Co-trimoxazole is used to treat certain bacterial infections, such as pneumonia (a lung infection), bronchitis (infection of the tubes leading to the lungs), and infections of the urinary tract, ears, and intestines. It also is used to treat 'travelers' diarrhea. Co-trimoxazole is a combination of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole and is in a class of medications called sulfonamides. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria. Antibiotics will not kill viruses that can cause colds, flu, or other viral infections.
Co-trimoxazole comes as a tablet and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It usually is taken two times a day but may be taken up to four times a day when used to treat certain severe lung infections. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take co-trimoxazole exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with co-trimoxazole. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
Shake the liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
Take co-trimoxazole until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. Do not stop taking co-trimoxazole without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking co-trimoxazole too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Drink plenty of fluids during your treatment with co-trimoxazole.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
loss of appetite
fever or chills
severe diarrhea (watery or bloody stools) that may occur with or without fever and stomach cramps (may occur up to 2 months or more after your treatment)
shortness of breath
unusual bruising or bleeding
yellowing of the skin or eyes
red or purple skin discolorations
joint or muscle pain
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to co-trimoxazole.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking co-trimoxazole.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the co-trimoxazole, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 05/27/2014
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.