SMZ-TMP - Septra - Sulfatrim - Bactrim: mail to this site on side-effects (29)

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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  BACTRIM: 4 December 2007

In February 2007 my 6 year old son took Bactrim for an ear infection. When I told the ENT doctor that I was allergic to Sulfa and was worried my son would be, he said that he probably wouldn't and most people don't experience a reaction to it unless they take it more than the 10 days prescribed. On day nine I noticed a small rash on his neck and then upon further investigation noticed it on his trunk. Called my pediatrician (not the ENT) - the nurse said to keep taking the medicine (which I did NOT give to him again) and try Benedryl and if it gets worse call back. The next morning he was covered in red splotches- his face was covered and his trunk (see attached photo).

I took him in and the doctor said it was the worst case she'd seen. She had to give him a weeks course of steroids to clear it up.

My reaction was in adulthood before I had my son and overnight I developed a swollen throat and dramatically swollen lips and an instant vaginal yeast infection. After reading on this site back in February and recently hearing of a horrible case in my hometown I will NEVER let anyone in my family take this drug. Doctors should be made to warn people of the allergic side effects to this before prescribing it since it has happened to this many people. Thanks for your site!

Sherry, Atlanta, GA

BACTRIM: 6 December 2007


I was recently prescribed Bactrim because I had contracted MRSA, methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus. I began taking it on November 25, 2007. Within a day, my staph infection had markedly improved. I was happy that the drug was working. I did, however, notice some side effects which I attributed to stress. I was having hot and cold flashes and becoming dizzy and lightheaded. By the end of the week, I noticed that my upper body had begun to swell and my face was very puffy. I was in the midst of preparing for my daughter s wedding, which took place on December 1st.

By November 30th, my face was flushed and I had a rash developing. I began having strange muscular twitches and jerking. I wrote this off to stress as well. The day of the wedding my upper body was so bloated, it felt like I was trying to fit Dolly Parton s breasts into my bra. The straps were cutting into my shoulders, I was miserable and wondering what on earth was going on. I had a couple experiences that were similar to panic attacks that day as if my body was panicking, without my mind being involved. The day after the wedding, December 2, I was worse. I could not sleep and kept feeling cold. That night, I began to itch. Pictures from the wedding show that my face was so red and puffy, I didn t even resemble myself.

December 3rd I awoke covered in hives. I went to the emergency room and was given Benadryl and Prednisone. After a few hours I was sent home. The next day, December 4, I was back the hives had intensified, were extremely red and angry and covered me from head to toe with my lips and face frighteningly bloated and swollen. I was immediately hooked up to an IV and given Medrol, Tagamet and more Benadryl. I was a nervous wreck when I arrived with blood pressure of 141/99, before I was hooked up to any meds my blood pressure suddenly plummeted to 102/60. At that point was when they added the Tagamet to the IV.

Nothing they gave me would stop the itching. I cannot take Vistaril, so there were no other options. After five hours and blood pressure stabilized, I was sent home. I was told it could take any where from 2 days to 2 weeks for my body to stop reacting to the Bactrim.

Today is the 4th day on steroids and antihistamines. I am a little less puffy and the itching is gone. I have no appetite and still feel very odd.

Glynis P.



I am a 41 year old, HIV+ but otherwise healthy male who recently sought ER treatment for a rather large, rapidly developing abscess on my left buttocks. The abscess was incised and drained and I was prescribed

sulfamethoxazole/tmp ds at a dose of 1 tablet twice a day for 10 days. When I returned to the ER for wound follow-up and packing/dressing changing, I was informed that the culture taken during my initial visit to the ER came back positive for CA-MRSA sensitive </= 10. I was instructed to continue my sulfamethoxazole/tmp ds and was also told I could remove the packing in two days. I am now in my 5th day of the antimicrobial regimen of sulfamethoxazole/tmp ds and the infection is responding well with little

evidence of puss in the drainage and a shrinking are of cellulitis around the abscess. I have had no noticeable side-effects from the sulfamethoxazole/tmp ds and I thought it was important to share my positive experience with the medication. Now you may choose not to include this email with the many complaints you receive as it does not readily support a sense of sensationalism that is apparent in the emails you do list. I think if you do not reflect an accurate accounting of the many people who benefit from treatment with sulfamethoxazole/tmp ds without any negative side-effects would be irresponsible journalism, though to report both the negative and positive stories might not sell as many newspapers or attract the same number of Web hits to your Website.


