Septra - Sulfatrim - Bactrim - Septran: mail to this site on side-effects (28)

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

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  SEPTRA DS: 28 June 2007

I am a 41 year old male who was completely healthy. I played basketball twice a week and have never been put in a hospital for myself. I was recently misdiagnosed with a prostate infection and given a generic form of Septra DS 800 mg twice a day for 30 days. After 2 weeks I started to cough. This cough persisted for a few weeks and I went to see the doctor. He prescribed another 30 day dose of Septra DS. I was two days into the second round when I started to get very ill. I was vomiting and any food made me sick. I have now been sick for more than three months and am starting to recover. My liver completely stopped working and the doctors and specialists were talking liver transplant. I have been jaundice and completely yellow.

The doctors thought I had liver cancer, Hepatitis A, B, C, EBV with Mono, Wilson’s disease because my copper count was at 21,000, auto immune disease, and finally it was confirmed that it was drug induced hepatitis. This was confirmed by liver specialists and by 4 pathologists. My bilyruben was at around 22 for 2+ months. After countless blood tests, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, liver biopsy, 30 + doctors appointments, multiple ER visits, all sleepless nights, a horrible skin breakout 2 months after I stopped taking the last pill, I am finally starting to sleep a little and able to eat some food without feeling absolutely sick. This drug and the extreme dose I was prescribed is extremely dangerous and I would not recommend it. It has ruined my professional life and has completely ruined my health. I am still not sure if I will ever be completely healthy again.

Walter N, Salt Lake City, Utah.

SEPTRA: 30 June 2007

Congratulations Mr. Brian Deer!

Your work uncovering misdeeds of big pharma is genuinely a work of compassion.

Adam B, Ottawa, Canada.

SMZ/TMP DS: 9 July 2007

Dear Brian,

Recently I had a miscarriage and shortly after started feeling dizzy and sore, so I went to my primary Doctor and she diagnosed me; The start of a bladder infection. I explained to her that I was allergic to Rocephin and couldn't take that, and thought I would be perscribed Cipro. Well, I wasn't, I was perscribed the generic form of BACTRIM-DS (SMZ/TMP DS 800-160). When I received my perscription, I read the "possible side effects" and didn't think much of it the first day as I started to experience loss of apetite and fatigue. As the days went on and I continued to take it, I experienced more and more; dizzyness, nausea, fatigue, sore muscles, shivers, chills, vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, insomnia, headaches and I am extremely irritable. It also read on the label "prolonged or excessive exposure to direct and/or artificial sunlight should be avoided" I would go outside for 5 mins and would have to lay down for 3 hours to regain myself and that was on the fourth day! By the fifth day I spent most of my time laying in bed, thank God my husband was home to care for our 3 children. The unfortunate part is that I run child care in my home and care for an additional 4 children. By today, which would be day 6, I refused to take anymore of the Bactrim and called my doctor at 8:00 am, it is now 1:20 pm and have yet to here from her. I could not sleep lastnight due to the aching in my whole body, and now I have to care for my children in this condition, which I was hoping would get better, but it is not!

That is when I decided to be my own doctor and search the internet and found your sight! I am appalled that this drug is still on the market in the USA, I will be emailing and informing everyone I know about this! I am a 30 year old mother and wife and can not afford to feel like this; mentally, emotionally, physically or financially!! Also, I have suffered all my life from acne, and this is not worth the risk! I would rather spend the rest of my life with the worst case of acne imaginable than feel like this! Plus, my husband and I are trying to get pregnant and all my doctor said was, "I would use birth control this month if I were you." Now, why would any doctor perscribe a woman who is trying to get pregnant a medication that could severly harm an unborn child! Thank God, again, that I am not and we have taken precautions!

Please, if you have any remedies to recover from this let me know!


Alicia L, Farmington, NM.

SEPTRA: 15 July 2007

I too, have had a horrible experience with septra. 6 mos ago i had a staph infection and was put on septra 2x day. i took 3 doses and ended up in the emergency room. i was dehydrated, had a terrific head ache, chills, and a fever 104.7 f. The whites of my eyes were blood red. i was switched over to a different antibiotic. the ER doc felt that the septra was not working. Then 2 months ago i dedveloped a urinary tract infection and took 1 septra tablet. 30 minutes later, I developed a head ache and took 2 advil. within 5 minutes after the advil I experienced severe anxiety, pain in my posterior neck and shoulders. I felt as if I was going to die. I have never felt so anxious in my entire life! When i arrived at the ER the whites of my eyes were blood red. no sulfonamides for me again!

Pam S.

BACTRIM DS: 17 July 2007

I just came across your web site and want to share my experience with Bactrim DS. Several years ago a doctor friend gave me a prescription for Bactrim DS to decrease the possibility of getting "Montezuma's revenge" while on a trip to Mexico. I started on the medicine two days before my trip, and did not take anymore since my luggage got lost. On my first day in Mexico, I spent a hot afternoon climbing around on the ruins at Monte Alban. That night I woke up with an intense itching all over my body, which quickly converted to large, hot whelts around my waist and down my sides. I thought the problem was something I had eaten since I had not had a pill in two days. I contacted the house doctor and he gave me benedyrl. The itching, redness, and whelts became more severe and soon my hands and feet began to swell to the point where I had to have Jeweler cut the rings off my finger. I went to a second doctor and got a shot of cortizone. Four days later, the symtoms began to go away. I still did not attribute my problem to Bactrim DS. Several months later, I took Bactrim DS for an infection and after taking a hot shower, I started to itch and break out again. Since then, I have discovered that I cannot take any drugs in the sulfa class. I know that hot sun and Bactrim DS do not go well together.

Robert, San Marcos, TX.

TRIMETHOPRIM: 23 July 2007

I found your site after searching for side effects of Trimethoprim. I have been taking this for 3 days for a urinary tract infection and I have never felt so ill in my life. I have the most awful headache, feel sick, have a rash round my stomach, itchy hands, palpitations, dizziness and pains in my arms and legs. I stopped taking it yesterday but my symptoms don't seem to be going away, in fact if anything I feel worse now. I am typing this in the middle of the night because I just can't sleep. I will never take this antibiotic again!

