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Why is this medication prescribed?
Co-trimoxazole is used to treat a number of bacterial diseases, including bronchitis, which is an infection of the airways leading to the lungs, pneumonia, and infections of the intestines, urinary tract, and ears. Moreover, it is employed to treat “traveler’s diarrhoea.” Co-trimoxazole belongs to the group of drugs known as sulfonamides and is made up of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole. It acts by preventing bacterial development. The viruses that can cause colds, the flu, and other viral infections are not killed by antibiotics.
How should this medicine be used?
Co-trimoxazole is available as a tablet and a liquid suspension for oral consumption. When used to treat some severe lung infections, it can be taken up to four times daily instead of the customary two. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Follow the co-trimoxazole directions exactly. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.
Within the first several days of co-trimoxazole therapy, you should start to feel better. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not disappear or worsen.
Before each usage, give the beverage a good shake to evenly distribute the medication.
Even if you feel better, continue taking co-trimoxazole until the prescription is finished. Without consulting your doctor, do not stop taking co-trimoxazole. Your illness could not be entirely healed if you stop taking co-trimoxazole too soon or skip doses, and the bacteria might develop an antibiotic resistance.
Other uses for this medicine
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you’re interested in using this drug for any other conditions.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking co-trimoxazole,
- If you have any allergies, including to any of the substances in co-trimoxazole pills and suspension, tell your doctor right away. Find out the ingredients by asking your pharmacist.
- Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are now taking or intend to use. Include the following information: Amantadine, as well as angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors such benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril (Monopril), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), and moexipril (Univasc), anticoagulants (also known as “blood thinners”) such warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); oral diabetic drugs include glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase), metformin (Fortamet, Glucophage), pioglitazone (Actos), repaglinide (Prandin), and rosiglitazone (Avandia); leucovorin (Fusilev), digoxin (Lanoxin), diuretics (‘water pills’), indomethacin (Indocin), digoxin, phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), memantine (Namenda), methotrexate (Trexall), and pyrimethamine are all examples of drugs that are used to treat seizures (Daraprim). including amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Asendin), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
- Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had liver or kidney disease, phenylketonuria (PKU), a genetic condition that requires a special diet to prevent mental retardation, or thrombocytopenia (less than normal number of platelets) brought on by taking sulfonamides or trimethoprim. Megaloblastic anaemia (abnormal red blood cells) brought on by folate deficiency (low blood levels of folic acid). You could be advised by your doctor not to take co-trimoxazole. Children younger than 2 months old shouldn’t take co-trimoxazole.
- Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had any of the following conditions: severe allergies, asthma, low levels of folic acid in the body that may be caused by malnutrition (you do not eat or cannot digest the nutrients needed for good health), HIV infection, porphyria (an inherited blood disorder that may cause problems with the skin or nervous system), thyroid disease, or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency (an inherited blood disease).
- Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor right away if you get pregnant while taking co-trimoxazole. The foetus could suffer from co-trimoxazole.
- Have a plan to limit your time spent in the sun and to use sunscreen, sunglasses, and protective clothes. Your skin may become sun-sensitive if you take co-trimoxazole.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
Throughout your co-trimoxazole medication, be sure to stay hydrated.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Co-trimoxazole could have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:
- Reduced appetite
Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Unwell throat
- Cold or fever
- Severe diarrhoea (bloody or watery stools) that can happen with or without fever and cramping in the stomach (may occur up to 2 months or more after your treatment)
- Breathing difficulty
- Abnormal bleeding or bruising
- Skin or eyes turning yellow
- Skin blemishes that are red or purple
- Muscle or joint pain
You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).
Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
What other information should I know?
Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how you are responding to co-trimoxazole, your doctor will request a number of lab tests.
Inform the lab staff and your doctor that you are taking co-trimoxazole prior to any laboratory test.
No one else should take your medication. It’s likely that your prescription cannot be renewed. Call your doctor if you continue to experience infection symptoms after finishing the co-trimoxazole.
You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.