Foods To Avoid For A Sulfa Allergy
Sulfa drugs can cause allergic reactions in some people, including hives, swelling and difficulty breathing. If you’ve ever experienced a reaction to a sulfa drug, your doctor may have diagnosed you with a sulfa allergy. Inform other treating physicians of this allergy and your medical chart will be flagged with this information. If you’re ever hospitalized, you may wear a bracelet that informs hospital personnel that you have a sulfa allergy. But sulfa drugs and foods that contain sulfites or sulfates aren’t chemically related, so you don’t have to worry about sulfa in your diet.
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Sulfa Vs Sulfite Allergy
Sulfa allergies and sulfite allergies arent the same thing. Sulfites occur naturally, or are used as a preservative agent in some foods and drinks. Sulfa medications and sulfites found in food and drink arent related to each other. The similarity between their names can cause some confusion. Read more about the difference between sulfa allergies and sulfite allergies.
Symptoms of sulfa allergy are similar to those of other drug allergies. Symptoms may include:
- skin rash or hives
- the drug sulfasalazine , used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, Crohns disease, and ulcerative colitis
- the drug dapsone, used to treat dermatitis and some types of pneumonia
- the drug sumatriptan , used to treat migraines
- some anti-inflammatory drugs, such as celecoxib
- some diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide
What Is The Best Medication For A Rash
What is the best medication for a rash? Because most rashes resolve on their own and arent usually serious, over-the-counter creams that include diphenhydramine , cortisone and topical treatments with camphor can help with itching. If the rash is widespread, oral medication is needed.
What pain medications are known to cause rashes? Check out this roundup of some common medications that can cause rashes: ACE Inhibitors: Captopril Enalopril Fosinopril Lisinopril Anticonvulsants: Carbamazepine Ethosuximide Chlorpromazine Phenytoin Lomotrigene Zonisamide Antibiotics
What drugs cause rash? Almost any drug can cause a rash. But antibiotics , NSAIDs, and anti-seizure drugs are the most common drugs to cause a rash.
What is the best ointment for rash? The best cream for rashes that stem from viral infections are ones that treat the symptoms and help alleviate the discomfort. For instance, ointments that contain steroids such as hydrocortisone can help relieve the itching, while lotions that contain aloe vera might help soothe any burning sensations.
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Natural Wines: A Viable Wine Sulfite Sensitivity Cure
One increasingly popular soloution, that we have spoken about previously on the Sobur blog, is natural, sulfur-free wines.
These natural wines, which are still only a small market, have little or no Sulfur dioxide added. This is easier to do with red wines, because the tannin within the wine acts as a as a natural anti-oxidant. Tannin within the wine means less sulfur dioxide is needed to protect the wine during the winemaking and maturation process.
Other Types Of Sulfur Containing Substances
Elemental sulfur powder is commonly used in gardening, and while irritation may occur from skin contact or inhalation, allergy has not been described.
Sulfates are in some injectable drugs as sulfate compounds, such as heparin sulfate, dextran sulfate, morphine sulfate. The sulfates in soaps are strong detergents and can irritate the skin or eyes. However sulfate itself does not cause allergic reactions. It is usually safe to use a sulfate when a person has a sulfonamide allergy or a sulfite intolerance.
Sulfite preservatives are commonly known as sulfur dioxide and metabisulfites, with preservative numbers 220-228. Sulfites can be used to preserve flavour and colour within food, inhibit bacterial growth, stop fresh food from spoiling, and help preserve medication. Sulfites are most often found in wine, dried fruit, and dried vegetables. Sometimes they are used in sausages and salads. They can also occur naturally in low concentrations. Sulfites can cause adverse reactions which are like allergy but do not involve the immune system and are therefore called intolerances. The most common reactions are asthma symptoms and rhinitis reactions. Occasionally urticaria may occur, and very rarely, anaphylaxis .
There is no relationship between sulfite sensitivity and sulfonamide antibiotic allergy.
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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 : This sulfa combination drug can be administered in either pill or liquid form for a vast array of infections.
- Sulfacetamide : This is a drop that is used to treat eye infections.
- Sulfadiazine silver : This is a cream that is used to prevent and treat burn infections.
- Sulfasalazine : This comes in pill form and is used to treat inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
What Are Some Side Effects That I Need To Call My Doctor About Right Away
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash hives itching red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever wheezing tightness in the chest or throat trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking unusual hoarseness or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Skin irritation.