Angela M.

SMZ/TMP 800-160: 23 July 2007

Dear Brian,

I was prescribed SMZ/TMP 3 days ago for a UTI, the doctor said the infection was spreading to my kidneys so she told me I would need to take this because its stronger at fighting infections. I started taking it just 2 days ago, I immediately noticed I was feeling weird, my back was hurting, I was nauseated, and I my neck was getting really stiff. Now I'm noticing I'm more confused and unaware of whats going on, I cant get to sleep at night so I sleep during the day. I haven't got any rashes or blisters but I did see a cut and it was dark blue like I bruise or something, I questioned if it was another infection or not. Also, theres a large lump just below my neck.

Thanks for sharing others peoples stories, I'm going to stop taking it and call my doctor.

Anna B.

BACTRIM: 3 August 2007

Hi Brian

I've been reading through all the emails on your website and just want to thank you for putting up this site as its the first "real" account for what seem to be the symptoms of Bactrim.

I was a very healthy 29 yr old female, who had my first Urinary Tract Infection about 3 weeks ago. The walk-in doctors clinic I went to prescribed Bactrim. The following morning after taking the drug I had diaherra (which I never get) and promptly called the doctors office. They told me to keep taking the drug and that the side effects should stop once I stop drug use. Well, needless to say my symptoms continued to get worse over the next 3 days with severe lower back pain, pelvic cramping and abdominal pain.

Its been 3 weeks later and no one can seem to find what is wrong but my lower back pain is constant still and I have muscle weakness in my legs from time to time. When I tell the doctors I recently was on Bactrim, they do not say much but there is a "look" they all have which tells me this drug truly should not be prescribed for most people.

Please let me know if you'd have any other information on the coping skills for this drug.

Thank you-

Tami, NYC.

BACTRIM FORTE: 8 August 2007

Hello --

I was prescibed Bactrim Forte by my doctor to treat UTI a couple of days ago. My fever was not as high before taking the medicine. After the first pill, my fever eventually shoot up to 40. This was the first time in my life that I had fever reaching 40. I also had a swelling inside my mouth (salivary tract). I thought that this is just normal reaction, I still continued using the drug.

The next day, I didn't have any fever but felt that my stomach is always experiencing cramps. I could no longer eat. Whenever I ate something, I just eventually vomitted it. I felt really weak. I went to see another doctor and advised me to stop taking the drug.

My fever is back but I am no way taking bactrim again.

CSC, Philippines.

BACTRIM: 12 August 2007

Dear Brian:

I was prescribed Bactrim 6 days ago. I took it for 4 days. I was ok the 1st and 2nd days. However, on the 3rd day, I felt nauseous and dizzy, but not too bad. On the 4th day, I felt more nauseous and dizzy, close to vomiting, and I experienced chills, unsteadiness and pain in my middle back. On the 5th day, I stopped the Bactrim and still have the symptoms, which are uncomfortable and worrisome. Do you know if they'll go away and how long this will take? Will I experience other ill effects? Iā€™ll never take this stuff again.

Why on earth would a doctor prescribe Bactrim instead of a newer, safer, better tolerated, more effective antibiotic with far fewer side effects such as Cipro? It boggles the mind. And we, the unsuspecting patient, are the ones who suffer. Shame on them. How unfair.


BACTRIM: 17 August 2007


I know your article and website are a few years old, however I wanted to let you know that it was very helpful to me in understanding exactly what was wrong.

I was diagnosed with a cronic sinusitis. My doctor wasn't available, so I went to an urgent care facility (what someone might call a doctor in a box), who prescribed Bactrim, telling me that "this will clear up any infection". (12 days worth, or 25 pills).

After living with the side effects, I can understand why!

The first few days on the medication I was a bit out of it. My mental acuity was off and I was feeling sluggish and constantly tired. half way though my first week I would break out in cold sweats and my face would go pale, I would feel as if I just swam the english channel, under water. Out of breath, muscle aches, and just plain tired. by day 6 I was not only feeling tired, but was feeling an uncomfortable tingle under my skin, and by day 10 was experiencing a heavy pain in my chest, and sharp abdominal spasms.

At one point I thought I might be having a heart attack.

I ran an internet search for side effects of the Bactrim, (and possibly if it reacted badly with pseudoephedrin), and found your site. I guess I'm lucky I didn't have as bad a side effect as others. (I'm setting up a visit to my doctor to have tests run on my internal organs, just to make sure).

After reading how the sulfates are used, the nearest thing I can think of is that the sulfates get into the blood, and then irritates everything the blood "touches", which gives you the skin on fire / crawling effect, and why my chest hurt so much. All that blood uses the heart as it's central local. Anything effecting the blood, would also effect that muscle.

It's been four days since taking my last Bactrim (SMZ/TMP DS 800-160), and the pain in my chest hasn't gotten any better. My energy levels are returning but I'm still not able to concentrate on anything for very long, my skin still crawls, and I have reoccurring cold sweats.

Sometimes the cure is worse then the illness. I would much rather have had the sinus infection, then be leveled in this manner.

Thank you for your time,

Matt H, Portland Oregon.

BACTRIM: 17 August 2007


I found your website by accident...So glad it is out there. I took a round of macrodantin and had a horrible rash/inflammation episode. The urologist took me off immediately and put me on bactrim (Recurrent UTI)...after only 3 tablets over one week, I had a horrific sore throat/aches-pains/horrible headache.Felt flu like. Started reading side effects and web information...Also strange metallic taste in mouth....no appetite. I stopped immediately and demanded another drug. The dr. thinks I'm a bother - but I know what this drug did to me...I was supposed to take it for 8 weeks. No way. I am now on amoxicillin...one tab for 6 weeks. I have taken before with no problems...Should be ok....Wish I had known about bactrim Before I took the first tablet...Thanks so much.

Donna M, California.

