What You Need to Know About Sulfa Allergies

What You Need to Know About Sulfa Allergies

Drugs containing sulfa are used to treat several different health conditions, including eye infections and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). These types of drugs, which are also known as sulfonamides, include antibiotics and other types of drugs. Incidentally, allergic reactions occur most often with antibiotics.

Below is a list of symptoms commonly experienced by those who have an allergy to sulfa drugs:

  • Skin rash or hives
  • Itching
  • Breathing problems
  • Swelling

In more severe cases, allergic reactions to sulfa can also include:

  • Sulfonamide drug hypersensitivity syndrome: If you suffer from this condition as a result of an allergic reaction to sulfa, you might experience rash, fever, and organ problems within 1 to 2 weeks of starting the drug.
  • Drug eruption: This will result in red or swollen round patches, which will begin to form anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours.
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome: Stevens-Johnson syndrome is among one of the most severe allergic reactions a patient can have after taking a drug containing sulfa. Some of its symptoms include blisters and peeling skin.

Other common allergic reactions associated with sulfa drugs include headaches, difficulty sleeping, cloudy urine, low blood counts, and anaphylaxis.

Drugs You Should Avoid if You Have Sulfa Allergies

If you are allergic to sulfa antibiotics, it is important to tell your doctor. These antibiotics have been used since 1936 and are widely used in burn creams, eye drops, vaginal suppositories, and medications for a vast range of infections. If you experience an allergic reaction to one sulfa drug, you are likely allergic to all of them, so make sure you avoid them.

Some of the most common sulfa drugs that frequently cause problems and interactions include:

  • Sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Sulfatrim): This sulfa combination drug can be administered in either pill or liquid form for a vast array of infections.
  • Sulfacetamide (BLEPH-10): This is a drop that is used to treat eye infections.
  • Sulfadiazine silver (Silvadene): This is a cream that is used to prevent and treat burn infections.
  • Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine): This comes in pill form and is used to treat inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Sulfa vs. Sulfite

Despite the fact that sulfa and sulfite sound awfully similar, the two are nothing alike. Sulfa drugs treat health conditions, while sulfites are preservatives that are used in food, drinks, and some medications. Sulfites generally do not pose a risk to most people, unless they suffer from asthma since they can trigger its symptoms and even cause anaphylaxis.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Florida

If you suffered a severe allergic reaction to prescribed medication, especially if you told your physician about your allergy, this could be a viable medical malpractice claim and you could be entitled to fair and just compensation. At David C. Rash, P.A., our team of medical malpractice attorneys in Florida is dedicated to fighting on behalf of the wrongfully injured and will do what it takes to ensure the responsible party is held accountable. Backed by 25 years of legal experience, you can trust that your case will be in good hands with us.

Start your medical malpractice case today and contact our team at (954) 914-7116 to request a free initial case evaluation with a knowledgeable member of our team.

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