Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Medicines & treatments centre

Terms Of Use

CO-TRIMOXAZOLE

Brand Name(s) : Septrin
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

CO-TRIMOXAZOLE WARNINGS

Co-trimoxazole should be used with caution in: the elderly, infants under 6 weeks of age, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding, those with asthma, severe allergy, kidney or liver problems, blood disorders, or those who are deficient in the enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (common in peoples from Africa, Asia, Oceania and Southern Europe).

It should not be used in: people with severe liver problems or severe kidney problems, or those with a blood disorder called acute porphyria.

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

Protect from light and do not store above 25°C.

CO-TRIMOXAZOLE USES

What is it used for?

  • Co-trimoxazole is used to treat a number of problems.
  • It is a mixture of two drugs: trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole, and is sometimes known as an antibiotic.
  • It is used to treat infections caused by bacteria in many different parts of the body.
  • In general this drug is used to treat infections of the respiratory tract, middle ear, urinary tract, and conditions such as toxoplasmosis (a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii) and nocardiosis (a serious infectious disease affecting either the lungs or the whole body owing to infection by the Nocardia bacterium).
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include eradication and resolution of bacterial infections, allowing recovery and relief of symptoms such as pain or cough caused by the infection.

Listed below are the typical uses of co-trimoxazole.

  • To treat or prevent lung infections (pneumonia) caused by a bacterium called Pneumocystis jiroveci
  • To treat or prevent infections caused by toxoplasma (toxoplasmosis)
  • To treat bladder or urinary tract infections
  • To treat lung infections such as worsening of long-term bronchitis
  • To treat ear infections such as acute otitis media
  • To treat an infection called nocardiosis, which can affect the lungs, skin and brain.

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • Take this medication by mouth, usually twice daily, preferably with food. Tablets should be taken with a glass of water. It is also available as an oral suspension to be taken by mouth and as a liquid for intravenous infusion (when given by a doctor or other healthcare worker).
  • Use this medication for the duration of the prescription in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told not to by your doctor.
  • It may take some time before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • None known. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Always complete the full course as prescribed by your doctor.

CO-TRIMOXAZOLE SIDE EFFECTS

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: heart problems, yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), increased sensitivity to light (photosensitivity).

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

CO-TRIMOXAZOLE PRECAUTIONS

Before taking co-trimoxazole, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other antibiotics; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist in case of: a blood disorder called acute porphyria.

Before using this medication tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: a history of asthma, severe allergy, any kidney or liver problems, blood disorders, or if deficient in the enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (common in peoples from Africa, Asia, Oceania and Southern Europe).

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • It is not known whether drinking alcohol affects this drug's action.

The elderly: co-trimoxazole should be used with caution in the elderly as it may cause worse side-effects than in younger patients.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

Co-trimoxazole is not safe to take if you are, or are planning to become, pregnant.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Co-trimoxazole is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

CO-TRIMOXAZOLE INTERACTIONS

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur:

  • Drugs to control abnormal heart rhythms (anti-arrhythmics), e.g. amiodarone.

If you are currently using any such medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting co-trimoxazole.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use, especially of:

  • Other antibacterials (e.g. rifampicin, methenamine)
  • Immunosuppressants (e.g. ciclosporin)
  • Blood-thinning drugs (e.g. warfarin)
  • Anti-epileptics (e.g. phenytoin)
  • Anti-arrhythmics (e.g. digoxin or procainamide)
  • Antidiabetics (e.g. glibenclamide, glipizide or tolbutamide)
  • Anti-cancer drugs (e.g. methotrexate, azathioprine or mercaptopurine)
  • Anti-malarials (e.g. pyrimethamine)
  • Anti-psychotics (e.g. clozapine)
  • Antivirals (e.g. marviroc, ritonavir, tipranavir or zidovudine)

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using co-trimoxazole, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.

CO-TRIMOXAZOLE OVERDOSE

Taking too much co-trimoxazole may cause the following: feeling sick (nausea), vomiting, dizziness and confusion.

People who have taken too much co-trimoxazole should be encouraged to vomit (if this has not already happened) and to seek assistance from a healthcare professional immediately.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of co-trimoxazole or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Find a medication

Search by medication name for information on over-the-counter or prescription medications including side effects and interactions.
indicates detailed medicines information

Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited or TicTac Communications Ltd. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

Search for a medicine or treatment

Search by medicine name or treatment for information including side effects and interactions.

Ex. Simvastatin, Ibuprofen, Amitriptyline Hydrochlorine

Popular Slideshows & Tools on Boots WebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
fish n chips
Diarrhoea & more
man coughing
10 common allergy triggers
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?
hand extinguishing cigarette
13 best tips to stop smoking
woman washing face
Living and dealing with eczema
boy looking at broccoli
Quick tips for feeding picky eaters
bag of crisps
Food cravings that wreck your diet
dogs face
Workout with Fido
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting