Skip to main content

User Reviews for Sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim to treat Acne

Also known as: Bactrim, Bactrim DS, Septra, SMZ-TMP DS, Co-trimoxazole, Septra DS, Bactrim Pediatric, Sulfatrim Pediatric, Bactrim IV Bethaprim Bethaprim Pediatric …show all brand names

Sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim has an average rating of 7.7 out of 10 from a total of 183 ratings for the off-label treatment of Acne. 73% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 17% reported a negative experience.

Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim rating summary

7.7/10 average rating

183 ratings from 193 user reviews.

Compare all 300 medications used in the treatment of Acne.

10
46%
9
17%
8
10%
7
3%
6
2%
5
3%
4
2%
3
1%
2
3%
1
13%

Reviews for Sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim

Amy100987 · August 23, 2014

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I love this. It is the ONLY thing that has ever cleared up my acne (face and body) completely. I've tried Proactiv, Retin-A, salicyclic acid products, benzoyl peroxide products, the sun, avoiding the sun, only skin-healthy foods, enough sleep, etc., etc. and nothing works long term consistently. Life is just miserable when you have to show a pimply face- you are perceived as ugly and not clean. I'll take the risks of too much antibiotic use over being treated poorly for my appearance.”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
Kash04 · September 7, 2014

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I'm 27 & struggle with hormonal cystic acne. I have been on this medication for about 3 months now. Prior to Bactrim, I was taking minocycline. Minocycline worked great but I developed a resistance to it in July 2013. From July 2013 I tried doxycycline, then erythromycin. I struggled trying to find a solution with my Kaiser dermatologist until I went to another dermatologist in June 2014. June 2014, I tried Bactrim & it started clearing up my skin 3 days after using it. I was prescribed to take 1 pill twice daily. I take 1 in the morning & 1 at night. This medicine has saved me from depression, feeling dirty & ugly. I hope I don't develop a resistance to it. My skin is completely clear.”

9 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
myboys14 · February 28, 2014

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I am 41 years old and have struggled all my life with acne. Having done Roaccutane, Minocycline and every other medication and topical ointment. At 41 I was over acne. This is a miracle medicine. Skin cleared up in about 7 days and is absolutely flawless. Can't speak highly enough of this medicine. I am acne free for the first time in my life. Ask your doctor about this.”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
Hartmaa · September 30, 2020

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I’ve been on Bactrim DS for 7 years. I’ll always stay on it, and I’ve had zero side effects. Just 75-95% clearer skin depending upon time of month. My blood work is perfect, I’m extremely fit, so there’s no reason you can’t stay on it for extended periods if it is a serious problem for you and you tolerate it well. I’d rather lose 5 years of life than go back to how I was. I get a special long term prescription and my life has been handed back to me after 15 years of Accutane, tetracyclines, and mycins. Nothing works like this. I’m not on birth control. It gives me the worst acne. This is what’s right for me. 10/10”

9 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
LindaB · Taken for less than 1 month · April 22, 2020

Bactrim DS (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “My 16 year old daughter died of heart failure from DRESS (drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms) due to Bactrim DS. Bactrim is one of the leading drugs to cause DRESS Syndrome. The risk versus benefit is too high to use this wide spectrum antibiotic for acne. There are safer alternatives. Please be cautious. www.dresssyndrome.org.”

1 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
EJay · July 11, 2013

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I'm 25 years old and still get those under the skin cystic pimples on my face. It is mild but one or two of those monsters just stand out. I've tried Retin-A, every single face wash I can think of, oil free moisturizers, toners, oil free make up. I mean I've done it even the DIY remedy for acne. Well, the dermatologist put me on Bactrim and I have been on it now for about 4 weeks and my face is CLEAR. I mean I've NEVER seen it this clear! I'm just looking at the mirror all the time because I cannot believe it. Very happy with results. He said I would have to be on them for a while. But I'm okay with it. It does cause a little nausea but it's nothing I can't handle and it doesn't last too long. Overall very happy.”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
Kay · May 3, 2020

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I have been on Bactrim Rx for about three weeks now and I already see a DRAMATIC improvement in my skin. All my cystic bumps are gone, haven’t had any active breakouts since the day I started it. My skin feels smooth and looks alive and glowing. My only problem was that it made me very nauseous (as most antibiotics do for me) so I would have to take it after I full meal. But I highly recommend talking to your dermatologist about this medication if you are tired of suffering and being depressed about your skin. It’ll be 100% worth it!”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo

Frequently asked questions

Sunny · June 15, 2020

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I hope this helps for anyone who is wanting to take Bactrim I got prescribed this by my dermatologist about a year and a half ago and it’s worked wonders! Everyone’s bodies react different to medications, but from my experience I can honestly say that It’s cleared up my acne completely and I had no side affects what so ever.”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
Jmichelle · September 7, 2013

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I am 52 with hormonal acne. My cysts were terrible. Did a number on my confidence. I have been on Bactrim for over a year for the cysts and finally something is working. I tried every other medicine with no results. Not sure how long I can be on this but I never want to stop. Afraid if I stop, the cysts will return.”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
KMC · Taken for 2 to 5 years · January 8, 2019

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I have had severe acne since I was 10 (I’m 35 now). I have very oily skin, & get cystic acne usually around the time of my period. I also have blackheads & small breakouts occasionally. I’ve tried every Rx out there, including Accutane once in my 20’s & again in my 30’s. It’s very effective but unfortunately it’s not a complete cure for me. When my cystic acne flares up I use Bactrim and it’s amazing!! It clears my skin right up. It does have a very drying effect (which is fine since I’m so oily!) but it makes my lips chapped too. I only use it for 7-10 days a month. If I use it longer than that my lips start to peel & crack. So I take a break & use it at the first sign of trouble. It’s worth noting that I’ve tried doxycycline & minocycline with no results besides an upset stomach. So if you are considering taking Bactrim, do it! I use it with Retin-A.”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
Anonymous · July 11, 2014

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “If you just started this medicine I know you're probably feeling bad about you acne. BUT LISTEN Bactrim works from the inside out and if you breakout in the first few weeks that's fine stick with it because soon your skin will be clear and Bactrim will help stop breakouts from ever happening in the first place soon! Cleared my hormonal acne. I rarely get a pimple and I had moderate to server acne and it was a life saver! Your acne will be cleared in just a few months. I suggest using a topical gel as well. Hang in there it helped me during a rough time in just 3 1/2 months I had a clear face, just a few acne marks on my cheeks only thing that stinks is I'm scared to go off the antibiotic and have a repulse of acne. But I suggest this!”

9 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
Aesthera · October 16, 2015

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I am 20 years old and have been taking Bactrim since I was 14. Originally I started with a twice daily dose but have since decreased to half a pill every other day. It is not a perfect fix, as I still have to be attentive and wash my face twice a day and occasionally use an acne cream, but otherwise it works quite well. Before starting Bactrim I had moderate but painful acne, and I now only get small infrequent pimples. I am now a pharmacy student and thought I should warn people that extended use of any drug is dangerous. Also, Bactrim is NOT an antibiotic but is a synthetic sulfa drug meaning it is made from chemicals. Some people are severely allergic to sulfa drugs and should be cautious and talk to their doctor before taking this drug”

9 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
AcneKiller · Taken for less than 1 month · March 24, 2014

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I started taking this a few weeks ago and my acne is almost 100% gone. My skin feels very soft and smooth as well. It is definitely worth a try. I was on Monocycline before for about a year and my acne began to relapse. Once I started on Bactrim my skin was clear again but I am scared of relapsing since it is still an antibiotic. Drink lots of water as well because you constantly feel dehydrated.”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
Anonymous · Taken for 1 to 6 months · December 28, 2020

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I have been on Bactrim for a month now when nothing could clear up my acne I tried everything all the topicals and all the different antibiotics that are acne specific and nothing seemed to even touch my acne. So my dermatologist put me on this bactrim and it worked. In the months time my skin is cleared up and if I do have a zit occasionally it comes to head super quick and heals quickly. My back and chest had tiny little zits over it and now it’s nothing but smooth skin. Even my husband has said he notices that this is actually working. I didn’t really have any of the side effects a little nausea and thirst the first week but that was it, after that nothing.”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
Anonymous78 · Taken for 1 to 6 months · January 23, 2013

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I cannot believe how amazing this medicine has been for my cystic acne. I have tried monocycline, doxycycline, prescription topical creams, NOTHING worked. I finally decided to ask my doctor about Bactrim. I have been completely cyst free since October. This is a record amount of time for me to have NO cysts! I have had, maybe three pimples. I've had no side effects. The monocycline gave me horrible joint aches (to the point where I'd almost cry they hurt so bad). So far I have had absolutely NO side effects. It's wonderful!”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
MsMoxie · Taken for 10 years or more · November 12, 2019

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “My face broke out with acne at age 15 and tetracycline worked great for years, I stopped taking it around age 19. Things were fine until I reached age 25 or so and then I started breaking out again. This time around tetracycline did nothing, tried minocycline along with a few other antibiotics and they did not work either. I was on Accutane for about 6 months and that worked while I was taking it but not so much after I stopped. Finally my dermatologist put me on Bactrim and that worked like magic! My face and back have been clear ever since. I have taken Bactrim for 10 years... now that I’m close to 50, I finally don’t need to take anything!”

9 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
TJRrrrrr · May 20, 2015

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I am a 24 year old male and have semi oil skin. Never had acne until after high school around 20 years old so I guess you can call it adult acne. Anyway, I was dealing with cystic acne on my chin, cheeks, jawline and even some times on my nose. It was considered mild-moderate but still very uncomfortable coming from 20 years of a completely clear face. I would have anywhere from 6-8 decently sized cysts on my face at any given time. For almost 5 years I tried everything all sorts of washes and crap I read online which none worked. Finally went to a derm 3 months ago and got Bactrim 800-160 within a week my acne cleared and has been 99.9% gone ever since taking it twice a day every day.”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
Marianneplus4 · March 18, 2015

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “Im a 32 year old working mom of 4, who has dealt with acne for 14 years...extremely long story short. TRY IT, IT WORKS! Bactrim changed my life and gave me back my confidence. I feel good in my own skin now.”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
Ben Jammin · October 15, 2013

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I have been taking Bactrim for about a year and a half now. Prior to Bactrim I took everything else. I've had acne since I was roughly 15 and am now 23. Everything I took either left me feeling crappy, or didn't work. In my experience taking Bactrim the first 2-3 months my face breaks out horribly. Then at some time in that period it just goes away. It is absolutely the best acne medication I've ever taken! I have taken it twice.”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
Stephbactrimuser · December 16, 2014

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I am a 40 something women with moderate hormonal acne. Did one round of Accutane with good results-but acne returned. Tried every other medicine and cream with no luck. Finally tried Bactrim and saw results in 2 DAYS! Been on it a week and have results better than Accutane. ”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
Anonymous · February 12, 2015

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “Thank goodness I am not allergic to sulfa! This medication worked like a charm on my roseasa hormonal cystic acne on my chin. I am 48 years old and it took me way too long to discover this miracle! Coupled with clindamyicin my face was clear within days!”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
Xellie · July 18, 2016

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I was struggling with really bad cystic hormonal acne and frequent white heads. I looked horrible and felt depressed inside. I couldn't look anyone in the eyes. Acne has really sunked my self esteem. When I was on this for a week.. let me just say.. This works!! (For me) I tried everything there is.. Proactiv, antibiotics, eating better, going to a naturalist. This pill, in 2-3months, cleared my acne. It was like a miracle. I'm so thankful for it and it only costs me $8. It saved my life basically!!”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
Dave! · July 23, 2013

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I've been on Bactrim for about 4 years now. Once per day. When I stop taking it my acne flares up. Hopefully it's not something I have to take for the rest of my life, by it definitely works when used!”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
LGGG · January 10, 2012

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “I've had acne for years... this is the only medicine that works. Weird thing is, new dermatologist tried to talk me out of it, but wouldn't tell me why. I basically told her that if she didn't want to prescribe it, I would just go back to the doctor who did. At 41 years old, I know what works for me. Another interesting side effect - I used to get ear infections and strep throat on a regular basis until starting this... haven't had either in years !”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo
yup · Taken for 2 to 5 years · December 18, 2018

Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim): “Bactrim is a miracle. No Joke. I have suffered from acne since puberty and doctors put me on topicals and all the "cyclins" even birth control didn't work. The dermatologist was about to put me on accutane, which I really didn't want to do, so I went to another dermatologist who prescribed me Bactrim. Within two weeks on Bactrim, I was clear and my skin was glowing and soft.”

10 / 10
Was this helpful?YesNo

This information is not intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews may be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge, and judgement of healthcare professionals.

Learn more about Acne

Care guides

Symptoms and treatments

Medicine.com guides (external)