shut because I couldn't bare to move them, neck so stiff you would think is was a real board, and so weak I cannot talk. The last thing I remember was asking God to either let me wake up and have a tremendous change or to please take me.....and I knew He knew one or the other had to be done.

When I awoke--Praise God--I could actually move a little and slowly but surely progressed very little but to me It was a true miracle. And what may have been baby-steps to some were milestones for me. I was taking halves of the pills still but I was putting so much time between them I guess it was allowing my body to fight some. But what I failed to know is I had actually been comatose for 36thrs.

That's really why I bounced back. The low doses and a day and 1/2 with none. I didn't put it together that the idiots had still failed to correct their mistake. I don't know how the original prescription got to the pharmacist and don't really care now....Come on how many people had that mistake in their hand DR,NURSE, AND PHARMACIST, there is no excuse for this almost fatal error. Needless to say I took 17 1/2 pills till the Good Lord picked me straight up out of my chair and belted to the kitchen on top of the frig, grabbed the medicine bottle, held it to where I could finally read it and you guessed it .... Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (Bactrim).

I'm not going down without a fight, God kept me here for a reason and this just might be it!!!

Lori B.

SULFATRIM: 10 April 2007

My Urology MD prescribed Sulfatrim to cover a possible prostatic infection since my PSA was elevated. I d asked for tetracycline since it was cheap. He said Sulfatrim was cheap, too. I took it for two days and itchy red blotches showed up on my back, head and face. I tried treating them with antibiotic creams to no avail. By day three I felt like crap. Weak and draggy. After three weeks I made it to the MD to check my PSA and low and behold, it was lower. I quit taking it. After about a week the rash was gone but a couple of boils still were healing which have left scars.

My six months retest of my PSA levels is due and I started taking the Sulfatrim again and I have broken out again& in the same exact spots. Were the boils were, they have presented worse again. I got the same weakness, headaches and fuzzy feeling, also. I stopped immediately and a friend sent home a shot of Celestone. I slept good last night and the itching has just about stopped.

I also noticed the sulphur in the drug made me smell awful, inside and out! In confined places I felt my breath smelled worse and even stepping into the shower I could smell something loud. I had been installing a new sink over the weekend and when my wife would get under the cabinet to help she would remark that something smelled dead under there& me!

Anyway, BOO on Sulfatrim. I won t do that again.


BACTRIM: 11 April 2007

A couple of weeks ago, my six year old daughter was prescribed Bactrim for an UTI. After eight days of taking the medication she broke out in a red rash that covered her entire body, except the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. The first day the rash appeared she had a fever of 102 degrees. She was diagnosed with erythema multiforme from an allergic reaction to the Bactrim. I was advised to immediately stop the Bactrim and to never allow her to be prescribed again with any sulfa based medication. The rash took three days to start fading away, but it was very itchy and bothersome for seven days. The itch was impossible to relieve with topical ointments or baths, as if she was itching from inside. The antihistaminic that was prescribed to help her with the itching didn t do anything for her either. She couldn t sleep for three nights because of this itching. Only Benadryl would calm her a little and allow her to sleep for two hours, after which she would wake up crying and desperate because of the itching. Today, 12 days later, the rash is completely clear on her skin, but the red spots can still be seen through her skin, although it does not bother her anymore. I never knew of the dangers of sulfa until this happened to my daughter and I started reading online about it. As a mother, I think that any medication that has the potential to harm people in this way should not be prescribed, especially to children.

Brenda, Tampa, FL


Hello Brian

I was looking up side effects of sulphur based antibiotics when I came across your website. This may sound strange, but I think that I am still suffering at age 39 from 7 years of sulfamethoxazole prescribed from aged 3 to aged 7 years old (great give an anti-life drug to a growing child&). It was prescribed for prevention of UTI s due to kidney valve malfunction. I was wondering if you have ever had a letter from anyone else who has long term damage as a result of this drug or these types of drug.