John D, Bronx, NY

BACTRIM: 12 December 2007

I was recently given Bactrim for Sinusitis on 12/05/07, which is when I began taking Bactrim, 2X's per day for 10 days. Well I stopped taking it yesterday morning because two days into taking this medicine, all of my viral/sinus symptoms were more than exacerbated: they were 10 fold and then some. I began having body aches on Friday 11/7 through Tuesday 11/11. I still have some body ackes today but much less.

My sinusitis turned into: constant frontal sinus pain; extreme post nasal drip; congestion; tiredness; extreme stomach pain; constant sneezing; some blurred vision; nausea; middle and lower back aches; and extreme sharp shooting pain on the top left side of my head, which have just subsided today.

For the next couple of weeks I will be eating mostly soups, detoxing teas and avoiding dairy and wheat/gluten to cleanse my body entirely. I feel so toxic right now.

The week before they gave me the Bactrim, I was taking the Z-Pack and that did help but it left muscous blockage in my front sinus causing extreme pressure in my head, to the point of interefering with driving.


Sherry P.

BACTRIM: 3 January 2008

Hi Brian:

I took one double dose of Bactrim in late September 2007 and still experience shortness of breath, insomnia, chest pain and angina over 3 months later. I was prescribed Bactrim by a doc in the box (an express clinic doctor) for a minor skin infection (not MHRSA). Weeks later I found out the prescribing of this drug is become quite popular with well-meaning (albeit ill-informed) physicians in America who consider it a benefit in treating MRSHA victims. I only took one pill, yet I still suffer to this day with persistent angina and fatigue. I am sure the drug did some internal damage and it may never clear up. I am 54 years old, and was in great health before this . I immediately suspected the drug was causing my heart and chest problems along with the dreaded flu-like symptoms which forced me home from work with twelve hours after I took the drug (like many others I felt I was having a heart attack). I am usually very cautious about medications, but wish I had researched it first before injuring myself. I should have been more alert especially since my wife had the rare nerve leg pain caused by Lipitor several years ago which led her down a futile chase to determine if she had a blood clot. Three statin pills did her in, but it only took one Bactrim to wipe me out. I can only shudder to think of people who took hundreds or thousands of these pills. No doubt countless people have died as a result of this horrible drug and millions more permanently damaged. I especially feel bad for the young victims who were injured and killed by this drug.

The Bactrim fiasco makes you wonder about the fragility of the human race, but nothing much surprises me anymore as greed and power supersedes common sense.

After all, in 1902 Thomas Edison electrocuted Topsy the elephant while trying to promote the superiority of his DC over Tesla and Westinghouse s AC. And again in 1962 a young UCLA doctor (ok&a shrink) killed a zoo elephant named Tusko with a massive overdose of LSD. Small wonder modern scientists came up with Bactrim!

Thanks for your support,

Russell S, Texas

BACTRIM: 4 January 2008

Over the holidays, I developed a sinus infection. The doctor prescribed Bactrim, a "sulpha" antibiotic. I know all drugs have side effects, some serious, but I had no idea of Bactrim's bad history so I took the prescripton. My infection seemed to go away, yet I developed some really weird problems with forgetfulness and fatigue I attributed to being ill or stressed out or depressed. I thought it must have been a really serious infection to have affected me this way. Sure enough, the infection seemed to reappear about a week or two later, a different doctor prescribed a longer course of the same drug.

After I started taking the meds, I became extremely tired, which I attributed to the medication. Several days into treatment, I became even more tired and slept for hours and hours on a Sunday afternoon. That evening I had extreme nauseau and the worst headache I've ever had. Nothing seemed to relieve it. I threw up several times. I felt really wierd, like I had food poisoning or that awful feeling one has when one has had too much to drink (poisoning, too). A terrible uncomfortable rash developed, and my lymph glands were swollen. It was really wierd. My temp seemed to go up and down, but I didn't have a temp. It was like my system was fighting something off. I couldn't keep down liquids.

Scared, I called the local pharmacy just to check if I was having a bad drug interaction, maybe the new sinus medication was bothering me. After hearing my symptoms, the pharmacist told me to immediately stop taking the Bactrim, that many people including herself, have had these symptoms. I stopped taking it and within several hours actually felt as though I "turned the corner" i.e. started winning against whatever it was I was fighting rather than just struggling with it. It was a noticeable change, but still it took me several days to recover.

While it was leaving my system, I still couldn't concentrate to read, and ended up laying in bed for two days, really out of it. Thank God, my child was at her dad's house. Each day, though, I felt markedly better. I'm still having trouble with the rash, but I don't think the stuff is out of my system yet. I decided to go to my doctor, to make sure this is documented in case there are any other side effects down the road.

Susan B.

