Co-trimoxazole is a combination of trimethoprim and
sulfamethoxazole, a sulfa drug. It eliminates bacteria that cause various
infections, including infections of the urinary tract, lungs (pneumonia), ears,
and intestines. It also is used to treat 'travelers' diarrhea.' Antibiotics will
not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. This medication is sometimes
prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more
Co-trimoxazole comes as a tablet and a liquid to take by mouth.
It usually is taken two times a day but may be taken up to four times a day for
severe lung infections. Drink a full glass of water with each dose. Shake the
liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly. 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
Before taking co-trimoxazole,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to co-trimoxazole,
diuretics ('water pills'), oral diabetes medications, any sulfa drug, or any
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription
medications you are taking, especially methotrexate, phenytoin (Dilantin),
warfarin (Coumadin), and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver or kidney disease,
asthma, severe allergies, or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD)
deficiency (an inherited blood disease).
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are
breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking co-trimoxazole, call your
- plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear
protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Co-trimoxazole may make your
skin sensitive to sunlight.
Co-trimoxazole may cause an upset stomach. Take 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
Co-trimoxazole may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any
of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- loss of appetite
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your
- skin rash
- sore throat
- fever or chills
- mouth sores
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- joint aches
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. 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.