Kind regards

Erica D (Mrs)

SEPTRA DS: 22 April 2007

I happened upon your website after my 12 year old son ended up in the hospital from a reaction to Septra DS. He had started taking the antibiotic six days ago to fight a sinus infection and was taking it twice a day. During the course of the week he seemed to become worse. He spent most of the week curled up in bed complaining of joint pain, chest pain and headaches. I attributed it to his allergies and the fact that he already suffers from a mild depression and tends to exaggerate physical discomfort. By the fourth day he had difficulty walking. By the fifth he was agitated depressed and he looked like hell. By the sixth day he was completely covered in hives from head to toe and feeling exhausted. I took him to the hospital still uncertain as to what was going on. While looking up side-effects for Septra DS I came upon your site and was able to piece it all together. He just came home from the hospital where they pumped him full of Benedryl and sent us home with a prescription for Prednisone but the hives look just as bad as they did ten hours ago. I can t tell you how guilty I feel about not recognizing the seriousness of the symptoms sooner. If I had been aware of the potential side effects (the paper I had didn t mention the ones he suffered from) and my doctor more aware that it could add to his already existing depression/anxiety, I would have never allowed him to take it.

Linda F.

BACTRIM: 25 April 2007

I was surfing the web after having a bad reaction to Bactrim. I had a prescription for Cipro for a week for a staph infection and also was told to follow it up with a prescription of Bactrim for my acne. I took all the Cipro and then took a single Bactrim and went to bed. The next day my penis was swollen on the left side, and red. IO returned to my doctor and was advised to take som Clartin and a Benedryl before bed. I was told it would clear up in 24 hours. It did not. I returned to the doctor and pushed for more agressive treatment and she reluctantly prescribed me some Streoid pills. I have been taking them for 2 days and my penis is still red and peeling like a sunburn. I dont know if you ever heard of this particular problem but I thought Id include my story.

Don S.

BACTRIM DS: 28 April 2007

Hello Brian, After finding this site I don't feel like I am all alone. I hate to see that other people have suffered from the same thing as me. I would like to know when this stuff will leave my system. Here is my story. I am a healthy 26 year old male. I do have a high level of anxiety and I take meds for that. I went to the E.R. back in March b/c I was burning while urinating, also some itching inside my urethra it felt like. They did a prostate exam, urninalysis and a cultrure. The urinalysis showed signs of infection. I was given 4 Zithromax pills to take right then and 1 injection of Rocephin and a prescription of BACTRIM DS for Urinary Tract Infection. She said that she was going to go ahead and treat me for different types of infections just to be safe. I have taken Rocephin and Zithromax before and I am fine with them. I started the Bactrim DS the next day I was instructed to take 1 pill every 12 hours for 7 days. Throughout the week my anxiety went through the roof. My feet and hands would go numb, very fatigue and weak, I felt short of breath, fast heart rate, very nervous, some dizziness, loss of appetite. I finished out the week of BACTRIM DS and my UTI was gone. The day after I finished the Bactrim DS I started having pain in my lower back like kidney pain on the left and right sides. I went later that week to a urologist and he said I had prostatitis. My prostate was tender when he did the exam. He prescribed 10 days worth of BACTRIM DS. I started the Bactrim DS the same day. The next day I became very cold and couldn't get warm. I felt like I was freezing! The numbness and weakness came back. I developed a rash or something that looked like a welp about the size of a quarter on the right side of the tip of my penis. I called the urologist and told him what was going on. He said to just discontinue the Bactrim DS for 24 hours and if I felt better then don't take anymore of it, but if I wanted to I could try and tough it out and come see him monday. I went ahead and took another pill that night.

It all tarted back. I quit the Bactrim DS and it was almost a week and a half before the urologist could see me. I just kept praying and had the church pray for me. When I finally got to the urologist he did another prostate exam and it wasnot sore at all. So he told me that he didn't know what happened to the prostatitis but I seemed better and that he knew just 3 pills didn't get rid of it. I explained to him that I did not have lower back pain that felt like my kidneys throbbing until the day AFTER I had finished the week of Bactrim DS. It is now April 27 2007 about a month since this all began. I am no longer having lower back pain or kidney pain. I do still get very fatigue and my appetite comes and goes. From time to time the numbness and tingling in my hands and feet comes back and my heart starts to race and I feel like my breathing is shallow. The doctor said that I could have had a touch of the flu over the weekend and that was why I had the cold chills and I told him otherwise. I know I didn't have the flu. All these symptoms were a result of BACTRIM DS. You couldn't in no way get me to believe otherwise. I feel like I have anemia or something. I just feel so tired and weak. I started taking some multi vitamins today hoping that it will help. I see that you have many people telling their stories but is anyone sharing how long it took to get better or what steps did they take to get there energy back?

