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Trimethoprim UTI Tablets

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Treatment Information

Table of contents

What is Trimethoprim 200mg?

Trimethoprim is an antibiotic treatment for cystitis - a urinary tract infection (UTI). It is available in tablet form as well as a liquid oral suspension.

It is sometimes prescribed long term for people who have recurrent cystitis as a preventive treatment.

Before you order Trimethoprim online from Prescription Doctor, you will need to answer some medical questions before our doctor can safely prescribe the medication.

What is Cystitis and how is it caused?

Cystitis is a bacterial infection of the urinary tract, commonly known as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or water infection.

Women have a greater risk than men for developing a UTI due to the shorter distance between the urethra and anus, and the length of the urethra itself in women.

Cystitis occurs when bacteria, such as E. coli, enter the urethra and travel up into the bladder, where it causes inflammation.

While the condition is not classed as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it is not uncommon for UTIs to develop after sexual intercourse. To prevent Cystitis from developing after having sex, you should go to the toilet as soon as you can after sex to flush out any bacteria which may be in your urethra.

Cystitis can also develop when there is an obstruction in the urinary tract. Such obstructions include bladder and kidney stones, pressure on the bladder during pregnancy, and the presence of foreign bodies such as catheters.

If the bladder cannot empty fully, pools of urine can remain in bladder, providing the perfect conditions for bacterial infection to develop.

Some underlying health conditions, such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis, can increase the risk of developing a UTI.

Cystitis can also affect men, though this is uncommon. Men who suspect they have a urinary tract infection should arrange an appointment to see their GP, to rule out the cause of their symptoms.

How does Trimethoprim 200mg work?

Trimethoprim works by stopping the growth of bacteria causing a urinary tract infection. It interferes with the production of tetrahydrofolic acid, which is required for the synthesis of bacterial proteins.

This prevents the bacteria from replicating, which inhibits the spread of the infection.

Like other antibiotic treatments, it is important to complete your course of antibiotics, even if your symptoms clear. If you do not complete your antibiotic treatment course as prescribed, you could increase the risk of the infection returning.

Sometimes, your doctor may require a urine sample to determine whether the bacterium is resistant to Trimethoprim or not.

How do I take Trimethoprim?

For the treatment of Cystitis, take 200mg of Trimethoprim twice daily for between 3 and 14 days. Your doctor will advise you specifically on your starting dosage and how many days you should take Trimethoprim for.

Trimethoprim 200mg tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water.

Always take your medicine as prescribed by the doctor.

What should I do if I forget to take Trimethoprim?

If you forget your dose of Trimethoprime, take the missed dose as soon as you remember and continue to take your medicine as normal.

Do not take more Trimethoprim to make up for the dose you missed.

What should I do if I accidentally take too much Trimethoprim?

If you accidentally take too much Trimethoprim, contact your doctor or nearest hospital casualty department.

Trimethoprim 200mg side effects and cautions

All medicines have the potential of causing side effects, though not everybody gets them. Understanding the risks associated with your treatment and being vigilant of side effects is important to your care.

The full list of Trimethoprim side effects can be found in the patient information leaflet supplied with your medicine.

Side effects of Trimethoprim may include:

  • Changes in liver enzymes
  • Headache
  • Increase in blood creatinine and urea
  • Increased bruising
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Itching
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin and whites of eyes)
  • Muscle cramps and pains
  • Nausea
  • Nose bleeds
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Skin rashes
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen tongue
  • Vomiting

This is no an exhaustive list of side effects assocaited with Trimethoprim. Further information regarding the safety of Trimethoprim, including a complete list of side effects, can be found within the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medicine.

If you experience any side effects, whether listed above or in the patient information leaflet, inform your doctor or consult a pharmacist.

Who should not take Trimethoprim 200mg?

Trimethoprim might not be suitable for you. During your consultation, please inform our doctors if you:

  • are pregnant, intend on becoming pregnant or are breastfeeding
  • have porphyria
  • have problems with your blood such as anaemia, low white blood cells or folic acid deficiency
  • have problems with your kidneys
  • have problems with your liver

Allergic reaction

Do not take Trimethoprim if you are allergic to trimethoprim or any of its ingredients listed in the patient information leaflet.

This treatment contains lactose - please contact your doctor before using this medicine if you are known to have lactose intolerance.