BACTRIM: 26 August 2007

I was given both levaquin and bactrim for a bacterial infection that the doctor in the ER diagnosed as celluitis. I was told that both were broad based antibiotics and since my infection was sort of nonspecific these were good choices for the infection at the time. Besides the effects of nausea, tiredness, weakness and constant headache, I developed a rash over my entire body. It literally felt like I was being seared in a frying pan. I was extremely hot and ran a fever of 104. I was eventually admitted into the hospital for IV fluids due to dehydration and the fact that I barely had an appetite and could hardly keep the medication down. While in the hospital, the journey continued, the rash got worse and my liver functions at one time were in the 1200s. At one point the gastroenterologist felt that a liver biopsy was in order and perhaps a transfer to another facility due to suspected liver failure. I was also suffering from gastritis. After the fever was finally under control the doctors battled the effects of the bactrim with different antibiotic. I had various X-rays, an ultrasound an EKG, Echo and a bone scan (the bone scan was used to see if the infection had set into my bones) all came back negative. I was being treated with anemia medication as well as steroids for the rash (prednisone among these steroids). I was released from the hospital after one week and I'm no longer taking any antibiotics but I'm still dealing with the after effects of the medication. I'm still tired and I still feel slight burning in my skin from the rash which I'm told it could take weeks to get back to normal. In addition, I've developed several fungal patches on my skin. Thank God my liver functions have gone way down and are once again approaching normal limits. By all accounts I seem to be on the road to recovery. The doctors are certain now that I had a severe allergic reaction to bactrim and that I can never take any sulfa based antibiotics.

Syreeta C, New Jersey.

SMZ/TMP: 28 August 2007


I stumbled across your website while trying to find the more specific details of the side-effects of this drug since I was prescribed it not a week ago for a staph-infected spider bite. Short of vomiting I've had all the listed side-effects, including such severe stomach pains that it feels like horrible heartburn combined with a gall bladder attack. I am on my last dose (I took 28 pills in 7 days, with the dose 800-160) and I haven't slept in the last two days because of the pain keeping me awake at night. Add to that the pounding headaches that I would equate to a migraine if I had them, accompanied by a 'fever' sensation, with sweating, warm to the touch, and muscle tenderness. I also started hallucinating, which my friends attribute to unrelated stress, and shortly after the worst of the hallucinations had a severe panic attack. I've also been terribly jumpy for the last week, and every little noise makes me jump back. Having read that my sudden loss of balance and that 'dizzy' feeling as well as feeling like I am on the deck of a ship at sea (accompanied by the sea-sickness as well) isn't me going crazy, I feel a bit better, well, not by much, but it's nice to know that I'm not losing my mind totally.

Now, I am not allergic to Sulfa-drugs, which it would seem most people with the rashes, etc, experienced, but even still, the side-effects have not been mild nor have they gone away, but steadily gotten worse. My parents always called me a hypochondriac, but upon reading all the varying symptoms of the emails listed, and being on the last day of the drug myself, I feel that more side-effects should be listed on that label. It can't be 'coincidence' that

I and someone else both had panic attacks, anxiousness, severe stomach pains, headaches, and a supposed fever, and more. Isn't there anything more than can be done to have these things listed? Surely people can't ignore that so many different people all over the world are having the same reactions to this drug, especially in the high doses that are prescribed for such mild infections.

Truly, it was good to read your website, to read all the side-effects that others have experienced that are pretty head-on to what I myself have experienced. I will ask my doctor for a different medication in the future, and simply claim I am allergic. Might as well, when the cure is more deadly than the disease.


Hannah, WA.

BACTRIM: 1 September 2007

It's 9-1-07.Im raging with a temperature after seeing my M.D. yesterday for a urinary/bladder infection.I'd rather have the infection! I had taken a bactrim DS/800 at dinner last night.I was up all night with aching legs and a raging fever (104.6).Sick wasn't the word for the muscles aches.This moring I proceed to get out of bed,took another Bactrim DS/800 at 9am and by 1pm the fver,chills and aching are all back.I have been diagnosed with "Drug Fever",some sort of reaction.Thank God for this website-I went online and typed in bactrim DS/800 and here was my answer,I literally had to go to the ER and through the process of the "know it all Doctors" i finally said-IT HAPPENS 2-3 HOURS AFTER I TAKE A BACTRIM.The Dr in the ER started saying to me "it's probably from your UTI" (FEVER CHILLS ETC) Hello-my uti was much better prior to taking these terrible pills-but i thought i'd better take antibotics to prevent future problems.

Tammy S, Tennessee.

SMZ/TMP DS 800-160: 2 September 2007

Last night I went to the emergency room at Holmes Regional here in Melbourne Fl due to my temp being 102.9 and prior to that I was freezing? I had called my Pharmacey and they had told me to take two tylenol as I had a splitting headache.

At the Hosp the took blood and uran samples.I was perscribed the medication for a Uranery infection and and after just reading all the E-mails on your web site. They discharged me and sent me home and I was told that my innfection qas getting better and to keep taking the medication .When I got home (11:30 pm) I tried to eat but it was almost impossible to swallow I had such pain in my throat.

Today at roughly the same time period I'am having the same effects as yesterday?? I took the medication at approx 12pm and I felt the effects around 6:45 pm just like last night!!! About 6-7 hours after taking a dose.I have towait until Tuesday as tomorrow is Labor day and no Docs have office hours.Things such as the experience people have had on your web=site should be in the news papers and on TV,it's ashame so many people should suffer

David W. S.

BACTRIM: 9 September 2007

Hi Brian,

I just came across your website, thank god. I do not feel so isolated now. I was prescribed bactrim a month ago for a post-op nasty infection (from the OR) that refuses to leave my body. (9 months ago the infection began, not cute) I took Bactrim for 20 days as prescribed, and then had a flare up of the infection landing me back in the ER for minor surgery. The ER doctor asked what I was taking for the infection prior, and I said Bactrim. So, he prescribed Bactrim again, along with another antibiotic called Rifampin. (used for Tuberculosis, oh my god, and other skin infections). Three days into taking BOTH I felt a weird prickling sensation on my elbows and backs of my arms. By the following day, I had a painful, itching rash that looked like hives/poison ivy all over my arms. I called the Dr. who asked me to come in the next day, but to continue the drugs. (I didn't take anymore....I am not an idiot).

