Understanding And Living With A Sulfa Drug Allergy

If you have a sulfa drug allergy, you are sensitive to a class of drugs known as sulfonamides. These drugs contain specific compounds that are related to sulfa. It is very important to know what kind of medications that you are taking, when you have any kind of sensitivities. Here is additional information on sulfonamide drugs, to consider.

Professional Assistance

When you are taking medications of any kind, do not leave anything to chance. Medical professionals can sometimes make mistakes, so check and double check everything, before you ingest it. Some people are far more sensitive to medications than others, and these people need to be especially careful.

If you are taking a new antibiotic medication, ask your doctor if you can safely take the prescribed medication. It is also a good idea to ask the pharmacist, when you have the prescription filled. Some people may have a severe reaction to sulfonamides, so make sure that you are taking a medication that will not make you ill.

Drugs That React to Sulfonamides

If you are currently taking a popular blood thinning medication called Coumadin, you might think about avoiding any kind of medication that is considered to be a sulfonamide (if you are allergic). It is not currently known how the interaction occurs. However, it is believed to increase the action of the blood thinning drug.

Many people take a popular diuretic called hydrochlorothiazide or HCTZ. This medication is used for edema and water retention. Also, it may be included in several blood pressure drugs. It is important to talk to a doctor or pharmacist, if you take this medication, and are allergic to sulfa drugs. Another diuretic that also may be included is called furosemide. These drugs are considered to be sulfa based.

If you are allergic to sulfa drugs, it may be best to avoid common arthritis drugs called Cox-2 inhibitors. These kinds of drugs are considered to be non-antibiotic sulfonamide drugs. However, there have not been any documented cases of people with a sulfa drug allergy having problems, yet it still may be best to avoid them, as they are sulfonamides.

Sulfonylureas are drugs commonly used to treat diabetes. These drugs are chemically similar to sulfonamide drugs, and may cause problems in people that are allergic to them. However, these drugs are usually OK to take, but it is a good idea to discuss the matter with a pharmacist or doctor.

Another medication that may be safe to take is Sumatriptan. This medication is a common treatment for migraines. However, it is chemically similar to sulfonamides, so it is best to discuss the matter with a medical professional, before taking.

When you are allergic to sulfonamides, it is best to avoid Sulfasalasine. This is a sulfonamide medication and it is used to treat arthritis and inflammatory bowel disorders. This medication is similar to aspirin.

When you are being treated for seizures, the medication Zonisamide is sometimes prescribed. However, if you are allergic to sulfa, this is not a drug to take. Zonisamide is considered to be a sulfonamide.

Common Sulfa Allergy Symptoms

Skin rashes and irritations are the most commonly seen reaction to sulfonamides. It may be a simple rash in a few areas of the body. However, some symptoms can be more severe, and hives can develop. You should discontinue taking medications, when skin problems develop, as they can worsen if you continue taking the medicine. Make sure to contact your doctor, so an alternative medication can be prescribed for you. Your doctor may also prescribe something for the rash or irritation, too.

You should learn to recognize sensitivity to sulfonamides. In some cases, the reaction can be severe and can affect breathing. It also may cause a fever, in some people. If breathing is affected, do not hesitate to seek emergency medical attention, as soon as possible. In some cases, a severe reaction called anaphylaxis can be a life threatening situation.

People with HIV or suppressed immune systems, may be more prone to develop sensitivity to sulfonamides. Make sure that you discuss these matters with a medical professional. This is especially important, if you have an autoimmune disorder like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

If you feel ill after taking sulfonamides, you should contact your doctor. These conditions can sometimes be serious, and you may need sulfa drug allergy treatment. In some cases, these drugs can affect liver and kidney function. Also, a condition similar to pneumonia may develop with some allergies.

Sulfa Drug Allergy Treatment

If you believe that you are having a serious reaction, you should go to your local emergency room for care. Once there, you will be examined and proper treatment can be delivered. At the hospital, they have several medications that will counteract an allergic reaction.

Many times, simply stopping the medication will be sufficient treatment. However, if skin irritations persist, you may need antihistamines or a topical cream for itching and hives. In some cases, people with lung concerns like asthma or chronic bronchitis, may need additional medications for their conditions. This is why you should report any kind of reactions to your doctor.

Things to Remember

A sulfa drug allergy means sensitivity to sulfonamide drugs. You may start taking a new medication and feel ill after a few hours. Perhaps it is only a minor rash or itching. However, you may feel sick and begin running a fever. You also may be coughing and having difficulty in breathing. If this occurs, you should get immediate emergency medical care, as it could be a life threatening condition. At the hospital, they can give you something to counteract the reaction.

It is also important to talk to your doctor if you are allergic to sulfa drugs. You may need prescription medications, and your doctor can prescribe an alternative medicine for you. This will eliminate any problems with interactions, in the future. Some medications like certain diuretics and antibiotics are best to avoid, if you are sensitive to sulfonamides. Any time you have doubts about your medication, call your pharmacist for advice about your sulfa drug allergy.

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