Is It Safe To Take Bactrim While Breastfeeding?

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If you are a new mom suffering from infections such as a urinary tract infection or an uncomfortable condition such as constant diarrhea while breastfeeding, you may be quite uneasy. In such scenarios, you may consider taking medications such as Bactrim while breastfeeding. However, you need to talk to your provider before popping a pill during this crucial phase to avoid causing any potential side effects in your breastfeeding baby.

Read on as we tell you the recommended doses, safety aspects, and possible side effects of using Bactrim while breastfeeding.

What Is Bactrim?

Bactrim is an effective medication and combination of antibiotics, namely trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole, that treat several different kinds of infections that occur due to bacteria. The drug is a combination of one part of a synthetic drug popular as trimethoprim and five parts of sulfonamide drug popular as sulfamethoxazole. The unique combination of antibiotics curbs bacterial growth and cures your bacterial infection (1).

Is It Safe To Take Bactrim While Breastfeeding?

Bactrim easily passes into the breast milk, so you need to exercise caution while using it. When you take the drug, the levels of sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim in your breast milk increase to approximately 2% to 5 % of the daily recommended dose for infants. So, consult your doctor while going for Bactrim if you are breastfeeding. If your baby has jaundice, is stressed, is ill, or is premature, he is at a high risk of kernicterus and bilirubin displacement. So, avoid taking Bactrim while you are nursing.

Also, you should not take Bactrim if you are suffering from critical kidney or liver ailment, a history of low blood platelets due to trimethoprim, and anemia due to folic acid deficiency. Consult your doctor before you go for the drug while breastfeeding (1).

Benefits Of Bactrim While Breastfeeding

Bactrim is an excellent combination of antibiotics that can relieve several bacterial infections while you are nursing your baby. Here, we list some bacterial infections in nursing mothers that Bactrim can help treat:

1. Urinary tract infections (UTI)

Bactrim is an effective cure for urinary tract infections due to bacteria, such as E.coli, Morganella morganii, Proteus Vulgaris, Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiella, and Enterobacter. The drug relieves the symptoms of UTI, such as a burning sensation while urinating, cramps in lower abdomen, foul-smelling urine, frequent urination, and blood in the urine. Nursing mothers should ensure adequate fluid intake and urinary output to prevent the risk of crystalluria while taking Bactrim to treat a UTI.

2. Ear infections

Bactrim helps treat ear infections due to bacteria, such as Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumonia. However, lactating mothers should consult the doctor before taking the medication to cure any ear infection (2).

3. Chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is a bad condition, which only gets worse when it is due to Haemophilus influenzae or Streptococcus pneumonia. However, having an appropriate dose of Bactrim helps you cure this ailment effectively (3).

4. Diarrhea

Bactrim provides nursing moms relief from diarrhea and dysentery due to Shigella sonnei infections, Shigella flexneri, enterotoxigenic E. coli, and traveler’s diarrhea.

5. Pneumonia

Bactrim cures pneumonia that occurs due to Pneumocystis jiroveci. The medication also boosts your immunity considerably.

Side Effects Of Bactrim While Breastfeeding

Even though there are many benefits of having Bactrim, there is always a possibility that you may experience some side-effects of the drug. Here are some common side-effects of the medication.

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia or loss of appetite
  • Stomach ache
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itchiness

If you experience any of these side-effects while breastfeeding your infant, stop taking the medication and check with your doctor as soon as possible.

The medication Bactrim is an antibiotic used to treat several bacterial infections. However, a few studies state that the medication might pass through breast milk. Therefore, medical professionals may or may not advise Bactrim while breastfeeding. Consult your doctor if you show any signs of any infections rather than taking the medication by yourself. Follow the doctor’s advice on taking the medications. If you notice any side effects or doubt it affects your nursing, stop its intake and consult your doctor for an alternative medication.


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  1. BACTRIM™ sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim DS (double strength) tablets and tablets USP.
  2. Bactrim.
  3. LABEL: BACTRIM DS- sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim tablet.
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Dr. Dur Afshar Agha

Dr. Dur Afshar Agha is a consultant pediatrician with decades of experience in various medical facilities both in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. She has headed the Department of Preventive Pediatrics at the prestigious, Children’s Hospital and Institute of Child Health in Pakistan and is a life member of the Pakistan Paediatric Association. She has also completed her Post Graduate Program... more

Jessica Albert

Jessica Albert is a passionate writer who seeks to connect with her readers through wit and charm. Her work aims to invoke curiosity and keep the readers engaged through and through. She has prior experience working with magazines and e-commerce establishments as a content marketer and editor. Being a mother herself, she puts all her knowledge into creating content about... more