Compare Cipro vs. Bactrim

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

Cipro
(Ciprofloxacin)

Bactrim
(Sulfamethoxazole / Trimethoprim)

Kills bacteria. Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) is a good and cheap antibiotic to treat many types of bacterial infections. However, you have to reduce your caffeine intake, and have to protect yourself from the sun.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. Also, it can cause birth defects, so talk to your doctor if you're pregnant.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
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5.180965147453083Cipro
Reviews for Cipro (Ciprofloxacin)
64%
of people say Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) is worth it
53%
say it works well
17%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Bactrim (Sulfamethoxazole / Trimethoprim)
59%
5% vs. Cipro (Ciprofloxacin)
50%
3% vs. Cipro (Ciprofloxacin)
22%
5% vs. Cipro (Ciprofloxacin)
Side effects
CiproBactrim

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

More about Cipro side effects »

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

More about Bactrim side effects »
How it works
CiproBactrim
Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.Bactrim (Sulfamethoxazole / Trimethoprim) is a combination antibiotic that contains sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. It kills bacteria by preventing them from making proteins and other chemicals that keep them alive.
Type of medication
CiproBactrim
Antibiotic
Fluoroquinolone
Prescription only
Antibiotic
Sulfonamide
Prescription only
Available as
CiproBactrim
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Infusion (IV)
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
CiproBactrim
Risk factors for serious side effects
CiproBactrim
  • Over 60 years of age
  • On long-term steroid use
  • Heart, kidney, or lung transplant
  • Myasthenia gravis
        Detailed Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) risks & warnings »
                Detailed Bactrim (Sulfamethoxazole / Trimethoprim) risks & warnings »
                Pregnancy category
                CiproBactrim
                CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

                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.

                See the FDA package insert
                DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

                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.

                See the FDA package insert
                Alcohol
                No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
                Food
                No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
                Kidneys and liver
                No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
                Sex
                No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
                Sleep
                No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
                Weight
                No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
                Upsides and benefits
                CiproBactrim
                • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
                • Less resistance seen in bacteria to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see which antibiotics will kill the bacteria causing your infection.
                • Available in generic.
                • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
                • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule and suspension.
                • Less resistance seen to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see if Bactrim responds to your infection.
                • Available in generic.
                • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
                Downsides and risks
                CiproBactrim
                • Must be used with caution in people over 60 years of age, or who have had either an organ transplant or on long-term steroid use due to possible tendon rupture.
                • If you have caffeine while on Ciprofloxacin, you may noticed increased effects of the caffeine.
                • Ciprofloxacin can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
                • Can't be used if you've ever had myasthenia gravis.
                • Can cause diarrhea.
                • Makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.
                • Has to be taken with plenty of liquids.
                • May cause birth defects.
                • Can cause diarrhea.
                Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
                CiproBactrim
                • If you notice pain in your Achilles tendons, contact your doctor.
                • Wear sunscreen if you're going to be out in the sun.
                • Take the medication exactly how the doctor tells you to.
                • Avoid taking this by itself with dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt) or with juice with calcium.
                • Take this medication at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after any antacids with magnesium or aluminum or with any vitamins with calcium, iron or zinc.
                • Limit your caffeine intake while taking this medication.
                • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
                • Take this medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
                • Can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
                • Drink plenty of liquids when taking the medication.
                • Can cause rash.
                • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
                Learn more
                More about CiproSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
                More about BactrimSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert