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What Condition Does Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole Treat and Its Price?

Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole is an FDA-approved medication used in certain bacterial infections. This prevents the bacteria from producing the type of folic acid they need to function. Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole comes as a 160 mg – 800 mg tablet for oral use.

What condition does Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole treat?

Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole is a combined antibiotic used to treat infections including:

This medication can also be used to treat or prevent Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia. It is a very serious kind of pneumonia that occurs more commonly in patients whose immune systems are not functioning well. These patients include transplant patients, cancer patients, and patients with AIDS. 

How does Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole work?

Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole reduces the ability of certain bacteria to utilize folic acid for growing. Trimethoprim disrupts the production of tetrahydrofolic acid while Sulfamethoxazole interrupts the making of dihydrofolic acid. Tetrahydrofolic acid and Dihydrofolic acid are forms of folic acid that human cells and bacteria use for creating proteins.

Trimethoprim prevents the production of tetrahydrofolic acid by inhibiting the enzyme accountable for making tetrahydrofolic acid from dihydrofolic acid. The combination of Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole has two important steps that are vital in the production of bacterial proteins. These steps are being interrupted and the combination is more effective than either drug alone.

What is the dosage of Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole?

Take Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, more often or for longer than directed by your doctor. To do so may increase the chance of side effects. This medicine is best taken with a full glass of water. Several additional glasses of water must be taken each day unless directed otherwise. Drinking extra water will help to prevent some unwanted effects.

The dose of this medication will differ from person-to-person. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • This is usually taken twice a day, every 12 hours.
  • Each dose may be taken with or without food.
  • Adults and teenagers aged 12 years may take 200 mg twice a day.

Try to take the medicine at regular intervals. If you forget to take a dose take it as soon as you remember unless it’s nearly time for your next dose. In this case, leave out the missed dose and take your next dose as normal. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed dose. 

What are the precautions in using Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole?

You should not take this medicine if you:

  • Are allergic to any ingredients of the medicines
  • Have problems with your blood cells such as anemia, a low white blood cell count, or folic acid deficiency

Some people may need extra monitoring or a lower dose of this medication. Make sure your doctor knows if you:

  • Are breastfeeding, pregnant, or trying for a baby
  • Have liver or kidney problems
  • Have a rare metabolic disorder called porphyria

You may need some additional monitoring if you’re taking any of the following medicines with Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole. You may also ask your doctor pharmacist for more information:

  • Warfarin
  • A potassium-sparing diuretic
  • An angiotensin blocker
  • An ACE inhibitor medicine
  • Repaglinide
  • Rifampicin
  • Digoxin
  • Phenytoin
  • Methotrexate
  • Pyrimethamine

Before using this medication, inform your doctor about any medical history you have especially of:

  • Severe allergies
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Asthma
  • A certain metabolic disorder
  • Decreased bone marrow function
  • Underactive thyroid
  • History of blood disorders caused by trimethoprim or sulfa medications
  • Mineral imbalances such as low level of sodium in the blood or high level of potassium

Other precautions:

  • Before having surgery, tell your doctor about all the products you use.
  • Do not have any immunizations or vaccinations while using this medication unless your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine makes you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning sunlamps or booths. Wear protective clothing or use sunscreen when outdoors.
  • This product might affect your blood sugar especially if you have diabetes. You need to check your blood sugar regularly as directed and let your doctor know the results. 

Price of Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole vs. Bactrim DS

The generic Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole is a combined antibiotic medication that only cost $23.88 per 30 tabs of 160 mg – 800 mg tablet. The brand name Bactrim DS costs $85.14 per 30 tabs of the same strength.