FATALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF SULFONAMIDES, ALTHOUGH RARE, HAVE OCCURRED DUE TO SEVERE REACTIONS, INCLUDING STEVENS-JOHNSON SYNDROME, TOXIC EPIDERMAL NECROLYSIS, FULMINANT HEPATIC NECROSIS, AGRANULOCYTOSIS, APLASTIC ANEMIA AND OTHER BLOOD DYSCRASIAS.
SULFONAMIDES, INCLUDING SULFONAMIDE-CONTAINING PRODUCTS SUCH AS SULFAMETHOXAZOLE/TRIMETHOPRIM, SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED AT THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF SKIN RASH OR ANY SIGN OF ADVERSE REACTION. In rare instances, a skin rash may be followed by a more severe reaction, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, hepatic necrosis, and serious blood disorders (see PRECAUTIONS). Clinical signs, such as rash, sore throat, fever, arthralgia, pallor, purpura or jaundice may be early indications of serious reactions.
Cough, shortness of breath, and pulmonary infiltrates are hypersensitivity reactions of the respiratory tract that have been reported in association with sulfonamide treatment.
The sulfonamides should not be used for treatment of group A β-hemolytic streptococcal infections. In an established infection, they will not eradicate the streptococcus and, therefore, will not prevent sequelae such as rheumatic fever.
Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including BACTRIM, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.
C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.
If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.
Prescribing Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) tablets in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria. BACTRIM should be given with caution to patients with impaired renal or hepatic function, to those with possible folate deficiency (e.g., the elderly, chronic alcoholics, patients receiving anticonvulsant therapy, patients with malabsorption syndrome, and patients in malnutrition states) and to those with severe allergies or bronchial asthma. In glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficient individuals, hemolysis may occur. This reaction is frequently dose-related. (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Cases of hypoglycemia in non-diabetic patients treated with BACTRIM are seen rarely, usually occurring after a few days of therapy. Patients with renal dysfunction, liver disease, malnutrition or those receiving high doses of BACTRIM are particularly at risk.
Hematological changes indicative of folic acid deficiency may occur in elderly patients or in patients with preexisting folic acid deficiency or kidney failure. These effects are reversible by folinic acid therapy.
Trimethoprim has been noted to impair phenylalanine metabolism but this is of no significance in phenylketonuric patients on appropriate dietary restriction.
As with all drugs containing sulfonamides, caution is advisable in patients with porphyria or thyroid dysfunction.
Use in the Treatment of and Prophylaxis for Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia in Patients with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
AIDS patients may not tolerate or respond to BACTRIM in the same manner as non-AIDS patients. The incidence of side effects, particularly rash, fever, leukopenia and elevated aminotransferase (transaminase) values, with BACTRIM therapy in AIDS patients who are being treated for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia has been reported to be greatly increased compared with the incidence normally associated with the use of BACTRIM in non-AIDS patients. The incidence of hyperkalemia appears to be increased in AIDS patients receiving BACTRIM. Adverse effects are generally less severe in patients receiving BACTRIM for prophylaxis. A history of mild intolerance to BACTRIM in AIDS patients does not appear to predict intolerance of subsequent secondary prophylaxis.6 However, if a patient develops skin rash or any sign of adverse reaction, therapy with BACTRIM should be reevaluated (see WARNINGS).
High dosage of trimethoprim, as used in patients with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, induces a progressive but reversible increase of serum potassium concentrations in a substantial number of patients. Even treatment with recommended doses may cause hyperkalemia when trimethoprim is administered to patients with underlying disorders of potassium metabolism, with renal insufficiency, or if drugs known to induce hyperkalemia are given concomitantly. Close monitoring of serum potassium is warranted in these patients.
During treatment, adequate fluid intake and urinary output should be ensured to prevent crystalluria. Patients who are "slow acetylators" may be more prone to idiosyncratic reactions to sulfonamides.
Information for Patients
Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs including Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) tablets should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) tablets are prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) tablets or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
Patients should be instructed to maintain an adequate fluid intake in order to prevent crystalluria and stone formation.
Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibiotic. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible.
Complete blood counts should be done frequently in patients receiving BACTRIM; if a significant reduction in the count of any formed blood element is noted, BACTRIM should be discontinued. Urinalyses with careful microscopic examination and renal function tests should be performed during therapy, particularly for those patients with impaired renal function.
In elderly patients concurrently receiving certain diuretics, primarily thiazides, an increased incidence of thrombocytopenia with purpura has been reported.
It has been reported that BACTRIM may prolong the prothrombin time in patients who are receiving the anticoagulant warfarin. This interaction should be kept in mind when BACTRIM is given to patients already on anticoagulant therapy, and the coagulation time should be reassessed.
BACTRIM may inhibit the hepatic metabolism of phenytoin. BACTRIM, given at a common clinical dosage, increased the phenytoin half-life by 39% and decreased the phenytoin metabolic clearance rate by 27%. When administering these drugs concurrently, one should be alert for possible excessive phenytoin effect.
Sulfonamides can also displace methotrexate from plasma protein binding sites and can compete with the renal transport of methotrexate, thus increasing free methotrexate concentrations. There have been reports of marked but reversible nephrotoxicity with coadministration of BACTRIM and cyclosporine in renal transplant recipients.
Increased digoxin blood levels can occur with concomitant BACTRIM therapy, especially in elderly patients. Serum digoxin levels should be monitored.
Increased sulfamethoxazole blood levels may occur in patients who are receiving indomethacin. Occasional reports suggest that patients receiving pyrimethamine as malaria prophylaxis in doses exceeding 25 mg weekly may develop megaloblastic anemia if BACTRIM is prescribed.
The efficacy of tricyclic antidepressants can decrease when coadministered with BACTRIM. Like other sulfonamide-containing drugs, BACTRIM potentiates the effect of oral hypoglycemics. In the literature, a single case of toxic delirium has been reported after concomitant intake of trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and amantadine.
In the literature, three cases of hyperkalemia in elderly patients have been reported after concomitant intake of trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor.8,9
Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions
BACTRIM, specifically the trimethoprim component, can interfere with a serum methotrexate assay as determined by the competitive binding protein technique (CBPA) when a bacterial dihydrofolate reductase is used as the binding protein. No interference occurs, however, if methotrexate is measured by a radioimmunoassay (RIA).
The presence of sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim may also interfere with the Jaffé alkaline picrate reaction assay for creatinine, resulting in overestimations of about 10% in the range of normal values.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Long-term studies in animals to evaluate carcinogenic potential have not been conducted with BACTRIM.
Bacterial mutagenic studies have not been performed with sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim in combination. Trimethoprim was demonstrated to be nonmutagenic in the Ames assay. No chromosomal damage was observed in human leukocytes in vitro with sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim alone or in combination; the concentrations used exceeded blood levels of these compounds following therapy with sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. Observations of leukocytes obtained from patients treated with sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim revealed no chromosomal abnormalities.
Impairment of Fertility
No adverse effects on fertility or general reproductive performance were observed in rats given oral dosages as high as 350 mg/kg/day sulfamethoxazole plus 70 mg/kg/day trimethoprim.
Pregnancy Category C
In rats, oral doses of 533 mg/kg or 200 mg/kg produced teratologic effects manifested mainly as cleft palates.
The highest dose which did not cause cleft palates in rats was 512 mg/kg or 192 mg/kg trimethoprim when administered separately. In two studies in rats, no teratology was observed when 512 mg/kg of sulfamethoxazole was used in combination with 128 mg/kg of trimethoprim. In one study, however, cleft palates were observed in one litter out of 9 when 355 mg/kg of sulfamethoxazole was used in combination with 88 mg/kg of trimethoprim.
In some rabbit studies, an overall increase in fetal loss (dead and resorbed and malformed conceptuses) was associated with doses of trimethoprim 6 times the human therapeutic dose. While there are no large, well-controlled studies on the use of sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim in pregnant women, Brumfitt and Pursell,10 in a retrospective study, reported the outcome of 186 pregnancies during which the mother received either placebo or sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. The incidence of congenital abnormalities was 4.5% (3 of 66) in those who received placebo and 3.3% (4 of 120) in those receiving sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. There were no abnormalities in the 10 children whose mothers received the drug during the first trimester. In a separate survey, Brumfitt and Pursell also found no congenital abnormalities in 35 children whose mothers had received oral sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim at the time of conception or shortly thereafter.
Because sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim may interfere with folic acid metabolism, BACTRIM should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
See CONTRAINDICATIONS section.
See CONTRAINDICATIONS section.
BACTRIM is not recommended for infants younger than 2 months of age (see INDICATIONS and CONTRAINDICATIONS sections).
Clinical studies of BACTRIM did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects.
There may be an increased risk of severe adverse reactions in elderly patients, particularly when complicating conditions exist, e.g., impaired kidney and/or liver function, possible folate deficiency, or concomitant use of other drugs. Severe skin reactions, generalized bone marrow suppression (see WARNINGS and ADVERSE REACTIONS sections), a specific decrease in platelets (with or without purpura), and hyperkalemia are the most frequently reported severe adverse reactions in elderly patients. In those concurrently receiving certain diuretics, primarily thiazides, an increased incidence of thrombocytopenia with purpura has been reported. Increased digoxin blood levels can occur with concomitant BACTRIM therapy, especially in elderly patients. Serum digoxin levels should be monitored. Hematological changes indicative of folic acid deficiency may occur in elderly patients. These effects are reversible by folinic acid therapy. Appropriate dosage adjustments should be made for patients with impaired kidney function and duration of use should be as short as possible to minimize risks of undesired reactions (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION section). The trimethoprim component of BACTRIM may cause hyperkalemia when administered to patients with underlying disorders of potassium metabolism, with renal insufficiency or when given concomitantly with drugs known to induce hyperkalemia, such as angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. Close monitoring of serum potassium is warranted in these patients. Discontinuation of BACTRIM treatment is recommended to help lower potassium serum levels. Bactrim Tablets contain 1.8 mg sodium (0.08 mEq) of sodium per tablet. Bactrim DS Tablets contain 3.6 mg (0.16 mEq) of sodium per tablet.
Pharmacokinetics parameters for sulfamethoxazole were similar for geriatric subjects and younger adult subjects. The mean maximum serum trimethoprim concentration was higher and mean renal clearance of trimethoprim was lower in geriatric subjects compared with younger subjects (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Geriatric Pharmacokinetics).