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What Is Bactrim?

Bactrim is one of the brand names for a combination of two medications, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. It belongs to a class of antibiotics called sulfonamides and is available in a form of tablets and liquid suspension. Both of the components of Bactrim are antibiotics and can effectively eradicate different bacteria. Bactrim is most commonly used in treatment of ear infections, urinary tract infections, bronchitis, traveler's diarrhea and pneumonia caused by Pneumocystis carinii. Some people may develop allergy to Bactrim. In fact if they are allergic to Bactrim they are most definitely suffering from allergy to all sulfonamide medications.

People who are allergic to sulfonamides are never prescribed with drugs that contain any derivate of a sulfonamide. It is essential to report the allergy and only this way the doctor can prescribe the safe medication. It is also essential to mention that even though certain drugs do not fall into the category of sulfonamide medications they may sometimes cause an allergic reaction in people suffering from sulfa allergy.

Clinical Characteristics of Bactrim Allergy

Allergic reaction may significantly vary and it depends on the body's response to the drug. In majority of cases the allergic reaction develops in a form of rash that is localized on the trunk. The rash may further spread to the face, upper and/or lower extremities. Allergy to Bactrim may also develop in a form of hives. In severe cases the allergic reaction includes swelling of the lips, tongue or throat. Such swelling represents a medical emergency.

Complications of Bactrim Allergy

There are no complications in case of mild Bactrim allergy. On the other hand, some people may develop serious and potentially life threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis features with rapid development of all the symptoms and signs some of which include abdominal pain/cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, confusion, cough, breathing and swallowing difficulty, wheezing, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, hives, palpitations and sudden drop of blood pressure.


Once the allergy is identified and the drug discontinued the symptoms and signs of the allergic reaction soon withdraw. In order to prevent repeated allergic reaction the doctor avoids prescribing medications that contain sulfonamides or any other drug a patient is allergic to.

And finally, it is essential to make a clear difference between Bactrim allergy and side effects the drug may induce. This medication has many side effects and some of them may be misinterpreted as an allergic reaction. However, even in case of side effects the drug is always discontinued and patients are prescribed with an appropriate substitute drug.

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