So, I was thinking this HAS to be the RIFAMPIN, afterall, I had just taken Bactrim for 20 days! The nurses took one look at me and scowled in horror. The Dr. took me off both antibiotics and prescribed Cipro and he also prescribed Prednisone and told me to take some Benadryl and use hydrocortison cream. That was almost two weeks ago. The rash, I thought, was clearing up. My elbows looked better. The, about 5 days after my initial visit to my Dr. I noticed these CRAZY huge welts all over the backs of my arms/shoulders that looked like I was attacked by a swarm of bees. Two days later, my thighs broke out, the backs of my knees, and now the fronts of my arms. I cannot sleep. I feel panicky. I itch so bad I am bleeding from the scratching....but the itch is so incessant that I cannot stop.

My Dr. said he had seen this reaction to Bactrim before, and that it can surface and resurface in your body for up to a MONTH. I see him again tomorrow...and I have to see if I can get something for the itching....I think I am going insane. (Oh, I forgot to mention the headaches....nothing will even touch them). I have never had an allergic reaction to anything in my life, let alone a hive. I cannot believe this is so widely prescribed and no one told me the possible/common side affects. Thanks for posting all these letters. I see it has been a while since you have, but I thought I would add my story too.

Truly and Itchy and Frustrated beyond belief,

Cara St.G, Cocoa Beach, Florida.

SULPHAMETH/TRIMETH DS: 12 September 2007

Greetings everyone and hi Brian,

Glad I came across your site, it certainly confirms I am not imagining the relationship between this drug and symptoms that arose out of the blue.

I have had a recurring bladder and UT infection, probably due to a bladder that does not completely empty (see on ultra sound but needs to be confirmed by a specialist). The first time I was prescribed Microbid. I experienced nausea and fatigue and called the Dr after a couple of days and was switched to Novo-Trimel DS - ie Bactrim. I took it for twice a day for one week with no problem (or so I thought). It cleared my infection. Two weeks later I started having the symptoms again. In another week the infection was completely back so I went back to the Dr and told her which med had helped before, Sulphameth/Trimeth DS a.k.a. Bactrim.

So I get home and start taking it. I immediately get all gassed up and my abdomen is really painful. Since I had experienced this symptom last time too, I think it is because of the infection (this is the ah! ah! moment). However, now I also have a very bad headache, chills, weakness, nausea. The symptoms get better over time, but then it is time for another dose. I start looking on the internet for more explanation and then I phoned my Dr. She was not readily available but the assistant said they would put the message through. So then I phoned the pharmacist. After a while of him trying to tell me I must have the flu that is going around, and that very few people have serious side effects, I mentioned your website. Man, what do they consider serious side effects - rigamortis!!

I will not take another dose tomorrow morning, even if my infection has not yet cleared up. The testimonials documented on this site are absolutely frightening.

Has anyone tried another sulpha drug after this? Is it this drug or the sulpha type that causes these extreme and destructive symptoms? I just hope I will not go on to develop related conditions.

Marie S, Canada.

GENERIC BACTRIM: 18 September 2007


I am 66 yr old male and had prostate cancer surgery on Aug.17. Catheter induced UTI was a s. suprophyticus which I understand is difficult. Never had a medicine allergy and was started on Bactrim (pharmacy gave generic) took for two days and saw some improvement - did not feel great but thought it was the infection. Dr. changed prescription when the lab report showed the culture, to Cipro - on 1 12 hour tablet and severe joint and muscle pain in shoulder. Stopped and the Dr. said I can't take that (obviously) said to continue with the Bactrim that he had given and I had 6 left of the 10.-so took it for three more days. Still thought the infection was making me feel poorly. When I took the final pill the last night I then realized it was the medication. Urinated great but it was all night. I had consumed great quantities of water that day. Could not sleep a wink that night - really horrible-when I closed my eyes I had incredibly

rapid fire color images that flashed like on a screen of bizarre and unconnected things that became too frightening to allow me to keep my eyes closed. After a following day of nearly all the mental side effects I began to gradually feel some better. After 24 hours I returned mentally to my old self. I slept well that night and felt ok the next am. Since then the general feeling of not being well seems to come and go. I have not felt like myself for two days and nights. Not so much the night visions but anxiety and depression over how I feel.

I waiting to talk to the Dr. this afternoon to see if there should be a follow up on the UTI to see if it is better. I fear he won't know anything about what to do about the allergy and why it continues to return. From the sound of the letters I may be in for a long haul or worse. If you have any suggestions that might help I would be very appreciated. Thanks for the web site - I would have been a real case without it.

Edward P.

BACTRIM: 19 September 2007


I see the dates on the emails are back in 2004, not sure if this is still open or not.

I was recently prescribed Bactrim and Histovent for an upper respiratory infection and a sinus infection. About 7 days into taking the Bactrim I developed a high fever, body aches, and my eyes were burning. I rested as much as possible and contacted my doctor about this, on top of this my other symptoms had not improved. My doctor told me that it was the Histovent that needed to be changed and prescribed Allergy DN. My fever continued.. After taking the Allergy DN for 3 days and was now on the Bactrim for 10 days my cold symptoms were improving, but I still had a fever, I made another appointment to be seen. At my appointment I complained of my off/on high fever (between 102-105), it was 99.9 while I was in his office, body aches, and burning eyes since last Thursday (4 days)&. I asked him SEVERAL times&. Is this normal for me to be on an antibiotic AND a cold medicine and have this high of a fever? oh yea& you just have something viral going on too&. On day 11 I developed a flat splotchy rash on my arms/legs/face that began to itch. Because of the time of day- it went to an answering service and the on call doctor told me to stop taking the allergy DN, She said stop taking that, the reactions usually come 3-5 days after starting a medication& didn t say anything about stopping taking the Bactrim.

