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.
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Coupons for Cipro
Best available price for 20 (500mg) tablets of ciprofloxacin
Coupons for Bactrim
Best available price for 20 (800mg/160mg) tablets of sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.17Cipro
Reviews for Cipro (ciprofloxacin)
63%
of people (All ages) say Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is worth it
53%
say it works well
17%
say it's a big hassle
755 reviews
Have you used Cipro (ciprofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim)
59%
-4% worse vs. Cipro (ciprofloxacin)
49%
-4% worse vs. Cipro (ciprofloxacin)
22%
-5% worse vs. Cipro (ciprofloxacin)
473 reviews
Have you used Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CiproBactrim
  • Any musculosketal side effect 14%
  • Any side effect 41%
  • Any musculoskeletal side effect 9%
  • Any neurological side effect 3%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Any gastrointestinal side effect 15%
  • Any serious side effect 8%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Abdominal pain 3%
More 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.
Type of medication
CiproBactrim
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
CiproBactrim
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Infusion (iv)
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
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 »
  • Elderly
  • Taking other medicines that lower kidney function
Detailed Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Kidneys and liver
CiproBactrim
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • 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).
Pain
CiproBactrim
  • If you notice pain in your Achilles tendons, contact your doctor.
  • If you notice redness/inflammation, pain or swelling in your joints or muscles, especially in the Achilles tendon, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Talk to your doctor immediately if you start to feel burning, tingling, numbness, pain or you can't tolerate heat or cold. This could be a sign of nerve damage and it can happen as soon as you start taking the medication and may not go away if you stop it.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
CiproBactrim
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
  • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
  • Less resistance seen in bacteria to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see which antibiotics will kill the bacteria causing your infection.
  • Widely available as a generic product and in a variety of formulations (tablet, capsule, suspension).
  • Works well 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 you sensitive to the sun.
  • Can upset your stomach
  • Drink plenty of water or fluids to avoid harming your kidneys
  • May cause birth defects
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.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Limit your caffeine intake while taking this medication.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about CiproSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cipro (ciprofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about BactrimSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it