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Septra DS is an antibiotic often prescribed for the treatment of urinary tract infections, ear infections, and other types of bacterial infections. It is a combination drug that contains sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, antibiotics that work by inhibiting the production of folic acid in bacteria. Septra DS comes in tablet form and is usually taken twice a day. Potential side effects include itching, nausea, and vomiting.

What Is Septra DS?

Septra® DS (sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim) is a prescription antibiotic approved to treat a variety of different infections, including urinary tract infections and ear infections. In addition to treating infections, it is also approved for the prevention of a certain type of pneumonia (Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia) in people with a weakened immune system, such as people with HIV or AIDS.
Septra DS is just like regular Septra®, except it contains twice as much of the active ingredients (the "DS" stands for "double strength").
(Click Septra Uses for more information on what Septra DS is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Brand-name Septra DS is manufactured by King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Generic versions are made by various different manufacturers.

How Does It Work?

Septra DS contains two different antibiotics, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. Trimethoprim does not belong to a specific class of medications. Sulfamethoxazole belongs to a group of drugs known as sulfonamides ("sulfa" drugs). These two antibiotics work in different but similar ways. Essentially, both sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim work by inhibiting the production of folic acid in bacteria, although they work in different stages of folic acid production. Folic acid is important for making proteins and DNA. Because humans obtain folic acid from the diet (and bacteria cannot), human cells are less affected by Septra DS.
Combining sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim increases the effectiveness and decreases the chance of antibiotic resistance (the development of bacteria with the ability to resist antibiotics).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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