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What should you know about sulfa allergies?

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Sulfa drugs can treat a range of health problems from eye infections to rheumatoid arthritis (RA). But if you get a rash or more serious reaction when you take one of these drugs, you may have a sulfa allergy.

Sulfa drugs, also called sulfonamides, include antibiotics and other types of drugs. Allergies happen most often with antibiotics. Around 3% of people have some type of reaction to them.

Tell your doctor right away if you think you’re having a reaction to a sulfa drug. She’ll decide whether to take you off the drug and how to treat your symptoms.

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 are the symptoms of sulfa allergies?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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