To treat bacterial infections of your bladder, ears, skin, sinuses, gastrointestinal tract and lungs, doctors frequently rely on an antibiotic medication that contains trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole. In Canada, trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole combination drugs are available under the band name Apo-Sulfatrim. Despite its effectiveness, Apo-Sulfatrim is not for everyone as it presents several risks for side effects and complications in some patients.
Common Side Effects
The most common side effects of Apo-Sulfatrim are not normally serious in nature and pose little discomfort. Many patients taking the drug experience gastrointestinal side effects, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. Headaches and dizziness are common neurological side effects of Apo-Sulfatrim. Also, many patients taking the drug report feelings of tiredness or the appearance of mouth sores.
Other Side Effects
Apo-Sulfatrim also has the potential to cause a number of less common or annoying, but not dangerous, side effects. Some patients experience dermatological symptoms like increased sensitivity to the sun, itching and rashes while taking the drug. Others report neurological symptoms like anxiety, confusion, depression and drowsiness. When Apo-Sulfatrim is administered as a shot, redness and swelling at the site of the injection is also possible. Other possible side effects of the drug include abdominal tenderness, fever and stiffness in your neck or back.
There are some medications which produce unwanted side effects when used in conjunction with Apo-Sulfatrim. For example, using the drug with Methotrexate or Procainamide causes greater side effects. When combined with blood thinners like warfarin, Apo-Sulfatrim increases your chance of experiencing uncontrollable bleeding during surgery or following an injury. Apo-Sulfatrim makes the anti-epileptic drug Phenytoin less effective, making it possible for you to experience a recurrence in seizures.
In addition to minor side effects and the risk of interactions, Apo-Sulfatrim has the potential to cause serious medical complications. Some patients develop a shortage of blood platelets or thrombocytopenia while undergoing treatment with the drug. This shortage of platelets causes a number of problems, including easy bruising and even bleeding around your brain. Infrequently, Apo-Sulfatrim interferes with the functioning of your kidneys, resulting in decreased production of urine and possible kidney failure. For some patients, Apo-Sulfatrim causes gastrointestinal bleeding, but this effect is avoidable by taking the pills with a sufficient amount of water. Inflammation or damage to your liver is also possible while taking Apo-Sulfatrim.
Because Apo-Sulfatrim causes toxic effects on the brain and liver of the fetus, doctors rarely prescribe the drug for pregnant women. Additionally, the drug is not safe for children under the age of two months. There is also a higher incidence of serious side effects among people over the age of 65. If you have a history of liver or kidney disease, urinary obstruction, blood disorders or asthma, your doctor is unlikely to prescribe Apo-Sulfatrim for you due to its potential side effects. Because it increases sensitivity to the sun in many patients, avoid tanning beds and use adequate sunscreen while taking minomycin. Drinking alcohol while taking Apo-Sulfatrim is dangerous as it poses the risk for severe side effects. Since it has the potential to cause dizziness, you should not operate a motor vehicle or heavy machinery until you know how Apo-Sulfatrim will affect you.