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.

In This Article

What Is Bactrim?

Bactrim is a combination of antibiotics

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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?

Be cautious about the safety of bactrim while breastfeeding

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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 bilirubiniXA yellowish pigment produced after red blood cell breakdown levels in a baby’s blood” ]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 crystalluriaiXThe presence of urine crystals indicating kidney inflammation while taking Bactrim to treat a UTI.

2. Ear infections

Consult your doctor before taking Bactrim for ear infection

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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

Batrim is prescribed for chronic bronchitis while breastfeeding

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Chronic bronchitisiXA long-term lung condition in which the bronchi becomes scarred and inflamed 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

Stomach ache can be a side effect of bactrim

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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.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long will it take for Bactrim to leave my system?

Bactrim contains trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole. The half-life (time needed for the medication to reduce to half the original dose) of trimethoprim is about eight to ten hours, and that of sulfamethoxazole is ten hours. However, people with renal issues may show elevated half-lives for both. Doctors may adjust the medication dosage if you have these issues (4).

2. Will Bactrim decrease my milk supply?

Presently, there is not enough research to confirm the effects of Bactrim on your milk supply. However, according to the CDC, most prescription drugs do not affect the milk supply. Nevertheless, seek your doctor’s advice before taking this antibiotic during breastfeeding (5) (6).

3. How long do antibiotics remain in breast milk?

Different antibiotics pass into the breast milk in different amounts. Therefore, not all antibiotics are safe during breastfeeding (7). Doctors usually prescribe medications that pass into the milk at low levels and do not adversely affect the infants. So, it is important to consult your doctor before taking any antibiotics during breastfeeding.

4. Are there any foods I avoid while taking Bactrim?

It is recommended to consume a safe, balanced diet to prevent any damaging side effects of Bactrim. Dairy, calcium-rich foods, fortified foods, and high-acid foods may interfere with antibiotics. Instead, include soups, lightly salted crackers, peanut butter, and fermented foods in your diet (8).

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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