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Nephron Clin Pract. 2011;119(3):c187-93; discussion c193-4. doi: 10.1159/000328911. Epub 2011 Aug 11.

Trimethoprim, creatinine and creatinine-based equations.

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Department of Nephrology, Dialysis, Hypertension, Transplantation, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium.


Co-trimoxazole is a frequently prescribed antibiotic worldwide. It is composed of both trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazol (Sfx) and is used in the treatment and prophylaxis of urinary tract and Pneumocystis jirovecii infections. The Sfx component appears to be nephrotoxic at high doses or doses inappropriately adjusted for glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The trimethoprim component, even at recommended doses, inhibits tubular creatinine secretion, leading to a rapid but ultimately reversible increase in serum creatinine independent of any changes in GFR. This translates into a falsely low estimated GFR when creatinine-based equations are used. This review focuses on evidence of the differential effects of trimethoprim and Sfx on serum creatinine concentrations and GFR and their relevance to clinical practice, with particular attention to kidney transplantation.

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