Mail to this site on Bactrim - Septrin - Septra - trimethoprim side effects (31)

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: 23 August 2008

Hi....I came across your web page after doing some search on the internet regarding the side effects of Bactrim. I was prescribed Bactrim with Clindamycin for a dog bite to the hand that was infected. After the first dose of Bactrim, I did not "feel right". I was just discharged from the hospital so I figured I was just warn out from spending my day in the ER. The next evening, after my third dose, I had a headache so intense-it was as if I had consumned too much alcohol- a throbbing pain similar to a "hangover" is as best as I can describe the pain. I awoke during the night and the the next morning in a puddle of persperation that went to chills and then back to the "sweats" for the next 2 days...it was so bad that I had become dehydrated...

I want to my doctor on the 4th day (after taking 7 tablets), as the flu-like symptoms had become so severe...I was taken off Bactrim and put on Doxycycline for the remainder of my treatment. The chills, sweats and headache took almost 4 days to wane. Thank god it stopped. The doctors thought I had a severe blood infection. It was the Bactrim. Thanks for your web site!

C. Bregman

BACTRIM: 29 August 2008

i was given bactrim in june 2008 for blatter infection & I took 10 pills & now it isAug.29th & i'm still having other problems. When i was almost over the pills I got a eye infection. it never dawned on me it was the pills & then I got sores in my mouth & my lips, & then a yeast infection & I'm 74 years old & i'm still trying to get over the yeast infection. I was dizzy & felt faint & depression & low blood sugar & now i have mastitis in my breast. I haven't been well since I took it. Iv'e had one thing after another. I had other health issue before & was staring to get better & now this big set back.

Esther M.

BACTRIM DS: 29 August 2008

I am a 40 year old male and have suffered from acne since I was 12 years old. I have been on every drug imaginable, topical and oral. I have been on Acutane 3 times. Even at my age I have very aggressive, cystic acne. The only thing that keeps it under control is Bactrim DS. I have been taking one pill per day for the past year and have not had the severe life threatening side effects I have just now been made aware of. Interestingly enough I have asked my dermatologist and general practitioner on multiple occasion of there were any concerns to taking Bactrim DS long term. I was always assured that there weren t. However, today my dermatologist did a 180 degree turn and described the horrible side effects that can be caused by the drug resulting in Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis. It appears he has learned something in the past couple of months.

Steve L.

BACTRIM: 30 August 2008


I was just looking at your site. I was in the hospital this past Tuesday due to the Bactrim. I started getting blood blisters all over. I couldn't stop bleeding and by the end of the day I was covered in bruises. I went to the emergency room and they said that I had a dangerously low platelet count of 1,000. The doctor told me I would need a blood transfusion right away.

I have had many health issues, and this was the scariest experience yet.

If Bactrim is causing all these problems, why is it still on the market??

Brittany B.

SMZ/TMP DS 800-160: 3 September 2008

I was prescribed Bactrim for a Bronchitis and after 2 days I started to feel very bad. A horrible headache, chills, palpitations, shorten of breath, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, panic attacks, you name it. I end up at the emergency room where was told I had a very bad reaction to the Sulfa contained in the antibiotic, which by the way is used for urinary infections. I am a very healthy active, jog everyday, yoga 3 times week woman and all that helped me to overcome the damage that antibiotic was doing to my body. In the 54 years of my life I have never felt SO BAD, I thought was going to die. I still remember my husband looking at me and telling me he was going to call 911. I did not eat for 5 days, I could not even hold water in my stomach, I was getting weaker and weaker by the day.

A Pharmacist friend of mine told me that antibiotic is very strong, and the Drs should be very cautions when it comes to prescribe it. One drop of alcohol while taking Sulfa will kill you.

Something that strong and with such side effects should be banned. I will remember this horrible experience for the rest of my life

Georgina Camacho.

SEPTRA: 3 September 2008

I was prescribed Septra DS in 2001 and had reactions similar to those reported in your email. My dermatologist sent me to a specialist at a teaching hospital and even though he knew I was taking Septra, he didn't make the connection. There was nothing that he recommended that did any good and I was sure that I was going to die because the pain was so intense, At that time I thought the condition was set off by Septra and sunlight exposure.

Last night, Sept 1, 2008, I accidentally took another pill from the same bottle of medicine that had incapacitated me in 2001 because I have a sinus infection. Within a few minutes I had an allergic reaction and the next day have symptoms of Steven-Johnson syndrome. This is Septra DS, so I suppose I can't get it out of my system for a day or two and from experience I know this condition will go on for a week or more. From one pill. This is a very dangerous drug. Right now I'm not sure if I should go to emergency or tough it out.

Jerry Hicks, Torrance, CA.

CO-TRIMOXAZOLE: 5 September 2008

As a result of taking Bactrim for a year my wife now has had candidiasis for over a5 years and will require treatment for this condition for the remainder of her life.

SEPTRA DS: 8 September 2008

Dear Brian,

Thank you for your e-mail page on septra, after reading them My husband knew what was wrong with him and stopped septra ds. he was on it for a month for prostatis,he started with bad headaches and chills feeling very cold.and night sweats.

every bone in his body ached and he had a low grade fever.and loss of appetite. and very weak, He went to Dr. but because of the fever the Dr. thought it could not be the septra and ran a lot of test which proved ok. then I went on the web page and typed in sepra and found out his problem.

Marjorie, Surfside Beach S.C.

BACTRIM: 11 September 2008

I was prescribed this antibiotic yesterday due to a Sinus infection. I had no known allergy to this antibiotic. However, within an hour of taking the first dose, I had a headache and was extremely nauseas. I laid down and my feet started burning/itching. I ran my feet under cold water to try and alleviate the itching sensation. Realizing that I may be having an allergic reaction, I found the list of side effects on the information sheet my pharmacist gave me. I determined that I was probably having an allergic reaction and took Benadryl. The itching started to alleviate after an hour, but then extreme aching in my legs and back started. I could not lay in one position and had to keep moving my legs to alleviate the aching sensation. After about 3 hours of dealing with this (with no relief in site), I called my fiance and had him drive to the emergency room. The doctor prescribed more Benadryl and Valium to relax my muscles. After this, I went home and tried to sleep. I spent the rest of the night alternating between sleeping and pacing to alleviate the aching in my legs and back. I am still experiencing aching in my legs and back as I write this (I have taken over the counter pain relievers to try and alleviate the pain in addition to Benadryl every eight hours. I refused the heavier pain killers my doctor tried to prescribe me). I have frequent sinus infections but have never experienced this before with antibiotics. After reading the e-mails on your web site, it amazes me that they still prescribe this drug for non-life threatening ailments in the United States. I will make sure that I am never prescribed this drug, again.

Anonymous, Citrus Heights, CA.

BACTRIM: 15 September 2008

Dear Brian Deer,

I am angry about being prescribed Bactrim. I nearly lost my life . I was in a coma with multi-organ failures. I have not recovered.


Mary Beth.

GENERIC BACTRIM: 18 September 2008


I live in the US, in Ohio. I went to an immediate care facility on September 8,2008. They diagnosed me as having cellulitis ( or an abscess) on the face they think from a insect bite and prescribed sulfamethoxazole-tmp ds tablets a substitute for Bactrim. I also have Crohns ,tachecardia, ulcers, and have a very long list of drugs I am allergic too. I have had so many reactions to medications that I am very leery of taking any drugs and always check for side effects on the computer,,,,, this time I didn't because I was so sick........ They figured it would be safe. They also prescribed ibuprofen and I made them give me prevacid because of ulcer history. That probably saved me from any more problems.

The abscess was really bad and the medicine was working, then around the second or third day I started itching, my scalp, my arms, legs, and face. I didn't think anything about it since I didn't see anything. Around the 6-7 day I was having some minor chest pain and some breathing problems,plus I had a little trouble swallowing, but am having some major stress problems at home and I attributed that to the stress. Then I got a rash on my forearm that was and is very itchy. Also very tired all the time. Then 8 days after starting the medicine I woke up to the white of my right eye blood red. I went back to the immediate care because I was afraid at that point of having an allergic reaction, or that I had somehow got some of the infection into my eye. I told the doctor about all the itching, showed him the rash on my arm, and of course the eye.

It was a different doctor than I had seen before and he brushed it off , telling me that the blood in my eye was from me sneezing, coughing, or it just appeared for no reason, and the rash was from me touching something outside, he called it contact dermatitis.

