A couple weeks ago, I needed to have a pretty impressive cyst lanced on the left side of my neck. I’ll spare you all the vomitous details, but basically, this humdinger developed a nice little infection.
After my friend, Rachael, worked on opening and cleaning it out, she came across a second lump that, at first, simply blended in with the original cyst. As she gently pressed on that sucker with a cotton swab, I just about shot through the ceiling. Rachael tried going at it from a couple different angles, but each attempt felt like she had switched out the cotton swab for a steak knife.
At that point, she suggested I go to urgent care. My husband figured the trip could wait till morning since it was almost 11pm on a Sunday night. Well, I have heard one too many accounts of minor flesh wounds gone bad for me to agree with the man, so of course, I wanted to go to the 24 hour urgent care sooner rather than later.
After hanging out in the waiting room for what seemed like a year and a half, I mentally prepared for the doctor to lance the cyst right then and there. However, once I made it back into a treatment room to twiddle my thumbs some more, the PA fluttered in, briefly looked at the lump before prescribing the antibiotic named…dun dun dun…Bactrim.
Made up of the two antibiotics, Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, Bactrim, or Septra, is prescribed to treat bacterial infections such as UTIs, staph, bronchitis, etc. It can also be used to help clear up acne.
I began my 5 day course the following day, and by bed time I had developed a creepy crawly sensation in my legs that would only ease up if I moved them around. I started running a low-grade fever, had a crazy case of the chills, along with this super annoying itch on my back that no matter how much I scratched at the little twit, I could not get it to stop.
The next morning I woke up feeling like a gigantic. pile. of. cow dung. It took way too much effort to move. My right arm couldn’t decide between pins and needles or numbness, and my body temperature was like a frickin’ Katy Perry song.
But then. Then there were just some plain ole weird symptoms that literally popped up overnight.
For instance, both my hands were stiff to the point that making a claw proved difficult, let alone completely closing to a fist. Soon after, I realized I could not bite down with any sort of pressure without a pretty sharp pain involving, what felt like, all of my bottom molars.
Therefore, eating solid or crunchy foods was a no-no. And believe you me, I have to be hurting something fierce if I’m going to allow pain to stand between me and any type of my beloved food.
Blah. blah. blah! #StayOnTrack, Katie!
Mmmkay, where was I…
Upon dragging my butt outta bed, I immediately noticed my left tight and sore Achilles’ tendon, comparable to what Achilles tendinitis feels like. On top of all that, I could not seem to find any energy. I mean, I seriously ran out of breath just by walking a short distance.
Keep in mind, Sherlock over here had yet to think the symptoms might actually be side effects of the meds. I was too preoccupied convincing myself that I had contracted the big T.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking.
And you’d be right…I am a little off my rocker. In my defense though, I didn’t pull tetanus out of thin air. See, while being treated at the urgent care, the physician’s assistant asked when I had my last tetanus shot.
Almost certain it had been more than 10 years (10 years = the maximum amount of time you should go before needing another tetanus shot), I totally lied and told her it had been within the last several years.
Why in the schnark would I do something like that, right? Weeeeeell, as far back as I can remember, I’ve had this embarrassing fear of needles. So, once she uttered the word, “shot,” the little voice inside started yammering, “Shot? Did she say shot? Katie, seriously. Who gets tetanus anymore? Plus, remember how sore that shot made your arm last time?”
But as soon as I exited the building, take a stab at what thoughts began lurking in the back of my head.
“Is this tetanus?”
“Oh my gawd, I think this is a sign of tetanus.”
“Dude, this could easily be tetanus!”
And on and on and on.
I’m sure that paranoia stemmed from years of playing Dr. Google. Until recently, my initial reaction to most mystery symptoms (e.g., a peculiar symptom with no obvious explanation) was to hop on Google in order to find proof that my symptoms were nothing to worry about.
Nine times out of ten the “reassuring” Google search would inevitably backfire, and suddenly, my twitching eye lid was a sure sign some killer parasite had made itself at home inside my bod.
Yep, I’m a catastrophizer so I went back to the doctor. Because I could just feel the tetanus setting in.
Common Side Effects of Bactrim
Well, as you probably know, I did not have tetanus. My symptoms were in fact side effects of Bactrim. And once I looked into the possible side effects, I discovered just how many people have been negatively impacted by this medication that’s “largely banned in the UK.” I even came across a website warning readers of Bactrim and shares page after page of Bactrim horror stories.
According to Brighthub, several possible side effects include:
- Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea
- Fever, Chills
- Sensitivity to Sunlight
- Rash, Itching
- Pain Resembling Arthritis
For a more complete list of adverse side effects, click here.
Now, as though the side effects themselves weren’t crummy enough, it’s not uncommon for those Bactrim symptoms to stick around after one is finished taking the drug.
From my last dose I’d say it took well over a week for my symptoms to go away.
Sadly, many experience symptoms lasting months, sometimes years, while other user’s symptoms end up being permanent. Combined with the numerous cases where the medication caused death, that’s plenty of information for me to justify steering clear of Bactrim.
Maybe it’s just me and my limited exposure to certain medications, but until now, I don’t remember ever having negative side effects from an antibiotic.
Lesson learned though. From here on out, if I’m prescribed an unfamiliar drug, you bet your sweet lil booty I’ll be asking about any poopy side effects that might come along with it.
What about you? Have you, or someone you know, ever gone through some sucky side effects from Bactrim or another antibiotic? I’d love for you to share down in the comments section.
Also, if you enjoyed this post, I’d be extremely grateful if you’d share it with others so they can learn more about Bactrim and the numerous negative side effects.
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