If you experience the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction, stop taking the medicine and speak to your doctor as soon as possible. Seek emergency medical attention if necessary.

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hives
  • Skin rash
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue and throat

Interactions with other medicine

Please inform your doctor if you are taking or have recently taken other medicines, including those on prescription, acquired over the counter or herbal health supplements. It is especially important to inform our doctors if you are taking any of the following medications:

  • Antibiotics such as rifampicin
  • Anticoagulants (Warfarin)
  • Bone marrow depressants
  • Ciclosporin (to prevent transplant rejection)
  • Digoxin (to treat heart conditions)
  • Phenytoin (to treat epilepsy)
  • Pyrimethamine (to treat malaria)

Driving and operating machinery

Trimethoprim should not affect your ability to drive or operate machinery.

If you experience dizziness, fatigue or visiaul disturbances after taking Trimethoprim, do not drive or operate machinery until you feel better.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you are pregnant, speak to your doctor before taking Trimethoprim.

Trimethoprim passes into breast milk, though it is not considered to be harmful to your baby. If you are worried about taking Trimethoprim while breastfeeding, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

Other cautions

Always read the patient information leaflet before you start taking Trimethoprim.

Do not take Trimethoprim past the expiry date printed on the packaging.

Never throw away medicine via household or water waste. Take any unwanted or expired medicine to your pharmacy for them to dispose it safely.

Always store medicines out of the sight and reach of children and pets.

Never share medicine prescribed for you with anybody else, even if they are experiencing the same symptoms or have been diagnosed with the same condition as you.

Frequently asked questions about Trimethoprim 200mg

Will Trimethoprim affect my contraception?

Trimethoprim does not interact with hormonal contraceptives, including the morning after pill.

If you experience diarrhoea or vomiting after taking Trimethoprim, your contraceptive may be affected. Check the patient information leaflet which comes with your pill for information on what to do if you are sick or experience diarrhoea.

What should I do if I become pregnant while taking Trimethoprim?

If you become pregnant while taking Trimethoprim, stop taking the treatment and contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Can I still drink alcohol while taking Trimethoprim?

It is considered safe to drink within moderation while taking Trimethoprim. Alcohol does not affect the efficacy of the medicine.

However, alcohol consumption can increase the risk of side effects, or make side effects, such as dizziness, headache or stomach ache, worsen. Therefore, you should limit or avoid alcohol consumption while taking Trimethoprim.

Can cystitis be cured with apple cider vinegar or cranberry juice?

There is currently limited evidence to suggest that cranberry juice or apple cider vinegar can effectively treat cystitis.

Can I buy Trimethoprim 200mg over the counter in the UK?

No - Trimethoprim 200mg is an antibiotic which must be prescribed by a doctor and is therefore not available over the counter in the UK.

Can I take painkillers with Trimethoprim?

You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve the pain of cystitis while taking Trimethoprim.

If you are unsure about taking Trimethoprim alongside other medicines, speak to your doctor.

Are Trimethoprim and Nitrofurantoin the same?

While Nitrofurantoin and Trimethoprim are antibiotics used to treat cystitis, they are not the same.

If you are unsure which one is most suitable for you, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.


Additional resources


Why do I keep getting cystitis?

How to prevent Cystitis?

Dr Giuseppe Aragona
This content has been checked for quality and accuracy by Dr Giuseppe Aragona Doctor

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Trimethoprim
  • Active Ingredient(s): Trimethoprim
  • Administration: Oral
  • Presentation: Tablets
  • Available Strength: 200mg
  • Exemption: Prescription Only
  • Application: Women over 18+
  • Dosage: Take 200mg of Trimethoprim twice daily for between 3 to 14 days
  • Description: Trimethoprim is an antibiotic which is used to treat cystitis
  • Drug Class: Antibiotics
  • Alcohol Consumption: Avoid or limit alcohol consumption
  • When Pregnant: Do not take Trimethoprim if you are pregnant. Speak to your doctor for further advice.
  • When Breastfeeding: Do not take Trimethoprim if you are breastfeeding. Speak to your doctor for further advice.
Click here to view the Trimethoprim UTI Tablets - Patient Information Leaflet

Cystitis Alternatives

Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) UTI Antibiotics

Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) UTI Antibiotics

  • Kills bacteria
  • Short course treatment
  • Eligible for next-day delivery
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