That it wasn't related at all. Gave me some steroid cream even though I am allergic to prednisone, and a antihistamine. The pharmacist had to tell me the cream had steroids in it. Thank God for updated allergy lists on their computers. Sometimes I dont think doctors care or they even listen to you when you come in.

I got home and stopped the medicine right away, it has been 3 days and the pain in my chest and the breathing problems have gone away. I still have the itchy ness on the body but it seems to be going away. The red in the eye is still there but it seems to be breaking up.The rash on the forearm is still there but I am going to try some natural remedies to get rid of it. I am afraid to try any more medicine at this point. I probably would have ended up in the ER or worse if I didn't stop the medicine.

I did not put all these reactions together until I read your site. Thank you for having it.

I will not be taking this drug again, and will add it to my allergy list. I also will inform my whole family about this drug.


BACTRIM: 19 September 2008


I would like to add some side effect information to your research on Bactrim.

About 3 yrs ago I ended up in hospital on blood transfusions w/ elevated liver enzymes that were attributed to Bactrim.

Oddly enough I was given the drug again a week ago and like a fool I took it thinking that my hospital experience could not have been caused by Bactim.

This time I stuck it out for about 4 days and each day I got sicker. I had terrible nausea, dry mouth, a serious constant migraine headache, sore eyes, and terrible bone pain.........not just in the joints but in the long bones. I was not able to sleep and could hardly function.

Finally I clued it...........and have realized that I can never take that drug again.

Very little is written about how terrible the effects of this drug can be, and I hope this information will help other people too.

Joanne D, Florida.

SULFAMETHOXAZOLE: 20 September 2008

I was recently bitten three times by a spider in my sleep. I went to the emergency room when I got an infection from it. I was proscribed this drug called Sulfamethoxazole (double strength). I was scared to take it because my mother has porphyria. I have been tested and found not to have porphyria in the past. I have never had a reaction to sulfonamides before. I was feeling bad after the first few times I took it so I took a lower dose. I was prescribed 2 pills 2 times a day! The spider bites were healing so I thought it safer to stop taking the medicine. In a few days the bites got worse so I resumed taking the lower dose, 1 pill 2 times a day. The medicine sent me into a severe seizure. I was really bad off. I hope that I am never sick and unable to tell the doctors NOT to give this medication to me because I can kill me. The American Porphyria Association says on their website, that if major nerve damage was not done I may heal. I am very scared. My nerves are bad from living with chronic stress for many years.

Dawnetta P.


BACTRIM DS: 21 September 2008

Hello, I am a 31 year old male. I was prescribed bactrim for an ear infection. A day later I began to have severe muscle spasms. I was prescribed muscle relaxers and pain relievers but the spasms continued as I had no idea that bactrim may have been causing the spasms. After reading some of the side effects of this drug I sincerely believe that bactrim is what caused them. I have immediately stopped taking the drug. I will know in a few days for sure if it was the drug when the spasms stop. I am still in much pain in my neck and left arm all the way down to my finger tips. I hope this information helps someone.

Andrae Carter.

TRIMETHOPRIM: 22 September 2008

Dear Brian,

I am a 31 year old woman who was prescribed a sulfamethoxazole for a urinary tract infection I took the tablet at about 11am and it made me feel strange so instead of waiting till the next day I took another tablet at about 9pm that night so that I wouldn't feel strange. Sunday (fathers day this year)

I had been prescribed this for a previous uti by the same doctor and it gave me vertico and tingling in face and hands i couldn't work and had to go home I didn't worry about it ,I finshed the prescription. So I knew these side effects were annoying I didn't want to miss any more time off work so I took the dose early at around 3am I woke with a shortness in breat and pains in my chest my throat felt like it was swelling my heart beat was faint and then would race I felt like i was on LSD.

I called the hospital and told them my syptoms they said they thought I may be having a heart attack to call an abulance by the time i got to the hospital i felt like i could hardly breath I was shaking and freezing my vein were constricted and the nurse couldn,t get a line in it keep blocking

she gave me oxygen an hooked me up to a ecg and other montior I felt extremley distressed I stated I think I am having a reaction to my medicine and she sid to stop taking it.

