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All about: Gantrisin

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Generic name: Sulfisoxazole acetyl
Brand names: Gantrisin

Why is Gantrisin prescribed?

Gantrisin is a children's medication prescribed for the treatment of severe, repeated, or long-lasting urinary tract infections. These include pyelonephritis (bacterial kidney inflammation), pyelitis (inflammation of the part of the kidney that drains urine into the ureter), and cystitis (inflammation of the bladder).

This drug is also used to treat bacterial meningitis, and is prescribed as a preventive measure for children who have been exposed to meningitis.

Some middle ear infections are treated with Gantrisin in combination with penicillin or erythromycin.

Toxoplasmosis (parasitic disease transmitted by infected cats, their feces or litter boxes, and by undercooked meat) can be treated with Gantrisin in combination with pyrimethamine (Daraprim).

Malaria that does not respond to the drug chloroquine (Aralen) can be treated with Gantrisin in combination with other drug treatment.

Gantrisin is also used in the treatment of bacterial infections such as trachoma and inclusion conjunctivitis (eye infections), nocardiosis (bacterial disease affecting the lungs, skin, and brain), and chancroid (venereal disease causing enlargement and ulceration of lymph nodes in the groin).

Most important fact about Gantrisin

Notify your doctor at the first sign of a reaction such as skin rash, sore throat, fever, joint pain, cough, shortness of breath, or other breathing difficulties, abnormal skin paleness, reddish or purplish skin spots or yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes.

Rare but severe reactions, sometimes fatal, have occurred with the use of sulfa drugs such as Gantrisin. These reactions include sudden and severe liver damage, agranulocytosis (a severe blood disorder), and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (severe blistering).

Children taking sulfa drugs such as Gantrisin should have frequent blood counts.

How should you take Gantrisin?

Be sure your child takes Gantrisin exactly as prescribed. It is important that the child drink plenty of fluids while taking Gantrisin in order to prevent crystals in the urine and the formation of stones.

Gantrisin is available as a suspension and should be shaken well before each dose. To ensure an accurate dose, ask your pharmacist for a specially marked measuring spoon.

Gantrisin, like other antibacterials, works best when there is a constant amount in the blood and urine. To help keep a constant level, try to make sure that your child does not miss any doses and takes them at evenly spaced intervals, around the clock.

--If you miss a dose...

Give it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to the regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time.

--Storage instructions...

Keep Gantrisin in the container it came in, tightly closed. Store it at room temperature, away from moist places and direct light.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for your child to continue taking Gantrisin.

  • Side effects may include:
    Abdominal bleeding, abdominal pain, allergic reactions, anemia and other blood disorders, angioedema (swelling of face, lips, tongue and throat), anxiety, bluish discoloration of the skin, chills, colitis, convulsions, cough, dark, tarry stools, depression, diarrhea, disorientation, dizziness, drowsiness, enlarged salivary glands, enlarged thyroid, exhaustion, fainting, fatigue, fever, flushing, gas, hallucinations, headache, hearing loss, hepatitis, hives, inability to fall or stay asleep, inability to urinate, increased urination, inflammation of the mouth or tongue, itching, joint pain, kidney failure, lack of feeling or concern, lack of muscle coordination, lack or loss of appetite, low blood sugar, muscle pain, nausea, palpitations, presence of blood or crystals in urine, rapid heartbeat, reddish or purplish skin spots, retention of urine, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light, serum sickness (fever, painful joints, enlarged lymph nodes, skin rash), severe skin welts or swelling, shortness of breath, skin eruptions, skin rash, swelling due to fluid retention, tingling or pins and needles, vertigo, vomiting, weakness, yellow eyes and skin

Why should Gantrisin not be prescribed?

If your child is sensitive to or has ever had an allergic reaction to Gantrisin or other sulfa drugs, do not use Gantrisin. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions the child has experienced.

Except in rare cases, doctors do not prescribe Gantrisin for infants less than 2 months of age. In addition, Gantrisin should never be taken by women at the end of pregnancy or those nursing a baby under 2 months.

Special warnings about Gantrisin

If your child has impaired kidney or liver function, or severe allergies or bronchial asthma, make sure your doctor knows about it. Caution should be exercised when taking Gantrisin.

An analysis of urine and kidney function should be performed by your doctor during treatment with Gantrisin, especially if your child has a kidney problem.

If your child develops a skin rash, stop Gantrisin therapy and call your doctor. Also notify the doctor if your child develops diarrhea.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Gantrisin

If Gantrisin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Gantrisin with the following:

Blood-thinning drugs such as Coumadin
Methotrexate, an anticancer drug
Oral diabetes drugs such as Micronase

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

There are no adequate and well controlled studies in pregnant women. This medication should never be used during pregnancy unless the doctor has determined that the benefits outweigh the potential risks. Gantrisin appears in breast milk. If Gantrisin is essential, the doctor may recommend against breastfeeding until treatment with Gantrisin is finished.

Recommended dosage


This medication should not be prescribed for infants under 2 months of age except in the treatment of congenital toxoplasmosis (a parasitic infection contracted by pregnant women and passed along to the fetus).

The usual dose for children 2 months of age or older is 150 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight divided into 4 to 6 doses taken over 24 hours.

The usual starting dose is one-half of the regular dose, or 75 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight divided into 4 to 6 doses taken over 24 hours. Doses should not exceed 6 grams over 24 hours.

Gantrisin pediatric suspension supplies a half-gram (500 milligrams) in each teaspoonful.


Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.

  • Symptoms of an overdose of Gantrisin include:
    Blood or sediment in the urine, blue tinge to the skin, colic, dizziness, drowsiness, fever, headache, lack or loss of appetite, nausea, unconsciousness, vomiting, yellowing of skin and whites of eyes

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