I ended up telling my mom about my symptoms, I wanted her to take my daughter to her gymnastics class- there is no way I could take her& She said you re not on Bactrim are you? I said yea she told me I had to stop taking it and go to the emergency room because of a story that was just in the paper last Wednesday describes the same symptoms I have and this woman almost died& So I called the doctor back& she still insisted that the bactrim was fine because I had taken it long enough I would ve had the reaction sooner&. IThen I did an internet search and found your website and at least 10 of the stories and your *if you have come to this website* warning described my symptoms exactly. I am beyond frustrated that my health was in danger because my doctor as well as the on call doctor don t know enough about the medications that they are prescribing. Just by coincidence- that my mother with no health training reads the paper and connected the two and I found your website.

This was all just yesterday, today I am left with the itchy heated rash on my arms/legs/face as well as a sore throat/swollen lymph node glands, but for the first time in 5 days I don t think I have a fever. Without the information on your website- I might ve ignored my mom s paranoia and followed the doctors instructions and might ve taken the next dose last night and who knows where I would be today.

Thank you !


SEPTRIN: 26 September 2007

Dear Brian,

I am hoping that after reading your website i may have found the answers to alot of my problems. As a child i was diagnoised with cystic Fibrosis and was prescribed Septrin as part of medications, i took septrin for 6 years every day to prevent infections. At the age of seven i was then told i had been miss diagnoised and ceased to take it. I am now 35 years of age and feel more like 75, i have contious joint problems and fatigue. I have been back and forwards to the doctors for the last 4 years and have been tested for various conditions with no out come other than the fact that i had a problem with my liver with high encyme levels.

Unfortunatly it was not just me who was also diagnoised withC/F but brother was too, he was also missed diagnoised and treated with septrin and is now also struggling with very simular syptoms to myself.The worrying thing about our condtions is we are both suffering from numbnees in various parts of our bodys which appears to come and go along with our other symptoms.(well when isay it comes and goes we have good days and bad days)

I am really struggling to get my G.P to take me seriously and have now been subscribed anti depressants as the whole thing is getting me down. Please if you could help me any way i would very grateful.

Yours Sincerly

Jim M.

BACTRIM DS: 26 September 2007

Dear Brian,

I feel a huge sigh of relief tonight after stumbling upon your website. I went back to my doctor today for a 1 week re-check on a severe case of cellulitis in my leg. Last week I went in to see him after being on Augmentin for 4 days with no improvement. He added Bactrim DS to my regimen for 7 days along with the initial RX for Augmentin for 10 days. Things seemed to be going well until Monday, which was day 6 of the Bactrim. I noticed intense "Hot flashes" off and on that afternoon along with nausea, and a slight itching of the palms of my hands and bottoms of my feet. I did not think much of it. Tuesday, which was my last dose, I really started feeling poorly at work with continued "Hot flashes" to the point that I felt my body was on fire. nausea, stiff neck, dizziness, rapid heart beat and "SOB". I honestly felt like I was coming down with the flu. By late afternoon, I was feeling worse and the itching was almost uncontrollable, especially hands, feet, and underarms. I went to the bathroom and noticed that I had a red "Sunburn" like rash all over my legs, arms and chest as well as large dark circles under my eyes. I assumed maybe a possible allergic reaction and asked one of the physicians I work for to take a look. He started my on Benadryl. Later that night, I started running a fever of 101-102 degrees and had the worst chills and aches I have ever had. Today I feel some better, but the terrible itching continues.

When I went to see my MD this afternoon and inquired about a possible reaction, I was told that I most likely had picked up a virus in the middle of all this. He said that I would NOT be running a fever with an allergic reaction (Still had a fever of 100 degrees at my OV) and that they symptoms would have started within 24 to 48 hours of starting the medication (Not 6-7 days) if this was an allergic reaction. He said he felt that I possibly had a virus like "Fifths Disease" due to the "Red Rash" and that I should not be concerned. I inquired about whether I should stay away from Sulfa Drugs in the future and he said he felt my symptoms were not related

I started doing some research on the internet this evening and now realize after reading your site for almost 2 hours that there are sooo.... many people who have experienced the same or similar symptoms, and many were several days in their treatment if not at the end of their medication as I was. I was beginning to feel as if I was going crazy, but am now totally convinced that this IS a true drug reaction. I will never take another Sulfa based drug and I really feel more research needs to be done about this. I would love to know how long this unbearable itching will continue. I have never been so uncomfortable in my life!! Your site is a God Send!

Thank You,

Denise, Columbia, SC.

BACTRIM: 27 September 2007

Hi Brian&I wish I had read your website about Bactrim before I took the one and only pill I will ever take. I was prescribed 60 tablets to take twice a day for a minor skin rash on my ankle. I took one last night and had another in my pocket to take at work today. For some reason I didn t take it and it s a good thing because my chest was aching fiercely, breaths are shallow, and my back bone is aching in the lower to mid section. I left work early and came home sick. I initially suspected contact with my wife who is a nurse at a children s hospital had given me a bug. But as the day went on I felt more certain it was a reaction to the Bactrim pill. Thank god I read your website as now at least I know the enemy. If I had taken the whole month s supply I am sure it would have killed me.

My wife was a victim of statins four years ago when she was prescribed Lipitor and after only two pills developed an enormous pain in her leg. So much for the rare side effect they so casually mention in TV commercials! She suffered for months from the pain.

I guess I should have done my homework since that time and you can bet I will never take a medication again that I have not seriously researched. Doctors should be ashamed of being such a shill for the drug companies. My doctor also declined to write me a prescription for a headache pill as he said he was afraid of the DEA.

We have come to this&doctors afraid to write legitimate prescriptions and yet willing to prescribe drugs that should be taken off the market. I hope someone sues the drug company responsible for Bactrim and takes them to the cleaners!

Thanks again,

Russell S, Abilene, Texas.

BACTRIM: 28 September 2007

I'm 23 & was prescribed bactrim for a spider bite turned staph infection. At first I only felt a little out of it so I assumed it was a side effect to a new drug in my body. By day 7 today; I am covered in chills, shaking, & now have a purple and red rash all over my forearms. My headache is average but if I turn my eye to the right to look sharply in that diresction it comes with blinding pain. I finally called my doctor and explained what was happening to me. This is all while I am at my office trying to work. They are calling in a new prescription tonight. I have never really been sick before and I have spent the past week thinking I was dying. A few times when my pulse dropped and i couldn't quit shaking I had to call a family member to come to my house to drive me to the hospital. All they told me was I was reacting to the infection. I have never been so fearful of my own body in my whole life

Brandin H.

