Cipro vs. Bactrim: Understanding the Key Differences
Mechanism of Action
Cipro is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that inhibits DNA synthesis in bacteria by blocking the action of DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV. Bactrim is a combination of two antibiotics, trimethoprim, and sulfamethoxazole that work synergistically to block different steps in the folic acid synthesis pathway.
Spectrum of Activity
Cipro has a broad-spectrum of activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, but less effective against anaerobic bacteria. Bactrim is effective against many of the same bacteria as Cipro, but also has activity against some anaerobic bacteria and some protozoa.
Cipro can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, central nervous system effects, tendonitis, tendon ruptures, photosensitivity, and adverse reactions to sun exposure. Bactrim can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, skin rash, itching, urticaria, blood disorders, and severe hypersensitivity reaction known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Cipro is commonly used to treat urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal infections, skin and soft tissue infections, and bone and joint infections. Bactrim is commonly used to treat urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal infections, skin and soft tissue infections, infections caused by Pneumocystis jirovecii and Toxoplasma gondii, bacterial meningitis, osteomyelitis, as well as prevent infections in immunocompromised patients.
Physicians must understand the key differences between Cipro and Bactrim to select the most appropriate drug for their patients. Both drugs should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider and with careful consideration of their potential risks and benefits.