W.L. Anderson, SC.

SULFA: 2 May 2007

I was diagnosed with an insect bite on the top of my foot. I believe it as a spider, anyway, to make long story short, i was given bactrim with sulfa, one at the er, and a rx for 20/ take 2 a day.. well not feeling well, i continued all the bactrim, woke up and could not believe what i saw in the mirror. my right eye had swollen, and when i went to another er, they said I had pink eye.. what a joke!!!!!!!! do not take this drug... it has made my eyes swell, itching, and i am sick.... I went to family doctor today.. he of course said i did not have pink eye, took blood, and gave me zyrtec, as well as blood pressure meds!! Please how long is this poisen going to be in my system??? do you have any idea?? my docter is checking my blood, and i go back in a week, but my eye has been swollen since monday, and now it is thursday, and it is all red around my eye, looks like something out of a horror movie.. i cannot believe they still manufactor this drug... it needs to be tested, or something. sincerely

Suzanne G, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina


My 6 years old daughter was diagnosed with Vesicoureteral Reflux 2 years ago. She was prescribed Apo-Sulfatrim to take on a daily basis. She's been taking it for 2 years and your site has helped me recognize some side effects that she's been suffering for 2 years that I did not know were related to this drug. She's been complaining of a sore neck and back on a regular basis. We took her to do all kinds of tests and xrays to determine why...but could not find an answer. She's also complaining of a sore stomach almost every day, again could not find a cause. At her very young age she already has 7 cavities eventhough we brush her teeth twice a day. When I realized these could all be related to this drug, we stopped giving it to her. It's only been one week... but so far she has not complained of any of the previous problems.


Pascale W, Ontario, Canada

BACTRIM: 10 May 2007

Hello Brian,

I'm an 18 year-old american female and I was prescribed this medcine by my doctor for acne. Just recently I've been waking up with breathing problems and right now I have hives. I've stopped taking the medication and hope the hives go away soon. I decided to do some research on the drug, and that's how I came in contact to your website. I didn't know about all the problems it has caused in the past with blood clots etc., and I'm worried it might affect me the same way. I've only been taking the drug for 2 weeks and now I'm kind of worried. Could it do that kind of damage to me in just 2 weeks?

Thanks for your time.


BACTRIM: 14 May 2007


I was prescribed Bactrim last Wednesday for a Staph infection in my abdominal region. I took the first pill that afternoon. When I left church, I felt so nauseous that I had to pull the car over and amaze my two daughters as I puked right in the parking lot.

Since then,

Stomach has hurt everyday; My hunger has been stifled.; I have experienced back pain, as a result of stomach pain, Pepsid AC, NO help.

I have never hated a drug so much. Yesterday, I actually couldn t even bring myself to swallow in the first time, so it got spit out, into the garbage disposal. One pill down.

This all being said, having a Staph infection wasn t that great either and it is doing much better. I am going to quit taking Bactrim now and I hope that the 5 days worth of it I took is enough to kill the infection. I ll just be sure to never take Bactrim again.

Steven, MI.

BACTRIM DS: 20 May 2007

First, thank you so much for keeping the site going.

By folks posting their experiences with Bactrim, finding this web page today was a Godsend to me.

I was diag, with a sinus infection a few days ago and my Doctor prescribed Bactrim DS. I recall my older Brother taking it a few times in the past for upper resp. problems and he never complained of any side effects (lucky for him!) so I thought it would be that simple for me, but I wrong.

Today, after taking pill number 2....I started to feel weird --for lack of a better word-- I felt just plain weird!!! I have no energy, unable to focus, tired and very weak and shaking all over, like I was cold. My body has tremors, especially my hands. It started freaking me out.

At first, I thought it was just the sinus infection getting the best of me.....but after talking to a friend and describing how I was feeling, she said "sound like a reaction to a med"....so, I got on the web and searched "bactrim side effects tremors weakness" and I found this site. Thank Goodness!

I have read what others have posted and realize my feeling "weird" and so very weak with tremors / shaking is a side effect from the drug!!!

I dont see how they can allow people to take this, thinking it will HELP when it ends up hindering your illness that you are dealing with, contributing to your problems. I am just thankful that I read the 23+ pages of concerns before taking another Bactrim DS!!!

Cyn A, North Carolina.

SMZ/TMP DS 800: 20 May 2007

hi. my name is jess, i'm 21 years old. i found your webpage when i typed in the drug to finally look up the side effects. i don't know what took me so long to investigate the side effects... because i have been utterly suffering for four days now. two of which, i thought i was dying, but did not go to the ER because i don't have health insurance. my history: i have eczema, impetigo, and mrsa. a boil developed underneath my earlobe on may 7th or 8th and got bigger and more painful as the days went on. so i went to the doc on the 13th for the boil. she did not lance it, instead, she prescribed an antibiotic, which was too expensive for me and so i got the generic... SMZ/TMP DS 800 -160 TAB. i was told to take one tablet twice daily for ten days. on my 3rd day and 6th pill, which brings us to may 16th.... i very suddenly felt overwhelmed by fatigue. it hit me out of the blue. then my muscles began to ache and so i went to bed... at 8pm. (i usually go to bed around 5-6am) thinking i was just exhausted and would sleep it off... i was terribly wrong. i awoke the next afternoon (may 17th) at 1:30pm. throughout the night i suffered constant and severe muscle aches and cramps over my entire body. i also had a migraine so bad, that i could not move my eyes or my head in any direction and that lasted for a constant 48 hours. i lost my appetite completely and became very anxious and had four or five panic attacks in just one day. (the attacks nearly caused me to blackout... i began feeling disoriented and faint) i also had severe chills when my temp was normal and when the chills went away... my temp increased until i broke a fever and took tylenol to get it down. for two nights in a row, i would awake drenched in sweat. so after 3 days of suffering to the point i thought i was going to die... it stopped. and then the very next day... i noticed a rash on my neck. and the next day i notice the rash was now covering my neck and chest. and then the next day... the rash was over my entire body and it felt prickly and itchy. the discomfort is so great, that i can not sit still, let alone sleep. and this is when i decided to look up the side effects realizing that all of these sudden "illnesses" i was coming down with could not be simply a coincidence. i have only slept 4 hours in the passed 48 hours. there is simply no way to fall asleep in such distress and discomfort. so now i know... i'm extremely allergic to this drug. and the kicker of it all.... i've spent more money combating the drug i've been taking, than what the cost of the more expensive brand of medicine was originally prescribed to me. and... in addition to all the above mentioned things i have suffered or am still suffering from due to this drug... i still have the boil. it has only healed about 30%.

thank you very much for your website. i have been so scared for the passed few days. i didn't know what was happening to me. i thought either i was dying or that i was crazy. this drug should be taken off the market immediately.

Jess F.

SEPTRA: 30 May 2007

Mr. Deer,

Firstly, thank you for your web site, I was starting to feel like a hypochondriac. I too was medicated with Septra for a UTI. I've been off the medication for about two weeks now and am still suffering from the symptoms of taking this drug, fatigue, headaches, foot and leg cramps, increased heart rate. The worst of it are the foot cramps that I'm having daily. I have so much pain in the arches of my feet that it's often painful to walk.


SEPTRA: 3 June 2007

Jan. 25th 2000 I received treatment for a cough, and was given Septra. 8 days later I developed a rash, headache, and eye aches and was taken off the Septra.

February 3rd i8 went to my primary physician (Kaiser) with no light perception in the right eye, poorly reactive pupils, optic swelling and 102.3 temperature. I was sent home and told to see an opthalmologist that afternoon.

I saw the ophthalmologist and was sent home again to await a call about scheduling a MRI for the following morning.

By 7:30 PM I had lost all vision in both eyes, and was taken to ER by my parents. I was diagnosed with post severe optic neuritis, and allergic encephalitis secondary to a reaction to Septra. I was administered high doses of steroids at about 1:00 AM.

I recovered partial vision within 4 days and my central acuity has increased. I have permanent field loss, and a resultant visual field of less than 5 degres.

Aaron A, San Diego, CA.

BACTRIM: 5 June 2007

My name is Lisa Hargus. My 13 year old son went to the Dr. with sudden onset of fever of 103.5 and severe pain in his lower abdomen and one of his testicles was more than double the size of the other. The DR ran all kinds of tests and said that he had something called "swelling of the twins" anyway he prescribed bactrim. Now 4 days later my little boy is covered his entire body with red welpy rash. His eyes are bloodshot he is so fatigued he can hardly sit up to eat he is so tired. It is a very scary thing to see your active 13 year old sleeping on his summer break and in so much irritating pain. The DR has not called me back at this point to tell me to stop taking the Bactrim.

Lisa H.

BACTRIM: 11 June 2007

Dear Brian,

My doctor prescribed bactrim for a uti....I never knew that I was allergic to sulfa drugs! But BOY did I find out fast! After taking that one pill--my hands starting hurting and itching like crazy-my stomach got so upset-I couldn't have my supper that I prepared......my heart was pounding and racing --and then I got so dizzy- and just about passed out -seeing pink stars-

I quickly laid down on my bed-and broke out in a sweat. What a awful episode to experience-I didn't know what was happening to me--I thought I was having a heart attack---after a bit I gathered myself to go to the ER- all this gave me high anxiety to boot...they asked me if I was doing cocaine!?!...I felt so ill--my face was flushed and I needed to drink lots of water...

I was admitted--my blood pressure soared-they were running all kinds of tests--EKG-blood work-(my white blood count was a lil' high-at least the good news is -I DIDN'T have a heart attack-no diabetes-just a bad reaction from Bactrim-they gave me benadryl - a iv of levaquin --and I was released the next day cause I begged to go home...I didn't want to stay-and don't want to go back!...

Yeah--I'm allergic to septra-bactrim-anything with sulfa in it -- come to find out--If you're allergic and take it--you feel like you'll be knocking at the gate!

When I took that Bactrim anti-biotic a week ago-I felt like you're gonna die...(LOL)..worse feeling then the flue..you're innards are all upset...racing heart -flushed face-dizzy--passing out almost--back pain--itchy hands--abdominal pain - thirsting-- my head and tongue and legs hurt-sore throat-can't sleep-nerves in legs twitching and pulsating -etc.....

....A water pill I take has sulfa/septra in it!!(just found that out)!---I quit taking that--no wonder I always felt so bad-

I feel like I've been poisoned a lil' bit everyday!! Who knows what kind of damage my body has taken!?

It's been almost a week -: feeing somewhat better then before--but running a low grade temperature-my lower back still hurts and throbs --sore throat-my stomach still bothers me--I feel so wiped out--prolly have kidney -stomach- and heart damage by now! I gotta get more blood/lab tests and stuff done---just want the poison out of my system...the whole episode has stressed me out!

thnx for listening--Bright Blessings to all.....

Michelle B.


BACTRIM: 12 June 2007

Hi Brian,

I'm writing to you to let you know that I had an adverse reaction to Bactrim. Had I not vomitted it from my system (rather painfully to the point of dry-heaving), I probably would have passed out in a bad way (coma).

I'm now on Cipro, and it's comparably unlike Bactrim. I'm doing much better on Cipro.

I will NEVER take Bactrim again.

Hope your website is getting more hits like mine!

Margaret L.

BACTRIM: 13 June 2007

I know you get several emails regarding the effects of Bactrim, but I feel the need to add to the lengthy list of devastating complaints regarding this reckless drug.

I am a 21 year old law student in perfect health, besides an occasional bout of dermatitis. Three months ago I took a mere four days worth of Bactrim for a staph infection on my neck. On the morning of the fifth day, I was at work and I noticed my arms were bright red and splotchy. Within minutes of discovering this, I began to feel lightheaded, started getting chills, and started sweating. I could no longer stand and had to leave work. By the evening I was running a fever of 102, and became paranoid. I honestly thought I was dying... My throat was sore and swollen but I was sobbing and begging my fiance to call my parents so I could tell them goodbye. My neck was severely stiff, the rash had covered my entire body, and it was so hard for me to breathe. I swear, I will never forget this night. I was frightened and my fiance had no idea what to do. He said he wanted to take me to the emergency room, but the way I looked made him too scared to even try to move me. An ibuprofen broke my fever and I was able to calm down and at least sleep.

My fiance called my doctor the next morning, and he advised me to stop taking bactrim to see what would happen. After a day and half of more misery, my body slowly returned to almost normal. My doctor gave me a steroid cream for my staph in lieu of the bactrim. My staph was gone within a week.

Ever since this night, my memory is foggier, and I often lose my balance when walking. My sore throat has never gone away.

I understand that drugs come with side effects. I do not understand why a frequently prescribed drug with such erratic and varied complications can still be on the market. What would someone living alone do if this drug were to cause a possibly deadly complication? And why isn't everyone aware that these effects are such a real possibility?

Thank you for your time and all that you do.

HM in Dayton, Ohio.

BACTRIM: 13 June 2007

Hi Brian,

I too seem to have been a victim of this unpredictable drug. In May I went to Mexico for a weeks vacation and had been given Bactrim just in case I came down with travelers sickness which can be prevalent when visiting certain countries. I did indeed eat something that made me feel like I needed to start on a course of this med and took one within 2 hours after I had felt ill. Within the first hour I became extremely chilled in my legs and arms and felt like my legs were going to shake off of my body. I became extremely anxious and felt like my heart was going to pound right out of my chest. My limbs continued to feel shaky and weak but at the same time I felt like I had to get up and keep moving because I felt so unsettled. I could not sleep at all that night and felt spaced out for the next day , but continued to take this med every 12 hours for the next two days, thinking that the food poisoning was the culperate. Finally I put 2 and 2 together and realized that the Bactrim was the problem and stopped taking it. By this time I suffered from hives and an excruciating headache but seemed to be o.k. otherwise. The thing that I noticed like many others was the full sick feeling in my stomache and I did not want to eat, I had to force myself.

Flash to 10 days later when I thought I had a yeast infection and was given another antibiotic and went through the same experience all over again along with many more symptoms. This time not only did I have the anxiety and nervousness, I also felt completely fuzzy headed , my eyes killed me, stomach pains, tingling like I ve never had before and I seemed to be bothered by everything I came in contact with like I was having allergic reactions for a week.

It s been 1 month since I took the bactrim and I believe it put my whole body out of whack to the point where I felt like my immune system and nuerology had been affected. Of course after numerous tests and blood samples the docs could find nothing wrong, they all came back negative. I am still feeling somewhat fatigued since taking the med and hope that I have not suffered any long term damage like some people.

Thank you for making this site available to so many scared, unsure people that just don t know why they re feeling the way they are after taking this monstrocity of an antibiotic.

Paula M, Clawson, MI.

BACTRIM: 13 June 2007

Hi Brian:

I'm writing to tell you about the very scary experience I had just this week while taking Bactrim for a UTI. I was prescribed a 7 day course of the antibiotic last week after my doctor confirmed that I had a UTI. He asked me if I was allergic to sulfa medications and I told him that to the best of my knowledge I was not. I started taking the medication the following day with no problems. On day 5 I didn't feel very well, but thought I was having plain old allergies since the pollen count was very high that day. I took some Benadryl and felt a bit better. On day 6 (which was yesterday) I took my dose in the morning, and by noon I had developed the worst case of chills that I had ever experienced. I was shaking so violently and uncontrollably that I could hardly stand up or walk. I own my own business, and when I went next door to ask another shop owner to watch my store for me she told me that my lips looked bluish. I looked in the mirror and sure enough, my lips were blue and purple! I immediately went home to lie down, still not even thinking that this could be because of the Bactrim - I thought I was coming down with the flu or something. I was home for about an hour and the symptoms still had not subsided, and I started to get really hot and my heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. I called the urgent care clinic and they told me to come in right away. By the time I got there my blood pressure was really high, all the joints in my body ached, and I had a fever of 102 degrees. They immediately started me on 50 mg of Benadryl to stop the allergic reaction and also told me take 800mg of Ibuprofen. I did that same dosage of meds 6 hours later and thankfully I'm fine today, but damn, what a horrible experience! I was talking to a local pharmacist and he told me that about 90% of the population is allergic to Bactrim, which completely shocked me. If that's the case, why is it still being prescribed?!?!? That's just ludicrous to me. I think this drug should be taken off the market.

Thanks for letting me tell my story. I certainly hope no one else has to go through what I've gone through!


Sandra in Colorado.

BACTRIM: 15 June 2007

hi Brian, I was giving Bactim 4 days ago i had the worse reaction to this stuff the first night i was violently vomiting and then the next 2 days i felt like i had the flu with the fever of 103 and all oh it was awful no more bactim for me i cant even remember when i have felt so bad so i am glad i found your website while looking up the side effects so i could tell my story

Melony B.