BACTRIM: 5 January 2008

I had very good luck with this product and feel you have shown only one side of an issue- side effects stop the drug! That would be the case with any drug I take- sometimes we have no choice as we need to trust our doctors and look at scare tactic people like yourself and ask our doctor what his feelings are on a drug- there are more good things to say about this product than bad- however the bad gets the most attention- scare writing-

Ron S.

BACTRIM: 11 January 2008

Mr. Deer,

I had what was presumed Bronchitis and was given a 20 regimen of generic Bactrim DS. The first few days went by without a problem, and then all the sudden I started having symptoms just like one of your readers posted from Eureka California! That is, fever, fatigue, lower back pain and a body covering rash. My fever would always go away in the morning and return shortly after I took the Bactrim. At first I didn't think much of it since I was told by my pharmacist that there were no side effects besides dehydration (and boy was I dehydrated). I soon caught on and stopped taking the pills. That same day I noticed a red splotchy rash that covered my entire body.

So I did what any informed self diagnosing person does and went and looked on the Internet for solutions. To my surprise, there are many people who have had very similar reactions. It seems to me that the medical field is becoming to complacent with prescribing drugs and not properly informing their consumers. I am very angry and the pharmacy and will write them a letter. Just wanted to share my experience and urge caution to others when taking this drug, since my cause could be considered mild compared to some.

Brian P, Tucson, AZ

BACTRIM: 17 January 2008

Hello, and thank you for publishing this information - a great service to consumers.

I found this while my husband was upstairs violently throwing up at 3 in the am after complaining about headaches, neckaches and intestinal troubles all day. He is on day 19 of a 30 day dose of Bactrim for a prostate infection. He's never been sicker. He wouldn't here of the emergency room....two months ago I had a slight UTI and was put on Bactrim, 10 days into it I ended up in the emergency room with hives that covered my entire body, including face, eyes, and it was beginning to climb into my mouth. I've never had allergies before. Was put on prednisone and hydrocortisone shots.

I promptly pitched the remaining dose of my husband's bactrim, will call the doc today. The stuff needs to be removed from the market or at least patients need to be warned to be watchful for any symptoms. I'm telling the doc about this site and recommending he's more careful with distribution.

Thank you!!!

Kreg M.

SMZ-TMP DS: 19 January 2008

Dear Brian,

I am a 19 year old female who started taking this medication today (I am a vegetarian who only eats organic food and works out daily). It was given to me because I developed a boil on my inner thigh and I was told that if not treated a staph infection could arise from the boil. The first pill seemed fine and I even felt a little bit better after taking it.I drank as much water as I could ingest without self harm. But it was the second pill that sent up red flags. I did get dizzy and nauseas like it said would happen but I also got very jittery and anxious . I couldn't stop moving and I would catch myself sctratching my skin or attempting to grind my teeth over and over. Then I noticed intense pain in my hips and in my knees. After the pain I started to shake uncontrollably and I as though I was in a refrigerator even though my house was almost 80 degrees. I also started to feel intense stomach cramps. My mother said it could just be from me having my period, but I know my body all to well to ignore what was happening. I took the second pill at 8:30 p.m. and it is now almost 12. I am very tired but cannot seem to fall asleep, I suppose it is the insomnia setting in. I'm sure I'll wait the night out to see what else happens. All my life I have been on antibiotics some of the strongest one's ever made, but nothing I have ever taken has been as intense as these pills. I hope people research and read before they just take what their doctor gives them because it might be the one thing that will save them from the experience that every person on this website had to go through.

One thing I found extremely interesting is that when I received my medication it did not come with its' usual list of Side effects or allergic reactions.

C.A. Oceanside, CA

SMZ/TMP DS: 20 January 2008

Well, I too have been taking this medication for about a month now. I am prescribed this because I was diagnosed with Hydradenitis Supprativa. A condition that's pretty odd and incurable. My doctor said that there's not any real medicine that will actually help, but Bactrim might keep it stable. I never take med's ever until this and finding out that I have to take Bactrim for the rest of my life worries me. I started noticing that I have been really itchy and my legs and buttocks have a rash that is present every so often. I'm not sure what I should do at this point. I think I may need to find another doctor, because when I told the doctor about the rash like symptoms she stated that it's probably from the soap or laundry detergent I use!! I thought well I do change soaps often, maybe thats it even though I have not encountered this before. Never did she mention that it could be from the medicine. I wish I would've looked at your site before I went in but now I know that I am not crazy and it s not from my soap.

Melissa Z.

