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What drugs should I avoid with sulfa allergies?

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Sulfa antibiotics have been widely used for more than 70 years. In fact, the first antibiotic was a sulfa drug introduced in 1936. Today, these drugs include burn creams, vaginal suppositories, and eye drops as well as medications for many types of infections. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to one sulfa antibiotic, you’re probably allergic to all of them.

Here are a few examples of common sulfa drugs that could cause problems:

  • Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Bactrim, Sulfatrim): a sulfa combination drug that can be taken in liquid or pill form for many types of infections
  • Sulfacetamide (BLEPH-10): drops for eye infections
  • Sulfadiazine silver (Silvadene): cream to prevent and treat burn infections
  • Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine): pills for rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease

SOURCES:

DermNet New Zealand: “Sulfa Drugs and the Skin.”

Canadian Family Physician : “Approach to Managing Patients with Sulfa Allergy.”

American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: “Drug Allergies.”

Merck Manual, Professional Version: “Sulfonamides.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Sulfite Sensitivity.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 12, 2019

SOURCES:

DermNet New Zealand: “Sulfa Drugs and the Skin.”

Canadian Family Physician : “Approach to Managing Patients with Sulfa Allergy.”

American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: “Drug Allergies.”

Merck Manual, Professional Version: “Sulfonamides.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Sulfite Sensitivity.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 12, 2019

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What drugs may be okay with sulfa allergies?

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