Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole  (TMP/SMZ)

Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole are another forms of oral antibiotics used for the treatments of severe acne infection. It is often abbreviated as TMP/SMZ. The brand name found in The United States includes Septra, Bactrim, and  Sulfatrim.


This antibiotics alone usually prescribed for the treatments of moderate to severe acne infections caused by bacteria. Dermatologist normally prescribed trimethoprim when other antibiotics and other treatment options failed to work on acne. Most prescription medications including trimethoprim are not suggested for the treatments of mild acne that responds easily to benzoyl peroxide.

  • In some cases, dermatologist prescribe trimethoprim as a substitute for acne treatment with isotretinoin. Based on severity of acne and patients health conditions,  isotretinoin cream can be used alongside with oral trimethoprim.
  • Like any other treatment guidelines, it is important not to exceed the recommended amount. Closely follow how your skin responds to this medicine. If your acne get worst after  a reasonable time of using trimethoprim, it is time to stop. 


Sulfamethoxazole is another antibiotic prescribed for the treatments of acne infection caused by bacteria. However, because of bacterial resistant to this drugs, it is not prescribed alone. Nowadays, it is prescribed along with other antibiotics such as  trimethoprim.

  • Most people try to give their medicine to others when they see the same symptoms as they do. There is one rule of thumb!! Do not give any medicine including Sulfamethoxazole to anybody else. These medicines can be dangerous for people unless their doctor prescribed it.

When Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole  work together

Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole work together in order to block folic acid synthesis  in bacteria. As a result, the bacteria are unable to multiply and reproduce. In addition, TMP increase the efficiency of SMZ by reducing the incidence of antibiotic resistance.

  • In order to see the best results, TMP/SMZ should be supplemented with another treatment options. Usually, it performs well when it combined with topical treatments such as retinoids. Whether you see best results or not, you have to continue taking this medicine as prescribed by your dermatologist.  

Common Side-effects

  • It can cause diarrhoea.
  • It increase sensitivity to sun, so do not exposed to direct sun light.
  • Fever, cough
  • Stomach upset, nausea and loss of appetite. 
  • Moderate rash or itching.


  • Do not use Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazoleif you have/are

                              - Severe kidney disease

                              - Liver disease

                              - Anemia

                              - Severe allergies

                              - Porphyria

                              - AIDS

                              - Breast feeding and pregnant

  • Talk to your doctor before using this medicine.
  • Do not exceed the recommended duration and amount.
  • Drink enough water to prevent kidney stone.

› Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMZ)


severe acne, moderate acne, topical treatment, retinoids 

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