Side Effects of Mixing Bactrim With Alcohol

Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Brand name: Bactrim)

Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Brand name: Bactrim)

Drinking can be the most exciting part of your weekend. You just can’t wait to head to the bar, elbow your way through the crowd waiting to be served. Whether it’s beer, vodka, whisky, gin or rum, a couple of drinks make your life seem content. You express yourself freely to your friends and you have a sense of being powerful enough to achieve anything.


However, instead of any positive outcomes, you are soon vomiting, rashes appear on your skin, there is severe pain in your bones and you feel extremely fatigued.

Later, doctors diagnosed you had a dangerous combination of alcohol and Bactrim. You remember taking the medicine for the ear infection you had been having for some time. You are lucky to have been saved because the seemingly innocuous pastime of drinking when on Bactrim can be much more dangerous.

What is Bactrim

Bactrim is a common medicine used to treat bacterial infections but it has various side effects which is why caution is always advised. Bactrim generally contains sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim and is commonly recommended for cholera, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, ear infections, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis besides prostate and lung infections.

The main task of Bactrim, which has earned its infamy, is to check the bacteria’s ability to use folic acid. Due to its action on folic acid, Bactrim is not recommended to people with lack of folic acid, lactating mothers and infants under two months of age. Pregnant women are advised caution because folic acid is essential for normal development of the fetus.

People allergic to certain drugs including diabetes drugs, thiazide diuretics and sulfa drugs are advised against taking Bactrim because of increased chance of fatal allergic reaction. Those with renal or liver diseases can also be affected because Bactrim can have adverse impact on urine output.

Fever, cough, chills, sensitivity to light, diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, upset stomach, rash, itching, fatigue, excessive pain, swelling of eyes, coating of the tongue, neurological symptoms and reduced blood counts are some of the adverse effects of taking Bactrim.[ad#co-1]

Mixing Bactrim with Alcohol

Notably, some of the side effects recorded with consumption of Bactrim are also seen after alcohol use which is why side effects of mixing Bactrim with alcohol are much more pronounced. Importantly you don’t need to be on a high to notice the side effects. Even consuming mouthwash containing alcohol and cough medicines can prove to be detrimental resulting in rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, headache, nausea and vomiting which can also lead to dehydration. So it’s better to check the label of these products before using them when you are on Bactrim.

However, alcohol does not reduce the efficacy of Bactrim which is why there is no need to worry about the treatment unless the dose is vomited out.

If you are an alcoholic or don’t have  control over drinking, it’s better to talk to your doctor and substitute Bactrim with some other medicine. However, keep in mind that alcohol does delay your recovery from any disease. In addition, alcohol impacts the liver and may also alter the way drugs, including antibiotics other than Bactrim, are metabolised. This may reduce the impact of these medicines and hence higher doses would be required which may also lead to multi-drug resistance.

So, the best way is to avoid alcohol until you feel fit and hearty again and are totally off medication. This will surely keep the side effects of mixing Bactrim with alcohol at bay.[ad#afterpost]