What is Trimethoprim?
Trimethoprim is a type of medicine called an antibiotic. It works by interfering with the ability of bacteria to produce proteins that are essential to them, which causes them to die. The active ingredient is absorbed into the bloodstream and deposited in the infected tissue and urine. Trimethoprim is a prescription-only medicine.
What is Trimethoprim used for?
Trimethoprim is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections, including:
- Bladder infection and other urinary tract infections. Trimethoprim can also be used to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections;
- Respiratory infections such as pneumonia, middle ear infection, sinus infection and acute bronchitis.
The active ingredient trimethoprim works fast, providing relief from symptoms such as pain, fever and malaise within only a few days.
How to use Trimethoprim
Trimethoprim tablets should be swallowed whole without chewing with some liquid. The doctor will tell you how long you need to use this medicine. It is important that you finish the prescribed course. Stopping early could cause the infection to return. If this medicine is used for bladder infection, the tablets should be taken just before going to bed to allow the medicine to act while you sleep.
Trimethoprim is available in various strengths. The doctor will recommend the right strength for you depending on your symptoms. Unless otherwise advised by a doctor, the usual dose is:
- Adults and children aged 12 and above: 200 mg, twice daily. The doctor may recommend taking a dose of 300 mg once a day in the evening for the treatment of urinary tract infections.
For children under the age of 12 a different dosage regimen will be necessary. Always follow the prescription exactly - never use more or less than the doctor recommends. Read the package leaflet before use.
Trimethoprim may cause side effects. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine:
- Nausea, vomiting or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Taking the tablets with food can help to prevent these symptoms;
- Painful tongue or pain in the mouth;
- Skin rash, possibly with itching.
Consult a doctor if these or other side effects are severe or persistent. For more information, see the package leaflet.
When not to use Trimethoprim
Trimethoprim is not suitable for everyone and should not be used if:
- You are allergic to trimethoprim or any other ingredient in this medicine;
- You have a severe liver or kidney disease;
- You have a blood disorder.
Consult a doctor on the use of Trimethoprim if you have a health condition that is not listed above or are currently on medication.
Trimethoprim should not be used, or only with a doctor’s approval, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
This medicine does not affect your ability to drive.
This medicine does not interact with alcohol.