BACTRIM: 29 September 2007

Dear Brian---I just came across your website. After taking Bactrim for the first time 2 weeks ago for a UTI, I have been seriously ill. By Day 2 of Bactrim, the UTI had cleared up. On Day 7 (my last dose) I developed fevers of 38.3-39.3, night sweats, excruciating pain all over my body, a head to ankle maculopapular rash and bright red face & ears, swollen cervical, inguinal & axillary lymph nodes, dizziness. I was in bed for 5 days and visited urgent care 3 times during that time. All labwork for Lyme, mono, strep & other things came back negative. I am just recovering from what appears to have been a severe drug reaction to Bactrim.

Jodee, Wisconsin.

SMZ/TMP: 2 October 2007

Dear Brian,

I'm a 26 year old young woman living with my mother, because I have seizure problems and I have to take medicine to prevent them. Other than that, I'm perfectly healthy and barely get sick. I went to the doctor Friday to see if he could do anything about my foot infection. He prescribed Smz/Tmp and Doxycycline. Anyway, I was to take it twice a day. However, the side effects started the next day. I would get up early around 4:50 am and get stomach cramps, extremely dizzy, and I was put off of on one of the medications.

Though, I had to keep using Smz/Tmp and I discontinued us until I got better, and I felt sick again last night when I took it. It worried both my mother and my younger sister, too. My mother was afraid that it would get worse, so she told my sister to flush the pills down the toilet. Then, she told us that her dad (our grandfather) was prescribed some pills for something. She told us that he got very ill from them and died when I was a baby or a little child. She didn't know if it was Smz/Tmp or not, but it pretty much sounds like it was. I stopped taking it, but I still felt a little sick when I was trying to sleep last night and I feel a little bit like crap right now, too.


Susan T.

BACTRIM: 4 October 2007

Hi, My name is Wendy and I am here in Orlando, Florida. I am normally a very healthy person and was prescribed Bactrim for a UTI. The doctor asked if I was allergic to Sulfa based medications, and I did not recall ever taking any since I am rarely ill, just things like Amoxilcillin or Z-Pac for the occasional sinus infection. So, I said, "No," and that I have never been allergic to any medications. I took the tablet at 4pm and within minutes felt like tiny insects were biting me all over my body. In the back of my mind I thought I was just feeling the antibiotic killing the germs, but within an hour I started to feel a headache coming on and the prickling feeling magnified. I was at my daughter's gymnastics practice and asked around for some Benadryl in case I was having an allergic response and there wasn't any around so I figured I would just pick some up on my way home. Very soon after, I started feeling very ill very quickly, sweating, chills, severe headache (on the meningitis level), swollen lips, swollen throat, restricted breathing, flu-like aches and pains, and I was losing ground very fast. Someone rushed out and got a bottle of liquid Benadryl and another parent who is a doctor told me to take a double dose for the next few days with lots of water. Within a half hour of the Benadryl, I could feel my breathing improving. When I got home, my fever was 102 and I felt terrible pains in my legs. I took Ibuprofen for the fever, headache, and body pains. I had no appetite whatsoever. But, it was four days later that I actually started feeling better. I am so grateful that I was surrounded by people who sprung into action to help me. If I was home alone and had taken this at night, I know the outcome would have been fatal because while this came on, I was not even able to call out to someone sitting six feet away from me. If it hadn't been for someone glancing over my way, I am not sure if I would be here today. Even though this was six days ago. I still am having mild headaches, lethargy, depression, and the swelling in my lips are still subsiding. THIS WAS ONLY AFTER ONE TABLET!!!!

You must be monitored by a family member (or friend) when taking this medication. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN UNATTENDED IF THEY ARE TAKING THIS!!! But in my opinion, I would consider it poison and never allow a friend or family member to take it.

Thank you for your website, I hope it can save many lives. Bless you!

Wendy C, Orlando, FL.

BACTRIM: 13 October 2007

My 20 year old daughter has been sick for 2 months. All started with what looked like an insect bite on her arm. It developed a circular red rash around it that was warm and swollen. She went to ER, diagnosed with cellulitus, MRSA, (no culture was done). Put on Bactrim. Rash did improve, but within a week started feeling ill. Progressively worsened, hot/cold flashes, mild fever, insomnia, cough, tingling and numbness in extremeties, intense pain(back, hips, legs, knees, hands). She went back to ER, different hospital) lots of blood tests. They told her she could be having a reaction to Bactrim. By this time she only had 2 doses left, but they didn't tell her not to take them, so she finished prescription. Symptoms not improving, went to new doctor, put on Prednisone and Benedryl. Began to improve slightly. Now, 2 months later she still has random shooting pain, cough, fatigue, joint pain in hands and feet, diarrhea. She tested neg for Lyme, including Western Blot. Sed rate slightly elevated. CBC showed a couple numbers low, one high. Does this sound like a reaction to Bactrim? How long does it take to recover? Is there anything she can do to assist recovery?

Karen L.


BACTRIM: 14 October 2007

Dear Brian,

I was given SMZTMP DS tab 800-160# for an infection I had in my foot . I had surgery and after IV's was sent home with this prescription. I took it for 8 days and my foot and leg began to swell and was hot and red to the knee. I had chills and fever which I thought was from a flu shot.

After discontinued use of the meds for 24 hrs I still have the swelling and redness. I donot have the nausa feeling anymore but just feel gross.

Nancy, TN.

BACTRIM: 23 October 2007

Hello Brian,

I came across your website researching Bactrim allergies. I also had many of the symptoms described in many of the email letters you received. It has been over a month since my initial allergic reaction and my health still has not returned to normal. The most debilitating issue I have is extreme fatigue compounded with muscle pain in my arms and legs. The feeling is much like the body aches that you get with the flu, but it persists day after day. Like many others, I have seen several doctors and had a battery of tests run for various things, all of which have revealed nothing. Searching the internet, I've come across quite a few websites that talk about the side effects, but I have not found anything that mentions what can be done to aid recovery. I was wondering if you have come across information on anything that can help with recovery?

