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What You Need to Know About Sulfa Allergies

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What Drugs Are Sulfa Drugs?

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. Allergic reactions to sulfa can occur, incidentally, they occur most often with antibiotics.

What Are Sulfa Allergies?

Sulfa allergies are caused by medications containing sulfonamides, and symptoms can range from skin rashes and itching to more severe reactions like anaphylaxis. Allergic reactions to medications that contain sulfa are the result of a hypersensitivity reaction in which the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies the medication as a threat.

The symptoms can be triggered by medications containing sulfa, or even by medications that share a similar chemical structure. Therefore, it is important for your doctor to know about any medications you may have taken in the past that contain sulfonamides, so they can be aware of any potential risks before prescribing medications for you in the future.

Additionally, if you do experience an allergic reaction after taking sulfa medications, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. In some cases, you may wish to consult with an experienced attorney to help get compensation from pharmaceutical manufacturers who may have failed to provide adequate warnings or information regarding potential adverse reactions associated with their products.

Sulfa Allergy Symptoms

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
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Cloudy urine
  • Low blood counts
  • And anaphylaxis

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.

The symptoms of an allergic reaction to sulfa can vary. It is important to be aware of the potential symptoms and to contact a medical professional as soon as you begin experiencing any symptoms of an allergic reaction.

The Importance of Telling Your Doctor About Sulfa Allergies

If you are allergic to sulfa antibiotics, it is important to tell your doctor. If you experience an allergic reaction to one sulfa drug, you are likely allergic to all of them, so make sure you avoid them.

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

What Drugs Should You Avoid if You Have Sulfa Allergies?

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.

The Main Differences Between Sulfa & 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.

Get Help With Your Medical Malpractice Case Today

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 Rash Mueller, our team of attorneys in Weston 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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