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Co-trimoxazole SeptrinĀ®

How is co-trimoxazole given?
Co-trimoxazole is given by mouth in tablet or liquid form. When co-trimoxazole is given by mouth, it is usually given to prevent PCP (pneumonia) during chemotherapy treatment. It can be given in higher doses into a vein (intravenously) through a cannula, central line or implantable port to treat PCP. It is usually given for the child to take on a weekend, once daily, but your health care professional will decide this.

What are the side effects of co-trimoxazole?
Nausea and vomiting
Anti-sickness drugs can be given to reduce or prevent these symptoms. Please tell your doctor or nurse if your child’s sickness is not controlled or persists.

Bone marrow suppression
Some children are sensitive to cotrimoxazole and this can show itself by a reduction in how well your child’s bone marrow works. This means he or she may become anaemic, bruise or bleed more easily than usual, and have a higher risk of infection. Please tell your doctor if your child seems unusually tired, has bruising or bleeding, or any signs of infection, especially a high temperature. Children who are sensitive to co-trimoxazole may find that their bone marrow is more likely to be supressed when taking mercaptopurine or thioguanine as well as co-trimoxazole. Your child’s blood count will be checked regularly and individual advice will be given by your doctor.

Allergic reaction
Some children receiving co-trimoxazole have an allergic reaction to the drug. This reaction may be mild to severe. Signs of a mild allergic reaction include skin rashes and itching, high temperature, shivering, redness of the face, a feeling of dizziness or headache. If you see any of these signs, please report them to a doctor or nurse. Signs of a severe allergic reaction include any of the above, as well as difficulty in breathing or chest pain. If you are in hospital and your child shows signs of an allergic reaction, call a doctor or nurse immediately. If you are at home and your child shows signs of a severe allergic reaction, call an ambulance immediately.

Please tell the doctor or nurse if your child has diarrhoea which is not controlled or persists. It is important that your child drinks lots of fluids.

Sensitivity to sunlight
While your child is having co-trimoxazole, their skin may be more sensitive to sunlight. If your child does go out in the sun, always use a good sunblock of SPF25 or higher and ensure they wear a sunhat.

Co-trimoxazole and interactions with other medicines
Some medicines can react with co-trimoxazole, altering how well it works. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving your child any other medicine, including medicines on prescription from your family doctor (GP), medicines bought from a pharmacy (chemist) or any herbal or complementary medicines.

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