Thank you,

Glenna M, Seattle, Washington.

SMZ/TMP: 23 October 2007

MY husband is 42 yrs. Old and had a bad spell last nite! He had an allergic reaction to what we think is the SMZ/TMP drug that he has been taking for what the doc. Said is rosasia. He broke out with like mosquito bites all over and I mean all over even in his mouth and his eyes even swelled up and turned red some spots were white in the middle but like welts and red all around and in the groin area, under his arms and on his feet they became large enough to connect and make what looked like a large red welts and he begin Yawning a lot.

He doesn't take the sulfa unless he feels he is breaking out but the last time he took one he had a reaction too but not as bad so we didn't think much of it at that time or even thought of the sulfa drug being the cause because he had taking them B/4 but, last nite was really bad! He should have went to the ER but he decided to try taking benadryl so I ran and got some quick as I could and with in an hr. He was getting better. I think he has been allergic to sulfur all along and it hasn't been rosasia. I looked on line and it said that there is a lot of foods that have preservatives containing the same type of thing. Also he had the bad reaction a couple of years ago but didn't break out just felt very ill and he kept saying that he had to pee and when he did he felt a little better. That night we were lighting off fire works and we had to take him to the ER and they gave him benadryl but they didn't know what caused the reaction. Makes sense now! He had went to a dermatologist for what he thought was and complexion problem and that's when they prescribed the sulfa drug. Could it be that he has been eating something that could cause continuous breakouts. Some of the spots he gets are on his back and are quite large like boils and when he had this reaction last nite they doubled in size and now this am they have went down but are still there and he still doesn't feel very well. When he had the reaction the last time he took the sulfa drug these same spots filled up and we totally gone the next day. But the spots that fill up like boils are always in the same spot (Upper back and under his right arm.) and the other areas break out like I stated above. I am just really concerned that this maybe doing something to his internal organs! Is this possible?

His mother has been diagnosed with lupus and degenerative cartilage disease and he has a family history of heart disease, lung cancer, colon cancer and arthritis which he has also been diagnosed with ostio arthritis in his hands. Could any of this be related?

About a year ago I also had to call an ambulance when we were out shopping because he thought he might be having a heart attach. He started shaking and his hands got cold and he felt very excited with the cold sweats and was yawning a lot like he was tired. But there was no breakout. They did a EKG which come out normal and did many tests which all came out normal so they called it a panic attach.

We don't know which way to turn now! It seems like none of the doctors know what is going on. Do you have any ideas that may help us decide what to do next?

Thank you for your time!

Rich & Paula.

BACTRIM: 23 October 2007


thanks for all the info on bactrim,i took this medicine for cellulitis twice a day,after three days of taking this medicine allo f sudden i started stammering that lasted for 20-30 minutes ,then i experienced same thing next day,finally i figured it out that it is a side effect from bactrim so i stopped taking it ,total i took 9 doses of this medicine and still after 5 days i have dry mouth, poor appetite, stammering ,soar tongue and lips,vaginitis.



SULFATRIM DS: 1 November 2007


A week ago, I was prescribed sulfatrim DS for a mild prostate infection. The symptoms I've had since have included weakness and stomachache, but most importantly, horrible insomnia. Every night, I am able to sleep for a couple hours before I wake up and can't sleep any more at all. It's been maddening, as I've never dealt with insomnia before in my life. It took me a few days to realize that it might be connected to this drug- it's happened literally every night since I was prescribed it. The doctor didn't warn me about any side effects other than a possible skin rash. Thank you for your website.

The over-prescription of potentially dangerous drugs is a real problem in the U.S.- I'm pretty upset with my doctor, and will see about getting off this antibiotic early. Frankly, at this point it's clear that the prostate infection was much easier to deal with than the antibiotic itself.

Kumar P, Hopland, CA.

BACTRIM: 2 November 2007

Hello -

I too had a staph infection and went to the local urgent care where they prescribed Bactrim. On day 8 of the antibiotic, I awoke with a ringing in my ear and reduced hearing. I noticed that I couldn't hear mid-tone and bass sounds. When I play the piano the high notes make my right ear throb. My left ear seems to be OK.

I immediately stopped Bactrim but now I've been off it for 24 hours and my ear has not returned to normal. I'm very concerned that I have sustained a permanent hearing loss for treatment of an infection.

David G.

BACTRIM: 8 November 2007

So glad to have found your web site. Here is my tail of bactrim woe. About a year ago in late October 2006 I had a uti and was prescribed bactrim, I had taken this drug before with no adverse side affects so I didn't think twice about taking it again. About a week into the treatment I noticed that my eyes were red and irritated, since I wear contact lenses I figured that it was over use so I went to my eye Dr. who prescribes drops, I believe it was lotomax. About two days later I broke out in a rash all over my arms and torso as well as having sand paper tongue and very sensitive gums along with the bloodshot eyes.. I figured it was the eye drops causing this reaction. I went back to my general practitioner and she concluded that it was most likely a bactrim reaction--sent me to a eye surgeon to see if I has developed Stevens Johnson's disease. I was told that I did not have this ailment. But--it is now a year later I still have blood shot eyes nothing has seemed to cure them I have been to 3 different eye doctors and they have pretty much ruled out any specific eye issues cornea and retina perfect no dry eye no glaucoma etc. The only thing that makes any sense to me is that my eyes were clear and white until I started take bactrim. I am very frustrated I can no longer wear contacts and nothing will alleviate the redness except visine and that has it's own set of adverse reactions. I am wondering about an allergy to sulphur in foods that now affects me. Does that make any sense? I am pretty much at my wits end. All I know is that bactrim cured the uti but continues to leave a nasty trail of long term side affects in its wake.

BACTRIM: 11 November 2007

I started staking that drug ( Bactrim/Septra) due to a sinus infection. I went to the doctor a week after starting to take it because I was feeling a soreness in my left side and I was throwing up everything. They thought I had a ulcer, but then my doctor said it was just probably an acid reflux problem. It has know been two weeks and I'm still throwing up, and my cough seems to be a "choking" cough. I really hope that I get something it help, because everytime I lie down my ribs hurt so bad, so I have to basic stand up or sit up for my ribs to not hurt. Also as a college student I don't have the money to keep going back to the doctor. I really hope something happens soon, because this pain is terrible. Thanks for the site, I'll pass it along.