BACTRIM: 21 January 2008

My dermatologist has had me on bactrin for 10years now, for acne. He recently took me off it. a couple weeks after being off it, my tongue turned completely white and was swelling up and hurting..its 3 months later since ive been off the bactrin and my tongue has gotten worse! its entirely white going down the back of my throat and its swelled and hurting! i told my dermatologist this and hes referring me to a specialist in philadelphia, im in scranton and have no car and cant afford a bus..hes being completely disregarding of me as his patient of 10yrs and saying theres no more he can do....


BACTRIM: 24 January 2008

My daughter began on Bactrim for MRSA along with another anti-biotic, several days into the regimen she started itching, she had a red rash and was stiff in her back and such. She quit the one anti-biotic because it was started the latest, but it took a few days before she had relief from the rash and itching. She recently began to take Bactrim for a sinus infection and within just a few hours her face was blood red, very hot to touch, she developed a rash from head to waist, her lips began to swell and her nose began to swell, by less than an hour later her whole face was swollen. I called the pharmacist and they recommended Benadryl and said if her tongue began to swell or she had trouble breathing to go to the emergency room for IV Benadryl. I am wondering if she is allergic to Bactrim, would she be allergic to all Sulfa drugs? If you know I'd like to know so she can make sure to list that in her medical history. Thank you for posting this sight.

Concerned mom in WV

BACTRIM DS: 24 January 2008

On the 18th of Jan. 2008 I was prescribed Bactrim DS. I took one pill at prior to going to going to bed. I awoke at 6 a.m. with the worst itch on penis, the head and shaft had a red burning rash on it. I was terrified. I looked online and found your site, which had many prior accounts similar to mine and I immediately stopped the drug. I still have a little burning on the skin today. This drug is horrid. Please to anyone out there DO NOT TAKE THIS DRUG . I cannot believe that only one pill could do that. Thank you again Brian for the site and the information.

Jeff R, Michigan


I cannot thank you enough for your information on this drug!!! I was prescribed sulfameth/trimethoprim for a UTI, I came down with side effects that were not listed on the paperwork. I talked with the pharmacist and my doctor, both told me it was not from the medicine. What I experienced was such severe cramps and pain in the back of my legs that I could not even sit down. The day after I quit taking them,(after reading your site) The symptoms dissappeared. I don't know if the doctors in the U.S. are in denial, but I am printing some of your letters out and bringing them to my M.D. today!! I am mad as heck.

Amy P

SMZ/TMP 800-160: 1 February 2008

hi my name is tony and i have been taking smz/tmp ds 800-160 for over a week which my doctor gave me for a uti.i have been taking it 2 times a day and i feel even worse now then i first started.i have headaces and back pain i also have real bad stomach pains and i also feel so weak all the time. i have 4 pills left and i am not going to take them anymore.and for the person the said that his doctor did not him what the side affects would be i agree with him .because my doctor did not tell me thanks tony from east boston mass

SEPTRA: 3 February 2008


I have been having severe problems since I have been on Septra. I was just looking around some sites and ran across this one. I was treated for a UTI with Septra. Well, I have been on it 3 days and now my mouth and throat are swollen, I can't even drink water without being in pain.My speech is impaired by my swollen , welted up tongue. I wasn't aware of any allergies before, but I assume I am allergic to this drug. I am just in a lot of pain and discomfort and would like to know if there is anything I could do about it...It is Sunday, so tomorrow I am going to a doctor, but seriously, why do they still give this drug out if there are so many side effects? I am absolutely miserable!!

APO SULFATRIM DS: 8 February 2008

I started taking this pill for bladder infection which I started on Wednesday, today is Friday, 2 days ago, twice during the day. I was shaking like a leaf the second day, couldn't understand what that was, last night I was in the bathroom every hour since 2 the morning with diahrea, (running water) all night and I'm so weak and my stomach feels like it's going to explode, my ass, is burning like crazy and terrified to go to

the bathroom, I call the Wabano center and they said they can't a thing about it, I am not going to take the last pill tonight as I don't feel like being in the bathroom all night.


BACTRIM: 12 February 2008


I took my 80 yr old mother to the emergency room on Wed 2/6/08, she had very severe abdominal pain, and was bleeding heavily in the urine. The doctors diagnosed her with a elevated UTI infection. She was give Levaquin intraveneously, and sent home to take Bactrim and Pyridium.

Well she started the Bactrim the next day, and I notice her mouth getting slightly swollen, but we didnt pay too much attention to that, by Saturday morning her mouth was swollen, and burning... I called the pharmacist who in turn advised me t o call the emergency room and find out, ... I was instructed to take her back to the emergency room, and I did, the doctor changed her antibiotic to Myopid...and said that if her throat or tongue gets swollen to bring her right back.

Well, her mouth is in a terrible burning pain, where she cant even sip water ...thats how much it hurts...

Sylvia D.

