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What's the Difference Between Bactrim and Cefdinir?
- Bactrim and cefdinir are antibiotics used to treat a variety of infections.
- Bactrim and cefdinir belong to different antibiotic drug classes. Bactrim is a combination of an anti-bacterial sulfonamide (a "sulfa" drug) and a folic acid inhibitor. Cefdinir is a cephalosporin antibiotic
- The brand name for cefdinir called Omnicef is discontinued in the U.S.
- Side effects of Bactrim and cefdinir that are similar include headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and skin rash.
- Side effects of Bactrim that are different from cefdinir include dizziness, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
- Side effects of cefdinir that are different from Bactrim include vaginal yeast infection, abdominal pain, vaginitis, and rarely, abnormal liver tests. Cefdinir may cause a condition called pseudomembranous colitis (Clostridium difficile colitis), a potentially serious bacterial infection of the colon.
- Persons allergic to penicillin-type antibiotics may also be allergic to cefdinir. Serious and rare allergic reactions include severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), seizures, and low platelet or red blood cell count.
What Are Bactrim and Cefdinir?
Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) is a combination of two antibiotics both of which reduce the ability of some bacteria to utilize folic acid for growing. Sulfamethoxazole is an anti-bacterial sulfonamide (a "sulfa" drug) and trimethoprim is a folic acid inhibitor. The combination is more effective than either drug alone. Bactrim is used to treat infections due to susceptible bacteria such as urinary tract infections, bronchits, middle ear infections, to prevent infections due to pneumococcus in organ transplant recipients, to treat or prevent or Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, chancroid, and to prevent toxoplasma encephalitis in patients with AIDS.
Cefdinir is a cephalosporin antibiotic used against susceptible bacteria that can cause infections of the middle ear (otitis media), tonsils (tonsillitis), throat (strep throat), larynx (laryngitis), sinuses (sinusitis), bronchi (bronchitis), lungs (pneumonia), and skin and other soft tissues. Other cephalosporin antibiotics include cephalexin (Keflex), cefaclor (Ceclor), cefuroxime (Zinacef), cefpodoxime (Vantin), cefixime (Suprax), and cefprozil (Cefzil).
What Are the Side Effects of Bactrim and Cefdinir?
Common side effects of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim are:
Other side effects include:
Cefdinir generally is well tolerated. The most common side effects are:
Rare side effects include:
Cefdinir may cause false test results with some tests for sugar in the urine.
Like most antibiotics, cefdinir may cause a condition called pseudomembranous colitis (Clostridium difficile colitis), a potentially serious bacterial infection of the colon. Patients who develop signs of pseudomembranous colitis after starting cefdinir (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their doctor immediately.
People who are allergic to the penicillin class of antibiotics, for example, amoxicillin, amoxicillin and clavulanic acid (Augmentin), which are related to cephalosporins, may or may not be allergic to cephalosporins.
What Is the Dosage of Bactrim vs. Cefdinir?
- The recommended adult dose for urinary tract infections is one double strength tablet (Bactrim DS, Septra DS) or two single strength tablets every 12 hours for 10 to 14 days.
- Flares of chronic bronchitis are treated with a similar regimen for 14 days.
- Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim should be taken with 6 to 8 ounces of liquid to prevent crystals from forming in the urine. Persons with advanced kidney disease may require lower doses.
- Cefdinir is taken once or twice daily, depending on the type and severity of the infection.
- The capsules or suspension can be taken with or without food.
- Patients with advanced kidney disease may need to take lower doses to prevent accumulation of cefdinir since it is eliminated from the body by the kidneys.
- For adult infections the usual dose is 300 mg every 12 hours or 600 mg per day for 5-10 days depending on the nature and severity of the infection.
- The recommended dose for children 6 months to 12 years of age is 7 mg/kg every 12 hours or 14 mg/kg per day for 5-10 days depending on the type of infection.
- For most infections, once daily dosing is as effective as twice daily dosing, although once daily dosing has not been evaluated for the treatment of skin infections or pneumonia.
What Drugs Interact with Bactrim and Cefdinir?
Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim can enhance the blood-thinning effects of warfarin (Coumadin), possibly leading to bleeding. Sulfonamides such as sulfamethoxazole can increase the metabolism (break-down and elimination) of cyclosporine (causing loss of effectiveness of cyclosporine), and can add to the kidney damage caused by cyclosporine.
Blood levels of phenytoin (Dilantin) may be increased by treatment with sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. This may lead to side effects associated with phenytoin (Dilantin, Dilantin-125) such as dizziness, and reduced attention.
Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim also may increase blood levels of digoxin (Lanoxin) and possibly lead to serious toxic effects. Anemia, due to a reduction in folic acid, can occur in persons receiving sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim in combination with:
- valproic acid (Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon, Stavzor),
- methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall),
- triamterene, or
Increased blood levels of potassium may occur when sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim is combined with ACE inhibitors.