Ash W.

SULFATRIM DS: 25 November 2007

I was prescribed this medicine to treat a urine infection. The medicine was supposed to last for 5 days, 2 doses everyday. I took three pills, 1 and ½ day of the prescribed medicine and I had a horrible reaction. I had joints pain and body aches, could not put on or take off a sweater because of the pain of moving and raising my arms. I could barely stand after sitting because of the pain in my knees. After this horrible situation I started to think and realised it all started when I started my medication. I did not take last night dose or this morning s dose and my body is starting to recover. I am able to brush my teeth and get dressed with a tolerable level of pain and the situation is improving. I would like to know how is this medicine marketed and who allowed it to be on the market. It is horrible.

Fayza, Montreal.


Dear Brian:

I came across your website after 2 days of taking the generic form of Bactrim. I was prescribed this medication for a UTI. I have not had this condition before, so I had no idea what would be prescribed. The doctor prescribed the medication without even seeing me nor warning me of the side effects: he simply called the prescription into the pharmacy. After 1 day of taking the medication I had sever neckpains and a terrible headach. I woke up the following moring with severe joint pain in my hands--particularly my knuckles--and my wrists. Additionally, I felt achy and generally exhausted and week. I didn't realize this was connected to the medication. By the second day, I couldn't write, hold a glass or do anything else with my hands because the pain was so severe. Also, all other joints in my body began to ache severely. A mild rash appeared on my hands. At this point I read the fine print on my pharmacy reciept instructing anyone experiencing the above describe side effects to seek immediate medical attention. Because it was a Sunday, I called the pharmasist and she had the prescribing doctor paged. When I spoke to the doctor, he said, "That's funny. Joint and muscle pain are not a listed side effect. IF the pain is related, then it should go away after stopping the medication." When I told the doctor that the pharmasist said these were serious side effects and that they were described in the fine print, he said, "Pharmacies list random side effects." What bothers me most about this experience is the complete lack of knowledge of these side effect by the prescribing doctor coupled with his dismissive attitude when I spoke to him.

Rachel M.

BACTRIM: 25 November 2007

A little over a week ago, I was prescribed Bactrim DS 800/160 for a drug-resistant finger infection. The doctor initially told me to take the Bactrim one pill at a time, twice a day, along with Doxycycline. I returned to the doctor just a couple days later with intense pain and swelling in my finger. He concluded that this dosage wasn't doing the job, so he had me double up on the Bactrim. Now, I'm a fairly small girl, and from what I understand now, the 800/160 mg is already an extra-strength pill... was this really necessary?

Just a couple days later, my infection was completely dried up and healing nicely... but because I had about 10 more days left with my medication, I continued taking everything as I was instructed. It was around this time I began experiencing muscle pains, throwing up, and running a 101 degree fever. I called my doctor's office back a day or so later, and they told me that if it progressed, I needed to come back in. This was on my 19th birthday, and the next day would be Thanksgiving. I decided to wait and see how I was feeling. On Thursday and Friday, my symptoms had lessened, and I began to think that maybe my body was finally getting used to the Bactrim. But when I woke up Saturday morning, everything came back, and I was covered in a slightly-itchy, splotchy, red rash. I went straight to the doctor. This time, I saw a different doctor, and he immediately told me it was an allergic reaction, but that becuase my finger was healed, I could discontinue my medications.

It's only been a day now since I've discontinued, and my rash is now worse... but thanks to the people that I have written in to your website, I have found several very similar stories, and I'm confident I'll recover. When I went back to the doctor yesterday, I was not 100% sure it was a reaction to the Bactrim, and a small part of me feared it was some completely unrelated ailment. So thank you, Brian, for allowing victims to share their experiences!

Take care

Sarah B.

BACTRIM: 28 November 2007

I found your site while searching for information on Bactrim. Last year I was prescribed Bactrim for a staph infection. Within a day of taking it i developed terrible itching, mainly in the vaginal area. I immediately went to my O.B. who prescribed cream for that area. The itching continued. I went back and he again gave me another cream and couldnt explain the terrible, overwhelming itching and it was spreading.

Over the last year i have become so sensitive to things like hair, fur, etc that i cant even kiss my husband without getting a hive. It has taken me almost a year to associate it but I believe some kind of permanent damage was done to my histamine levels and only hope that eventually it will subside.

I can only recommend that people avoid this drug at all costs!

Thank you

Heather H.

SEPTRA DS: 28 November 2007

In 1979, when I was about 32, an ER doctor prescribed double strength, double dose Septra for a UTI accompanied by bleeding. After 3-4 days I was bedridden, had hives, loss of appetite, nausea, chills, diarrhea, my tongue was red and swollen and felt like it was covered with fur, and I had severe generalized weakness and joint pain. I recovered after the Septra DS was stopped and I was placed on Valosef. One year later I was diagnosed with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (which I have read sometimes presents after a large dose of antibiotics). Interesting to read, years later, all these stories about the drug.

Janice F, Grand Island, NY.

BACTRIM DS: 30 November 2007

I am a health professional and was prescribed Bactim DS 7 days ago for a strange skin infection in one ear. The infection spread to my other ear after 2 days of the Bactrim DS and my fever increased. By day #3, I started having menstrual bleeding, even though my last period had ended only 2 weeks ago (i.e., I was bleeding again 2 weeks earlier than I should be, had it been a normal cycle). I told my doctor this on day #4, but he told me to continue taking the medication. I've now been on the Bactrim DS for 7 days, and my bleeding has gotten progressively worse/heavier every day as the week went on. I'm having menstrual-type cramping, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and a lot of bleeding. I am waiting for my doctor to call me back right now, but I've already decided that I will NOT be completing the rest of this prescription (originally prescribed a 10-day regimen). I only hope the bleeding stops this weekend. If not, I'll be going to an Urgent Care center.

Amy K.

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