BACTRIM: 22 February 2008

Dear Brian, this week I had an intestinal infection, lots of diarrhea, vomiting and cramps, I went to the hospital, (one of the best hospitals in Quito) and after hydrating me they prescribed Bactrim Forte. The second day I took it I felt like I was dying. My legs were trembling, my head was like allusinating, my lips were trembling, I felt like I wanted to cry and I thought I was going to faint. I checked with a doctor at the university where i work and he checked the side effects and he said, yes, this medicine causes headache and fatigue.

I have been in bed all day. Before taking bactrim forte I was walking around fine. Now I am extremely week. After reading your web site page I have decided to stop taking it.

When I was very young for any infection I had I was always prescribed bactrim forte, with similar side effects. Now I am 52 years old and will not take this medicine. Particularly after reading your web site information. I am glad I was able to find your site when I tried to research what bactrim forte is.

Maria B, Quito, Ecuador

BACTRIM DS: 1 March 2008

Hi i was just reading you page the other day because i wanted to know if bactrim ds could be mixed with alcohol because it didnt say anything on the box. i had aready taken one tablet t 5.30 pm while reading your site and as i was on it my hands started shaking so i got off the computer and lay down where i got worse and i wasweating and hot but freezing cold and had blankets on in 40 degree weather. my boyfirend then came home at 6pm and found me on the floor with a dark purple red face. he rushed me to the after hours doctor where i had a fever of 39 degrees (and i was perfectly normal before) and then took some blood of mine to see if anything else was causing it (wch it wasnt) by then it was 8pm i couldntstandup with outfainting. every time i even sat up my blood pressure went 75 to 95 and i would faint. I was then sent home at 10pm wen they were sure i didnt have meningacocle and gave me paracetamoland clarentine. I was stuill feverish the next day and very swollen and red all over my body so i wen to the doctors who believed it was the bactrium and that i could be allergic to he sulfuir in it. she perscribed me with phenergan (to stop swellng) and and kind of antibiotic i have had before that wouldnt make me sick =) its been two days since then and i am almost btter. still red though =( i hate bactrim ds.

Jess M.

SEPTRA: 8 March 2008

Deer Brian,

I am 15 years old and was prescribed Septra antibiotic exactly one week ago for bronchitis. I had 14 pills and I took them twice a day. After the first day of taking this antibiotic I had a high fever of 104, severe headaches, and no appetite at all. I drank plenty of water because I had all flu related symptoms, vomiting anything I ate or drank even if it was just water. I got about 2 hours of sleep each night. I was very weak. I felt like I was going to die. I missed 6 days of school. By Thursday morning-night was the worst I only had 3 more pills left to take. I had no idea it was the medication that was supposed to be helping me, that was making me feel so awful. Doctors said I probably just had the flu and I should continue taking the rest of the antibiotics. I stayed up all night, coughing, vomiting, shaking with a swollen face, and glands in my neck and head that were also swollen. Friday finally fell asleep at midnight, which I haven’t been able to do all week. But sadly I woke up at 2am and could not fall back asleep because of all the discomfort and pain I was in. So I got up and took my second last pill. ALL of Friday I felt terrible. I came to the conclusion that the doctors were wrong and I was allergic to this ‘medicine’. Later that day after I vomited several times I called my mom at work to take me to the hospital because I was having trouble breathing and couldn’t stop throwing up. I also had red marks all under my eyes. It looked like some kind of rash. My eyes were burning. I went to the hospital and the nurse took my temperature it was 104 and rising. I didn’t feel like I had a fever though. I guess I was just so used to it because I have had one for the past 6 days. She gave me 3 Advil, but my fever still did not go down for another 2 hours. My temperature was then around 103.7. I layed in a hospital bed waiting for the doctor to come check on me. He thoroughly examined me, asked lots of questions, and did a mono test, a chest and sinus xray. He was a much better doctor then the one who proscribed me Septra at the walk-in clinic. The Mono test was negative. The X-rays showed I had no sign at all of infection in either my lungs or sinus. He came to the conclusion I had a virus, I had the common cold. He said I probably wasn’t allergic to Septra. He said all the symptoms I had could have been a mix of the flu or the common cold. So I went home. I did not take the last pill. Friday Night I broke out into a rash that covers about 90% of my body. Red, Itchy, burning bumps everywhere, they have stopped me from sleeping. I knew this was an allergic reaction to the Septra but the doctors denied it having anything to do with the drug even though both my mom and brother are both severely allergic to this medicine as well. It is now Saturday morning. Is it just coincidence that when I stop taking Septra half of all my symptoms go away? I guess that’s what these doctors think. Brian, I was very scared I was going to die. I have never felt this sick in my life. But what I found most disturbing about this whole experience is that the doctor, who prescribed this medicine for Bronchitis, had no proof I had this disease. He did not do any tests to see if I even had an infection. It was a blind guess by a licensed doctor. It turns out all I had was a cold. How is it that these Doctors can give out such a harmful life-threatening drug? I’m sure for some people the drug has been successful. But the harm this drug does outweighs the good it does by far. I still feel terrible. It is beginning of march break and I cannot leave the house because I’m trying to recover. I will not be going to parties, visiting friends or traveling anywhere. I’m somewhat depressed. This Medicine was extremely harmful to me. I don’t want to think about what it could do to small children or the elderly, or anyone with a weakened immune system. I think this medicine should be taken off the market or at least, controlled and only prescribed if there is actual proof there is an infection. I am so confused as to why the doctors would deny my allergic reaction to this drug. I think they are trying to cover up the fact that this drug doesn’t help people, its harms them, can even kill them. Doctors who prescribe the medicine without sufficient reason should be sued and have there medical license taken away. Doctors should not be giving out drugs to make people more unhealthy then they already are. I would have been better off not going to the Doctor at all.

Thank you for Listening.

Erica H.

BACTRIM: 17 March 2008

I just wanted to add to the list of bad experiences with Bactrim. I had a staph infection and visited my doctor who prescribed Bactrim.

At the time I also had the flu and was running a fever with headache, aching muscles, and a sore throat. Later that day I took my first pill. My fever spiked to 104 degrees and I couldn't get out of bed. This went on for nearly 5 days. My eyes were bloodshot as well.

When the staph infection healed, I stopped taking the drug and felt better within a day or two. I went on vacation for a week and when I came home I found the bottle of remaining Bactrim pills sitting on the counter. Thinking I'd be the good patient I went to finish the container and took one pill before I went to bed.

Within 15 minutes I had broken out in severe hives all over my body. I was itchy and hot. I tried laying in bed but i wasn't able to keep still. I stayed there for about half an hour and got so hot that I had to get up to go splash water on my face. When I got to the bathroom what I saw scared me to death. My entire body was swollen and red. But that wasn't the worst part. The irises of my eyes were blood red, so dark that I looked like I was in a horror movie.

I freaked out and ran a bath of cold water and submerged my whole body in it. I was burning up and was having a hard time seeing anything. I laid there for what seemed like hours before I felt I was able to get up without passing out. I walked to the bedroom and tried to go back to bed.

I slept for a few hours and was still terribly itchy, hot, and sweating profusely. When I woke the next morning I was still extremely red. My eyes weren't as red as they were the night before, but now everything I looked at had a haze surrounding it.

I visited my doctor that same day and she said it had been an allergic reaction and that I should have called 911 immediately. The only reason I hadn't is because took the pills twice a day for a week without that type of reaction. Only afterwards did I realize that the fever I had at first wasn't the flu, but my body reacting to the Bactrim. My doctor told me that allergic reactions to medicine are always worse the second time around.

It took me nearly two weeks to get my vision back to normal and I continued to have itchy rashes throughout that entire time. Things are back to normal now, nearly two months later, but Bactrim taught me a very important lesson. Don't let your Doctor prescribe something to you until you've researched it on your own. One Google of Bactrim would have kept me far away from the drug.

Dane T, Houston, TX

BACTRIM: 22 March 2008


I have been reading on your website and would like to tell you about our experience with Bactrim.

History: One month and one week ago, my mom developed a small red bump on her index finger just above her cuticle. Within the hour it had tripled in size. Her brother is a family practioner, so showed him the bump and he was almost certain it was Staph. So he perscribed Bactrim. She took it for two days and started feeling flu like symptoms, not very sever, such as fever, minor aching, stomach and head ache. On the ninth day of the medication she developed a rash all over her body...severe itching and burning. The next day she went to the ER for severe pains in her abdomen and the bottom of her feet. They gave her a prednisone shot and she went back home and slept for 3 hrs. When she woke up she went back to the ER with the same symptoms except more severe. My uncle finally admitted her into the hospital to do some test and hook her up to an IV. The next 7 days combination of pain "twice as bad as childbirth with no epidural," drugs, no eating, and more tests than we could count. Morphine didn't work so the only thing that made a dent in the severe pain, yet didn't stop it, was 4 hour injections of 2 mg dilauted. After the 7 days of tests we figured out that she was a very health person, there was nothing wrong with her. On the eighth day she was finally able to take the dilauted orally and we came home. After about a week, she switched from dilauted to tylox.