Eventually 5 hrs later I had recovered I was sent hope with no explanation. I called to book an appointment with my doctor to discuss what happen I got an appointment on tuesday 10am. I spent the whole day in bed on monday I was exhausted. The following day I went to the doctor while I was in the waiting room I had some sort of attack my body contracted and my limbs went completely stiff i was paralized in stiffness and could hardly breath the doctor came I told him I think I am having a reaction to my medication he gave me a shot of dizapan and i recoverd in about 20 mins he then prescribed valium and and anti depresant later I was told I should get counselling . I took the valium and anti depresants for a week i am now chasing up what happened to me.

This all happened in the last two weeks I am still feeling the effects of this drug


Rebecca Potter.

BACTRIM: 1 October 2008

Hi Brian,

I was presribed 800mg Bactrim for the treatment of a severe scrape (road rash) on the inside of my leg which had become infected. I took my 1st (and only) pill at about 11am on Monday, September 29th at 11am CST. I returned to work. When I arrived I felt hot and itchy. When I looked in the mirror I noticed my eyes were about 50% blood shot. I called my doctor as I suspected I was having a reaction to the Bactrim. They advised to cease taking it and drink a lot of water. They prescribed a different antibiotic.

At about 2 I started getting chills and a headache along with pain in my major muscles. I left work. My fever was in excess of 101 but I do not have an accurate enough thermometer to make a solid claim here. By about 4 I had severe body aches and my eyes were 100% red. I took a Benadryl at this point as well as some acetomenophyn (tylenol).

The largest complication I am finding right now is dehydration. That is compounding the severity of the headaches and body pains. I am on day 3 now and have not yet gotten all my test results back. This morning at my doctor there was blood in my urine which prompted him to go for full blood work.

It amazes me this drug is legal to use by doctor's given the documented cases - most of which seem far worse then mine! I suspect the fact that I realized what was going on immediately and took motrin and benadryl to limit the fever and allergic reaction made my symptoms less severe.

If I did not like the smell of lawyers (it is the combination of self importance mixed with a liberal dose of bull feces) I'd be looking for one now. This has got to be the most pain I have ever been in.

Best regards,

Mike Becnel, Houston, TX.

BACTRIM: 3 October 2008

Dear Brian,

I am writing because I came across your website and now know I am not alone. I woke up Mon. Sep. 22, 2008 with my nose red and sore like it had been broken. I went to the Dr. because I knew this was not good it could be an infection. I was told it was facial cellulitis (possibly a pimple), it wasn't. I was given a shot of Rocephin (still painful 11 days later) and a prescription for bactrim 800/160. I took the first pill that evening no problem, the next day I took two a day as directed. I woke up in the middle of the night tingling all over thought I was dreaming went back to sleep, The next morning took the first pill at 5:00am started getting very dizzy, tingly all over and started vomiting violently. Called the nurse she asked had I taken it with food, I said no the label only said take with plenty of water. She told me I wasn't having an allergic reaction just to take the next dose with food and I would be fine. Friday I ate breakfast and took another pill one hour later I was vomiting again and very dizzy. I didn't feel myself I was panicky and had severe diarrhea, my tongue was swollen and my hands and face tingled. My kidneys were also on fire like someone had covered them with noxema. I drank water like a fish and quickly realized the nurse was very, very wrong. That night I kept getting worse with the dizziness and diarrhea and nausea. About 11:00 the locusts began to attack with constant ringing in my ears. I went to the emergency room scared to death I was going to kick the bucket. They did a CT scan because of the facial cellulitis. They also did lots of blood work but couldn't find anything. I went home and the ringing stopped 6 hrs later and my stomach is finally getting back to normal. But the main reason I am writing is because this is Oct. 3rd 1:45am and the locusts (ringing in ears) has returned and now I have a rash on my stomach and waist. When will this all end? I'm getting very nervous about having taken (in my opinion) a poisonous drug that should be banned.

BACTRIM: 13 October 2008

HI Brian,

Thank you for having this web site for people who have themselves, or family members, taken Bactrim and gotten really sick or had irreversible side effects. From what I understand from the Doctors, it is called "toxicity" to Bactrim. Online, you will find it under "overdose" as well. It may not only be the fact that it is a sulpha drug, but also that is in combination with Trimethoprim. Several of my specialists said not only to never take Sulpha drugs, but never to take Bactrim and agreed that I tell my brother and sister the same.

I am recuperating from a horrible case of Jaundice from taking 2 courses of Bactrim. My medical complications with Bactrim, follow the FDA report that you can fill out and send online to report your complications.

1st, I would like to pass along the following information for all those writing to and visiting your site. I sent in a report last week to the FDA about Bactrim. Can you please encourage your site visitors to do the same?

Here is the website link:


When you get to the site, click on the "Begin" on your right. The form will come up that you can fill out re: the drug.

A portion of the acknowledgment that the FDA has received your report reads: "Voluntary reports are essential for ensuring the continued safety of FDA-regulated products. One or two well-documented case reports may provide an early signal of unexpected problems and lead to additional evaluation. This may result in FDA regulatory actions that improve the safety of the products used in patient care each day."

I believe if the FDA gets enough reports about Bactrim and the horrible side effects, we may make a difference and be able to get it off the market. At least there could be warning labels or lists for prescribing Drs. so that there can be a 2nd thought given by the Dr. or a red flag by the pharmacy.

I had taken one course of the Bactrim and was prescribed another back-to-back dose. Bactrim was the follow-up drug to Zyvox for cellulitis and (pre-bursa sack) bursitis. This infection came from walking into a rose bush back in July. I am finally feeling better since stopping the Bactrim. It has taken 22 days. Thankfully, my blood work is mostly in the normal range now and I am starting to feel cloaser to myself again.

Thank you again for having this site and if you are able to do a mail blast to your visitors with the FDA Medwatch info, that would be great!

Barbara Berger.

SEPTRA: 23 October 2008

Well, It's a bit late for me,Nice to know someone took some steps to do something about this drug!!!!

In 1997 I was given Septra for a bladder infection.

I could not sleep for 2 days after taking the drug.(I took it 4 days.)

I got up after 2 sleepless nights, and looked in my med. cabinet for something that would make me sleep.I took a Claritin D.A few hours later, after still not being able to sleep, I felt really weird.I went over to my neighbor's, and dropped with a seizure.

An ambulance was called .(when I fell, I broke a r. shoulder bone)The Hospital loaded me up on Dilantin, and I took it for about a week.I felt way too drugged so stopped taking it.

I've had problems since with B.P.pills (had seizures coming off them) added stress.I had a seizure after each of my last 5 children way back before this '97 incident. Had seizure in the 70's after taking diet pills also for several months.

The Doctors here in the U.S A. hand out their damn pills instead of looking into what is really causing the seizures.

I am writing also because I'd like you opinion also? I'm taking B P pills and my pressure shoots up and no pill seems to work right, and therefore, I still have problems.I'm taking low doses of Coreg,Hydralazine and just recently, Lisinopril 20 mg. added.This later one will be the one she wants me on. I know 2 other people who take half of what she prescribed.

Question: Do you know of a better pill for B.P.? I hate pills, and anxious about taking them.I now have a new Doctor. I keep changing Doctors.I've also been taking .25 mg. of xanax.I want off that too.

I'm otherwise a healthy woman 77 YRS. old and had 10 healthy children.(The youngest 40)



BACTRIM: 27 October 2008

I got a staph infection from a ingrown hair on my forearm. I went to a dermatologist who prescribed me Bactrim. He asked if I was allergic to anything and I did say no.

I took a full 10 day course and during the 10 days I did notice my body being slightly splotchy with red areas and after the 10 day cycle and not taking the antibiotics I noticed my body felt itchy. I decided to get a refill because I thought the staph could be spreading. After taking the first pill every pore on my body head to toe turned red. My feet had swollen and I cannot walk. My hands are swollen. When i rubbed my lips with a warm towel the skin came off. Something is wrong with my vision. I went to the emergency room and they treated me horribly. Shoved me in a corner for four hours only to leave with a prescriptions I couldn't fill that night. So I started a course of methylsteroids. But all symptoms remain.

The dermatologist nurses only advice was you should have told us you were allergic. Welcome to American Healthcare at it finest. You can bet they got everything they needed to bill me upfront!


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