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    Can Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim be taken for UTI?

Posted on Mon, 24 Jul 2017 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: sulfamethtrimethoprim 800/160 mgs. Is this a safe drug to take for uti?
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 30 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim in double strength (800/160 mg) as you described is a commonly prescribed antibiotic for urinary tract infections. It is safe as long as you don't have a previous allergy to sulfa based medications.

In reading the section "Meds Tried" you wrote "this UTI never cleared up". Do you mean you have had a persistent UTI since February?

When a patient comes in with urinary tract symptoms, it is always important to get, in addition to the quick-type dip stick urinalysis which can be done in the office, a complete urine culture and sensitivity test which is done by a lab (not the office) and takes a few days. The culture is where any bacteria that may be present in the urine is grown in the lab. A sensitivity test is also important in this age of bacterial resistance. What it means is the bacterial colony that grows in the culture is then tested against several standard classes of antibiotics to see if the bacteria is sensitive to it (in other words, if a particular class of antibiotic will kill it). The doctor then gets a report of whether the bacteria are "sensitive" (which is good!), resistance (which means skip that antibiotic), or partially sensitive/resistant (usually stay away from that type of antibiotic unless there is no other choice).

So, if you continue to have UTI symptoms, and TMP/SMX didn't clear it up, it's time to get a culture and sensitivity test done on a urine sample.

Sometimes women who are post-menopausal can have UTI symptoms without actually having a bacterial infection, because of weakening and irritation of the genitourinary tissues from lack of estrogen in the area. For that, a small amount of topical or intravaginal estrogen cream can help. This does not pose the same risks as taking estrogen orally, which goes through the whole body.

Regardless, it is time to get a full urinalysis (sent to the lab), culture, and sensitivity done, and to consult with your doctor.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 18 hours later
Thank you for the info. Will follow through.
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Best regards -

Detailed Answer:
Your welcome, and I hope you are feeling better soon.

Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, MD

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3138 Questions


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