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Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole

En Español (Spanish Version)

Folate - Supplementation Likely Helpful | PABA (Para-Aminobenzoic Acid) - Interference with Action of Drug | Potassium - Possible Harmful Interaction | White Willow - Possible Negative Interaction | St. John's Wort, Other Herbs - Potential Increased Risk of Photosensitivity

See also Antibiotics (General)

Trimethoprim (Proloprim, Trimpex) is commonly combined with sulfamethoxazole (Gantanol) for an antibiotic combination that gives a one-two punch against bacteria.

Folate

Supplementation Likely Helpful

Both trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole interfere with folate: The sulfamethoxazole makes it hard for invading bacteria to manufacture folate, and the trimethoprim makes it hard for bacteria to use the folate. The net effect is to starve the bacteria of this necessary vitamin.

Humans and other mammals are much less affected by these antibiotics than are bacteria, due to the different way we process folate. However, trimethoprim can still interfere to some extent in your body's ability to utilize this essential nutrient. Folate supplementation may be helpful if you take this antibiotic for a long period of time (to prevent urinary tract infections, for example). 1

PABA (Para-Aminobenzoic Acid)

Interference with Action of Drug

The supplement PABA may make trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole less effective. If you are being treated with this drug, do not take PABA except on medical advice. 2,3

Potassium

Possible Harmful Interaction

Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole might increase levels of potassium in the body. 4 Therefore, if you are on long-term treatment with this antibiotic, you should not take potassium supplements except on the advice of a physician.

White Willow

Possible Negative Interaction

The herb white willow contains substances very similar to aspirin. On this basis, it might not be advisable to combine white willow with trimethoprim or sulfamethoxazole.

St. John's Wort

, Other HerbsPotential Increased Risk of Photosensitivity

Sulfa drugs can cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Various herbs, including St. John's wort and dong quai , can also cause this problem. Combined treatment with herb and drug might increase the risk further.

 

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