G6PD Gene and Risk of Hemolysis with Bactrim

Bactrim is a combination of two antibiotics: sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. It is used to treat certain bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, urinary tract, intestinal and ear infections. Common side effects of Bactrim include: Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Less common drug reactions include: a severe skin rash called Stevens-Johnson syndrome and blood disorders such as agranulocytosis and hemolytic anemia.

Anemia occurs when your blood doesn't have enough red blood cells. Hemolytic anemias develops when red blood cells are destroyed faster than bone marrow can replace them. Bactrim has been associated with hemolytic anemia in patients deficient in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD).1

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is a genetic disorder that is most common in males. It mainly affects red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to tissues throughout the body. The G6PD gene is located on the X chromosome. In males one altered copy of the gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the condition. In females a mutation would have to occur in both copies of the gene to cause the disorder (except in the rare case of X-chromosome inactivation3)

Related to:
Anemia, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim