Compare Bactrim vs. Cetraxal

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Bactrim
(sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim)

Cetraxal
(ciprofloxacin)

Kills bacteria. Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as a generic. However, you can be more likely to sunburn.Treats outer ear infections (swimmer's ear). Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) is easy to use and treats most ear infections.
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Coupons for Bactrim
Best available price for 20 (800mg/160mg) tablets of bactrim
Coupons for Cetraxal
Best available price for 20 (500mg) tablets of ciprofloxacin
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.96Bactrim
Reviews for Bactrim
59%
of people (All ages) say Bactrim is worth it
49%
say it works well
22%
say it's a big hassle
473 reviews
Have you used Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim)?
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Have you used Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin)?
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Side effects
BactrimCetraxal

The Bactrim FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Bactrim side effects »

The Cetraxal FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Cetraxal side effects »
How it works
BactrimCetraxal
Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) is a combination antibiotic that contains sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. It kills bacteria.Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that kills bacteria. When the bacteria are killed, the infection should go away.
Type of medication
BactrimCetraxal
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
BactrimCetraxal
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Ear drops
Used for
BactrimCetraxal
Risk factors for serious side effects
BactrimCetraxal
  • Elderly
  • Taking other medicines that lower kidney function
Detailed Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) risks & warnings »
  • Prolonged use of Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin)
Detailed Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Kidneys and liver
BactrimCetraxal
  • Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) can harm your kidneys, especially if you're taking anti-inflammatory pain relievers like Motrin or Advil or other medicines that also affect your kidneys. Make sure to drink plenty of water or fluids while you're taking Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim).
No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
BactrimCetraxal
No pain related info.
  • Can cause ear pain, itching, or a headache.
Upsides and benefits
BactrimCetraxal
  • Widely available as a generic product and in a variety of formulations (tablet, capsule, suspension).
  • Works well to treat many types of bacterial infections
  • Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) is an effective antibiotic that treats many common bacteria.
  • It's usually only given twice a day.
  • Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) is available as a generic, so you shouldn't need to pay the higher price of the brand version.
  • It comes in individual droppers, so it's convenient to take.
  • Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) is safe to use in children 1 year of age and older.
Downsides and risks
BactrimCetraxal
  • Makes you sensitive to the sun.
  • Can upset your stomach
  • Drink plenty of water or fluids to avoid harming your kidneys
  • May cause birth defects
  • Can cause ear pain, itching, or a headache.
  • Stop using Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) right away if a rash develops on or in your ear.
  • You need to take Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) until you've used up all of the droppers. Otherwise the infection can come back and get worse.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
BactrimCetraxal
  • Take Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) exactly the way your doctor tells you.
  • Can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun or wear protection while under the sun.
  • Drink plenty of water or liquids while on Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) to avoid harming your kidneys.
  • Can cause upset stomach.
  • Can cause an allergic reaction. Talk to your doctor if you notice skin rash or swelling of your face.
  • Each dropper is used for only one dose, so throw it away after you've used it once.
  • Wash your hands before and after you use Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin).
  • Warm the dropper by holding it in your hand for a minute before using it.
  • Lie on your side with the ear that hurts facing the ceiling. Squeeze all the liquid in the dropper into your ear and don't get up for at least a minute.
  • Talk to your doctor if you still have problems even after you've finished using all of the medicine.
  • Don't put the drug in your fridge and don't let it sit in the direct sunlight.
Learn more
More about BactrimSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim)?
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More about CetraxalSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it