Hi. I live in Southern California. I was just given sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim for an ear infection. I was a little concerned that the doctor didn't prescribe it; he just handed it to me, but my history with ear infections is long and I was in a lot of pain. I took the pills without knowing what they might do. I've taken Amoxicillin in the past & it has only caused a yeast infection so I expected that this would, but I was worried because I'd heard of a woman whose skin came off from sulfur drugs after she had finished taking them & because my older brother had broken out in a rash after taking some non-penicillin antibiotic.

I got dizzy and developed a headache within about a day, I was very tired and listless, within a day my skin was burning and I had a constant cramp in my tummy. I thought I was constipated. I looked up the side effects on-line & saw that diarrhea is common, as well as headaches, aches in the body and dizziness. I don’t know why I didn’t stop taking it immediately, but in the past I have taken medications that have side effects that will last a day or so & then go away & I have to do the trial & error thing. The doctor who gave me these pills said nothing about them potentially damaging my body or killing me.

I started taking them last Tuesday night & the symptoms began early the next morning, but were fairly minor and I thought the aches in my body might have more to do with the ear infection. By Thursday morning my head was throbbing (I get migraines but this was NOT a migraine!) I had a head ache from hell. I felt a little short on breath & very hot. I called out sick from work trying to explain to my boss that I wasn’t sure if it was my ear infection or my reaction to the medication I was taking to cure it, but that I felt horrible as I had the day before. I still took the morning dose & went back to sleep. I had been burning up all night like my skin was on fire & then cold & then I’d be up in the morning and it would be fine.

I discovered that I was not constipated at all and was able to go---very well in fact to well. I slept nearly all day Thursday and was feeling better, but still weak. I don’t know why but I took the pill Thursday night. I think I was determined to see it through. I was so close to calling 9-1-1 (my lack of health insurance & money being my reason not to). My whole body was on fire. I was in the bathroom off and on; it hurt to stand up from the headache. What was worst was that I was fully awake & alert to all the pain I was in. It wasn’t like when I’ve been sick with the flu & delirious. I felt every second of it.

I went to work the next day (Friday) despite my lack of sleep. I was weak and tired, but my skin was not burning. It seemed like that only happened at night. One thing that I and my co-workers noticed was that my skin was redder, like sunburn. I wear sunscreen everyday because I am very fair skinned & I’m outside a lot at work. Sensitivity to the sun was listed on a side-effects list I’d found on-line. I thought sun block would help. I had the diarrhea, headaches & weakness all that day & had to leave work for an hour because of a burning on my clitoris (I assumed is the beginning of a yeast infection). I was amazed I made it through work that day—by the end of the day I thought I was going to vomit all over the place. I called the doctor on Friday & told him my symptoms & he said he’d give me Amoxicillin.

I still had all the symptoms Saturday but felt better that I’d stopped taking them & I wasn’t burning up anymore. It’s now Sunday night & I have a rash all over my body. I woke up this morning with a killer headache & last night had gas pains for hours. I spent most of today in bed until I got too nauseated and had to eat. I talked to my brother tonight about the rash & he said that he had taken the same drug. He had taken it 10 days in a row and had the same symptoms I described but his didn’t show until after the 10 days.

I’ve read a lot on your website & I’m terrified that something worse will happen to me. I don’t want to die & I have enough problems in my life that I don’t need more pain. I don’t know what resources are available in U.S. but I would love to help bring this into the public eye because even one person going through the pain I just did for a simple ear infection is insane! And I read so many stories far worse than mine posted on your site. I’m grateful that you’ve exposed this & hope to help in getting both of these sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim drugs discontinued.


M.F. Irvine, CA.

SEPTRA: 18 June 2007

had an ear infection. was prescribed a z-pak. that didn't work as the ear infection came back 3 weeks later. then was prescribed septra. 9 days into the 2 x's a day prescription i developed a fever and nausea. the following day i developed a light rash and head ache. by the third day the rash was totally covering my body. i had body aches in my bones and joints. mainly below the knee but then also my teeth started to ache. i went into the er and they prescribed a steroid. i have now been on that for 12 hours and some relief has occurred but still the rash and still the ache below the knee. I am trying to advocate for my self and get into my dr for a full follow up and lab. unfortunately they are not concerned enough to get me in ASAP. they say the steroids should take care of everything but that they are stumped by the bone pain....

Christine P, Portland, Oregon

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