Present: The nights are generally horrible. Pain in feet, hands stomach, calves, knees, and it switches its location every time it surfaces. The pain worsens considerably at night. The pain she describes as burning and also sharp needle like pains. Queesy stomach pretty much continually. Shortness of breath. EXTREME weakness, for example she couldn't even pick up a 12 oz coca cola can without dropping it. Tingling all over, especially when she walks in her feet.

Today is one month and one day after the sign of the bump and we are wondering if this is ever going to get better. It has improved but seems to be at a standstill now. We also want to know if this can lead to any long term damage???? This is the worst thing we have ever seen and it has changed our opinions on medication forever. Please let me know if you have any insight on what we might be going through!!! Can you offer any advice?




SEPTRIN: 2 April 2008

Hi Brian

I was given Septrin in liquid form when I was about 7 (so circa 1981) and remember it vividly. I wasn't a terribly sicky child but I projectile vomited this medication back up almost instantaneously with such a tremendous force that it covered my entire wall (and have never been as violently sick again since then!), so given some of the stories I have stumbled across on your site, I consider myself to be very lucky that my body reacted to it so quickly!

Hope this helps with your research/ campaign.

Claire C.


I wanted to add my experience with this medication. I was given this for the treatment of an ear infection. I started taking it on a Wednesday and by Thursday was feeling very weak, but thought this was due to the infection. My Friday, I was having major panic attacks! They continued through the weekend and I was wanting to die! My heart was racing, I could not eat, I was pacing the floor, I had a burning sensation on my neck, I was cold and shaking, was very weak, my lower back hurt, my eyes hurt, and my balance was way off. When I was finally able to see the doctor again on Monday, I was told to stop taking the medication. I ended up taking 10 doses which was half of the entire mediation. I don't know when I will return to normal. Why don't they tell us all of the adverse reactions to this medication? This should be taken off the market. It is dangerous!!! What can we do to get this medication out of our bodies?

Linda W.

BACTRIM DS 800-160: 12 April 2008

The first time I was prescribed this medication, I experienced high fever accompanied by chills to the point that I couldn't keep my teeth from chattering. I was also shaking uncontrollably and experiencing excruciating pain in all my joints. It felt as if every nerve in my body was sending pain signals to my brain. The pain encompassed my entire body...I felt as if I were dying. My eyes were bloodshot red, my neck and back were stiff and painful. I thought that, along with my UTI, I must have contracted some bug at the doctor's office.

The second time I was prescribed this medication, I experienced all the same symptoms. My husband immediately put two and tow together and I had to agree that it was the only answer. Both of these prescriptions were for UTI, first one in Feb and the second one in Mar of 2008.

My question is this, with all the information available on this medication, why is it still being prescribed by the medical professionals?

Is it really all about the money?

Ali, South Carolina

SEPTRA: 15 April 2008

I have recently had a severe reaction to septra which landed me in the ICU of the Burn Unit of the Medical College of Virginia. My reaction was diognosed as Steven Johnson Syndrome, which developed into TENS.

I was in the ICU for one week before coming home.

Kathy & RIcky S, West Point, VA

BACTRIM: 15 April 2008

I am responding to your website and would like to give you feedback about Bactrim. I was diagnosed with a MRSA staph infection. I was prescribed Bactrim as I am allergic to PCN. My doctor also informed me that Bactrim would be the best antibiotic to utilize because of it's strength...little did I know.

Almost immediately I had severe headaches; didn't think it was the drugs...thought it was a tension headache. I then started getting cold/hot flashes, hives, difficulty breathing and severe back pain. Again, didn't think it was the Bactrim.

On day 8, I forgot to take my medicine and had felt it was a good idea to do some research. When I read about the nasty side-effects and possible allergies one could have, I contacted my doctor.

My doctor was also in denial about my allergy and dismissed me indicating that she felt that my staph infection may have caused SEPSIS (isn't that a relief - not). She told me to resume taking the Bactrim.

My mistake was listening to her as about 1.5 hours after taking the drugs I was rushed to the emergency room because I had severe hives, swollen face, tongue, and lips as well as difficulty breathing. The ER doctor didn't confirm that the Bactrim was making me ill; but he wasn't convinced.

He wound up prescribing me a EPI pen and suggested that I see an allergist under the premise that if I am allergic to PCN and Bactrim that I would be limited on antibiotics that I could take.

I have also been given steroids and a benydryl to reduce swelling and itching. Thankfully I am still alive to tell my tale. Stay away from Bactrim it has proven to be poison to me. What is more alarming is that MD's still are in denial about how toxic this drug is...

Thanks for listening.

Dana M.