- Aluminum or magnesium containing antacids reduce the absorption of cefdinir from the intestine. Separating the administration of cefdinir and such antacids by two hours prevents this interaction.
- Iron supplements also reduce the absorption of cefdinir. Separating the administration of cefdinir and iron supplements by two hours prevents this interaction. There have been reports of reddish stool in patients who have received cefdinir. This could be due to the formation of a chemical complex between cefdinir and iron in the stomach.
Are Bactrim and Cefdinir Safe to Take While Pregnant or Breastfeeding?
Use of sulfonamides may cause bilirubin to be displaced from proteins in the infant's blood. Displacement of bilirubin can lead to jaundice and a dangerous condition called kernicterus in the infant. For this reason, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim should not be used near term (late in pregnancy) among women.
Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim should not be used by nursing mothers because sulfamethoxazole is excreted in milk and can cause kernicterus.
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Bactrim and cefdinir are antibiotics used to treat a variety of infections. Bactrim and cefdinir belong to different antibiotic drug classes. Bactrim is a combination of an anti-bacterial sulfonamide (a "sulfa" drug) and a folic acid inhibitor. Cefdinir is a cephalosporin antibiotic
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Related Disease Conditions
Swimmer's Ear (External Otitis)
Swimmer's ear (external otitis) is an infection of the skin that covers the outer ear canal. Causes of swimmer's ear include excessive water exposure that leads to trapped bacteria in the ear canal. Symptoms of simmer's include a feeling of fullness in the ear, itching, and ear pain. Chronic swimmer's ear may be caused by eczema, seborrhea, fungus, chronic irritation, and other conditions. Common treatment includes antibiotic ear drops.
Middle Ear Infection (Otitis Media)
Middle ear infection (otitis media) is inflammation of the middle ear. There are two forms of this type of ear infection, acute and chronic. Acute otitis media is generally short in duration, and chronic otitis media generally lasts several weeks. Babies, toddlers, and children with a middle ear infection may be irritable, pull and tug at their ears, and experience numerous other symptoms and signs. Treatment depends upon the type of ear infection.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra. E. coli, a type of bacteria that lives in the bowel and near the anus, causes most UTIs. UTI symptoms include pain, abdominal pain, mild fever, urinary urgency and frequency. Treatment involves a course of antibiotics.
Pneumonia is inflammation of the lungs caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. Symptoms and signs include cough, fever, shortness of breath, and chills. Antibiotics treat pneumonia, and the choice of the antibiotic depends upon the cause of the infection.
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box (vocal cords). The most common cause of acute laryngitis is infection, which inflames the vocal cords. Symptoms may vary from degree of laryngitis and age of the person (laryngitis in infants and children is more commonly caused by croup). Common symptoms include a "barky" cough, a hoarse cough, fever, cold, runny nose, dry cough, and loss of voice. Chronic laryngitis generally lasts more than three weeks. Causes other than infection include smoking, excess coughing, GERD, and more. Treatment depends on the cause of laryngitis.
Bronchitis is inflammation of the airways in the lung. Acute bronchitis is short in duration (10-20 days) in comparison with chronic bronchitis, which lasts for months to years. Causes of acute bronchitis include viruses and bacteria, which means it can be contagious. Acute bronchitis caused by environmental factors such as pollution or cigarette smoke is not contagious. Common symptoms for acute bronchitis include nasal congestion, cough, headache, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue. Acute bronchitis in children also my include runny nose, fever, and chest pain. Treatment for acute bronchitis are OTC pain relievers, cough suppressants (although not recommended in children), and rest. Infrequently antibiotics may be prescribed to treat acute bronchitis.
Is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Contagious?
Bacteria such as E. coli or Pseudomonas can cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). The incubation period for a UTI ranges from three to eight days.
Chronic bronchitis is a cough that occurs daily with production of sputum that lasts for at least 3 months, 2 years in a row. Causes of chronic bronchitis include cigarette smoking, inhaled irritants, and underlying disease processes (such as asthma, or congestive heart failure). Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Treatments include bronchodilators and steroids. Complications of chronic bronchitis include COPD and emphysema.
Toxoplasmosis (toxo) is a parasitic infection that causes flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle aches and pains that may last from a few days to several weeks. Toxoplasmosis can be contracted by touching the hands to the mouth after gardening, cleaning a cat's litter box, or anything that came into contact with cat feces. Toxoplasmosis can also be contracted by eating raw or partly cooked meat, especially pork or lamb, or touching the hands to the mouth after contact with raw or undercooked meat
Treatment & Diagnosis
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Medications & Supplements
- sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (Bactrim)
- Sulfonamides (Bactrim, Bactrim DS, Septra, Septra DS)
- cefdinir (Omnicef has been discontinued)
- cefdinir suspension - oral, Omnicef
- cefdinir - oral, Omnicef
- sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim - injection, Bactrim, Septra
- sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim- oral, Bactrim, Septra
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- Nitrofurantoin vs. Bactrim
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