- Rarely, very bad effects have happened with sulfa drugs. Sometimes, these have been deadly. These effects have included liver problems, blood problems, and very bad skin reactions . Call your doctor right away if you have a rash red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin red or irritated eyes sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes fever, chills, or sore throat cough that is new or worse feeling very tired or weak any bruising or bleeding or signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- A health problem called lupus has happened with drugs like this one. One death has been reported. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs of lupus like a rash on your cheeks or other body parts, sunburn easy, muscle or joint pain, chest pain or shortness of breath, or swelling in the arms or legs.
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Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
If your physician suspects a drug rash, he or she may want to establish the correct diagnosis by performing a biopsy of the lesion. The procedure involves:
In addition, your doctor may want to perform blood work to look for signs of an allergic reaction.The best treatment for a drug rash is to stop the medication that is causing it. After discontinuing a medicine, it may take 510 days to see an improvement in the skin and up to 3 weeks for the rash to resolve completely.Note: Stopping a prescription medication should be done only with a doctor’s guidance.Other treatments that may be helpful include:
- Oral antihistamine pills, such as diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, loratadine, cetirizine, fexofenadine, or desloratadine, for itching.
- Topical corticosteroid creams or lotions for red, inflamed skin.
- Topical antibiotic ointments for open sores.
Fast Facts On Treating An Allergic Reaction:
- Most minor allergy symptoms can be treated with antihistamines, corticosteroids, or decongestants.
- Saline nasal rinses can be used for congestion-related allergy symptoms.
- Corticosteroid creams can treat skin rashes related to allergies.
- Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment option for chronic allergy symptoms.
- Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency, and people should call 911 if they suspect someone is having an anaphylactic reaction.
An allergic reaction occurs when cells in the immune system interpret a foreign substance or allergen as harmful.
The immune system overreacts to these allergens and produces histamine, which is a chemical that causes allergy symptoms, such as inflammation, sneezing, and coughing.
Mild allergic reactions can usually be treated with home remedies and over-the-counter medications.
However, chronic allergies need treatment from a medical professional. Severe allergic reactions always require emergency medical care.
Many mild to moderate allergic reactions can be treated at home or with OTC medications. The following treatments are commonly used to reduce the symptoms of an allergic reaction:
Drugs To Avoid With Sulfa Allergies
Sulfa antibiotics have been widely used for more than 70 years. 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 youâve had an allergic reaction to one sulfa antibiotic, youâre probably allergic to all of them.
Here are a few examples of common sulfa drugs that could cause problems:
But be sure to tell your doctor if you have a sulfa allergy before taking any of these.
Important Features Of Sulfa Allergy Rash
The most commonly visible symptom is the eruption of skin rash. Some people may get hives as well. All these symptoms start showing up soon after the use of the specific medicine that contains sulfonamides.
As you take the medicine, the immune system responds by releasing histamines and antibodies resulting in this kind of skin reactions. In some cases, the rashes could be mild and in others they can be found all over the body.
Mild to moderate itching sensation can be felt on these rashes. These rashes are usually extremely sensitive towards light. So, if they get exposed to direct sunlight, they worsen further.
Generally, the rashes do not come alone and are accompanied by fever. In a serious allergic reaction, more serious symptoms could be observed along with the rash. If the respiratory system is attacked, then it causes wheezing, breathing difficulty, and pneumonia.
Sometimes, it may result in a decrease of blood cells and platelets in the body. The condition tends to become life-threatening if the symptoms of anaphylaxis are noticed.
This happens when the tissues inside the throat swell up to such an extent that the air passage gets blocked. It can be identified by shortness of breath, rapid pulse rate, nausea, vomiting, and gradual loss of consciousness.
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What Is A Sulfa Allergy
Sulfa allergies are allergic-type reactions to sulfonamide drugs. If someone is sensitive to sulfa, the most common reactions manifest on the skin as rashes. However, symptoms can also be more severe.
Sulfonamides are one of the earliest developed antimicrobial drugs. They are used less frequently than in the past because safer, more effective medications have replaced them. However, they still have uses today, especially for treating certain infections, including:
- Pneumocystis pneumonia caused by the fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii
- Uncomplicated cystitis
- Stenotrophomonas maltophilia infection, a bacteria that can live in IV fluids, respiratory mucus, and urine
The most common sulfa drug associated with sulfa allergy is sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim .
How Are Drug Rashes Diagnosed
Diagnosing a rash caused by a reaction to medicine is complicated. First, a complete review of all prescription and over-the-counter medicines should be done. Even a small amount of a medicine can cause a major reaction in the skin. In addition, the reaction can occur even after you have taken a medicine for a long time. Your healthcare provider will usually advise you to stop taking any medicine that is not needed to sustain your life, to see if the reaction eases. Your provider may give you a substitute medicine, if possible. In some cases, a skin biopsy may be done to help with the diagnosis.
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How Are Drug Rashes Treated
Drug rashes may go away on their own once you stop taking the drug that caused your rash.
However, the exact timeline also depends on the type of rash you have, as well as the severity. More severe drug rashes, such as erythroderma, may cause permanent changes to skin pigmentation after treatment.
In cases where you have other symptoms, your doctor may recommend other medications for relief. For example, if the rash is very itchy, an antihistamine or oral steroid can help manage the itching until the rash clears up.
If you suspect you have a drug rash, talk with your doctor right away. Never stop taking any prescribed drugs without discussing it with a doctor first.
This is especially important if youre taking multiple drugs. Your doctor will have you follow a specific plan of discontinuing each drug until they can help you figure out which one is causing adverse reactions.
Some drug rashes are severe and require emergency medical treatment. These include severe urticaria, erythroderma, SJS/TEN, anticoagulant-induced skin necrosis, and DRESS. At the hospital, you may be given intravenous steroids and hydration.
What Are The Drugs To Avoid If Anyone Has Sulfa Allergies
Sulfonamide has been used for over seventy years. A certain sulfa drug was the first antibiotic to be introduced. Presently, these drugs are used in bun creams, eye drops, vaginal suppositories and many other medications as well. Someone who is allergic to sulfa drugs must avoid these medications
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Use A Saline Sinus Rinse
When allergies cause sinus problems, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommend a person rinse their sinuses with saline. This can remove allergens and clear the airways.
The AAAAI recommend the following saline recipe:
- mix 3 teaspoons of salt with 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- add 1 teaspoon of this mixture to 8 ounces of boiled water
- dissolve the mixture in the water then use as a saline rinse
Sinus rinsing devices can be purchased online or from a pharmacy.
Get Help With Your 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 914-7116 to request a free initial case evaluation with a knowledgeable member of our team.
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Treating Allergies On The Skin
For allergic reactions that cause skin symptoms, including those associated with allergens found in animal saliva, poisonous plants, drugs, chemicals and metals, additional treatment options include:
- Topical corticosteroid creams or tablets. Corticosteroids contain steroids that reduce inflammation and itching. Mild forms of these creams can be found online, and a doctor can prescribe stronger versions.
- Moisturizing creams. Emollient creams with soothing ingredients, such as calamine can treat skin reactions.
- Bite or sting medication. Medication targeted to reduce allergic reactions to insect bites or stings have a similar effect to other allergy medications.
- Ice pack. Applying an ice pack wrapped in cloth to the area for 10- to 15-minute intervals can reduce inflammation.
Sulfa Drugs And Skin Allergic Reaction
Antibiotics containing the SO2NH2 moiety can trigger an allergic reaction in 3 percent of patients. An allergic reaction to sulfa drugs typically develops 30 minutes to 8 hours after taking the drug and takes on the appearance of rashes involved with hives on the skin 4. In addition to rashes and hives, the individual may develop well-defined patches of swelling and redness on the skin that are sometimes surmounted by a blister.
A severe allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis, resulting in a drop in blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and loss of consciousness. In addition to anaphylaxis, life-threatening skin reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis can occur. These severe adverse skin reactions typically begin with a headache, fever, and body aches. Then skin lesions or eruptions appear on the face and trunk of the body. These lesions begin to erupt or blister, causing a separation of the outer layer of the skin from the tissue layer on the skin. Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis are extremely dangerous since the skin is no longer present to act as a barrier to pathogenic organisms the individual becomes highly susceptible to different types of infections.
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Causes Of Sulfa Allergy
A sulfa allergy takes place when your immune system identifies the drug as a dangerous substance. Thus, your body develops antibodies specific to the drug and attack against it.
The presence of sulfonamide in certain antimicrobial drugs can give rise to negative response when an individual has a sulfa allergy.
Such an allergic response takes place due to differences in the molecular structure between types of sulfonamides.
Chemically, sulfonamide antibiotics are different from other sulfonamides non-antibiotics because they have an arylamine group. This arylamine group is associated with hypersensitivity and allergies.
A cross-reactivity between arylamine sulfonamides is common and thus, its use must be avoided in individuals who are sensitive to it.