BACTRIM: 16 April 2008

Hi, I want to say thanks for you website first. It, among with a few others are what convinced me that I was having an allergic reaction to the Bactrim and made me decide to go to the er.

I was prescribed Bactrim at a Quick-Care facility when a tattoo on my foot got infected. I took two pills on Sat and one on Sun morning. I lost my appetite and was nauseous and couldn't get to sleep and when I did sleep I had horrible nightmares. I also had a nagging headache behind my eyes that wouldn't go away and felt very anxious. I didn't worry too much until these reddish/purple dots appeared first on my foot then moved to the other foot and up both legs and eventually onto my butt and back.

Thats when I started researching and found out about the horrible side effects of this drug. I went to the er and when they did blood tests they found that my platelet count was 5000. Normal ranges are around 140000 to 450000. Platelets are what clots your blood and without them you won't stop bleeding if you are cut and can have spontaneous bleeding (which is what the red dots were). It can be very serious and lead to brain hemmorhage and death if its not treated.

The hospital admitted me and gave me large doses of iv steroids and immunoglobulin. This raised my counts to 19000 and they let me go home as long as I promised to come in every day to get my blood checked and to see my specialist again in two days. This is my second night home and my platelet counts do seem to be rising but I have to be very careful b/c my number are still dangerously low and I can't work or go to college. I am also uninsured so this $4 antibiotic has ended up costing me thousands of dollars and much pain and worry. I've learned my lesson though, research any drug before you take it!! Even after I'd researched it and told the er doc what I thought it was, she rejected the idea b/c "we use bactrim all the time". The specialist figured it out though. This drug should be taken off the market or at least come with some sort of warning in the package!!

Maggie M.

BACTRIM: 16 April 2008

yesterday I went to the doctors office for a bladder infection and he prescribed a medication name bactrim, to be taken for three days, twice a day. I took one pill about 7 pm and by 10 pm I had to be rushed to the hospital. I started feeling dizzy, lightheaded and one side of my face felt completely numb. After running all kinds of tests, cat scans , lab work, etc. The er doctor concludes he could not find anything. I had suspected in the beginning that I was having a terrible allergic reaction to the bactrim, being there wasn't anything wrong with me before I took the medicine. Now the left side of my ear is completely deaf. I have never had any promblems at all with my hearing and I am 54 years old. I am feeling awful strange. I don't know what is wrong with these doctors. They are not doing their homework or something. They are not researching these dangerously, potential fatal drugs they are prescribing for their patients. The er doctor told me to keep taking the medication to clear up my infection and I told him in no uncertain terms would I continue that medicine. I do not know what his problem was but he must of thuoght I was a fool. Normally I research my own medicines before I take them, but last night my internet service was out so I just decided to take the first pill instead and I am sorry now.I am saying all this to let the readers know to be careful with all these medecines these doctors are prescribing for us. It is my sincere belief that they don't give a hoot what happens as long as it do not happen to them.I made up in my mind this is my life and I am going to be the one in control of it.So everybody just be careful.

Geraldine F.

SEPTRA DS: 16 April 2008

Hello Brian,

my name is dale, and i live in nashville tn. in january 2008 i went to the dr. for a sinus infection and was prescribed septra ds and i got the generic drug smz/tmp 800 mg, 2 days later i was covered in hives, i looked like someone droped me on abed of nails.

needless to say that i have had this outbreak before, so i did not take the next dose, the dose was suposed to be at 5:00 pm. was instructed by the dr. that perscribed the septra ds. to take benadryl and do not take no more of the septra ds, smz/tmp 800 mg.

at aprox. 9:00 pm 4 hrs later i was uncontrollably slobbering from the mouth and had a lot of pressure at my esophagus, like a severe case of heartburn. then at 2:00 am jan 31,2008 i was on my way to the emergency room with slight pain under my left arm and some numbness at the top of the left arm, and no strength in the left arm, i suspected a heart attack! at the er at about 2:30 am blood work was back and cardiac enzymes were elevated and i was in fact having a heart attack at the age of 39.

went to operating room and preped for an angeogram with dye shot into the heart while i watched the monitor the heart lit up all black and the surgeon said to me all arteries are CLEAR AND NOT BLOCKED!

i asked what is wrong then and the dr. replied heart is in good shape, and NOTHING IS WRONG. the dr. said i had a heart strain now i have high blood pressure and numbness all over from time to time. the smz/tmp almost killed me.

the medical bills are piling up and with no health insurance the 19,000.00 dr bills will not get paid. i will loose my lawn business and everything i have worked hard for the last 7 years i have owned my own business and will soon loose it because the side affects are getting worse as days pass.

who do i turn to , i will soon be in financial desaster



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