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
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 by preventing them from making proteins and other chemicals that keep them alive.
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 »
                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.

                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.
                • Available in generic.
                • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule and suspension.
                • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
                • Less resistance seen to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see if Bactrim responds to your infection.
                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.
                • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
                • Limit your caffeine intake while taking this medication.
                • 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 diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
                • Can cause rash.
                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