Sulfa allergy is a common allergy. Sulfa can be found in medicines. Sulfonamides drugs are referred to as sulfa drugs. They are prescribed as antibiotic and non-antibiotic drugs. When a person consumes these drugs and experiences allergic reactions then this condition is known as sulfa allergy.
These drugs were among the 1st antibiotic drugs which were opted to treat infection. However due to side effects nowadays it is not much prescribed by medical professionals. Some of its common symptoms are hives, fever, and difficulty in breathing and affects the lungs, kidney and liver. Usually people suffering from AIDS and HIV are more sensitive sulfa drugs. One should always consult a medical expert about the safety of the medicines before consuming it. Antihistamines are usually prescribed by doctor to reduce the symptoms and get relief. One should rush the patient to hospital if patient experiences anaphylactic attack.
Symptoms of Sulfa Allergy
The common symptoms of sulfa allergy are skin rashes. Other symptoms are as follows:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swelling and flushing
- Low blood pressure
- Abnormal number of platelets and blood cells
- Nauseated feeling and anaphylaxis
Sulfa allergy also affects the kidney and liver resulting in kidney failure, liver damage and hepatitis.
Anaphylaxis: Sulfa allergy may sometimes lead to fatal allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis may also show other symptoms including the above mentioned symptoms. They are as follows:
- Pain in chest or tightness
- Increase in heartbeat
- Tightness or swelling of the throat
- Severe difficulty in breathing
- Cramps and pain in abdomen
- Shocked, low blood pressure, dizzy feeling, may lose consciousness.
Treatment of Sulfa Allergy
The best way to keep away from allergic reactions is to keep away from drugs containing sulfa. One should stop consuming these drugs right away. When the allergic reactions are very severe then the patient should be rushed to hospital immediately.
Other treatments are as follows:
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines are usually prescribed to control the symptoms and get relief.
- Bronchodilator: In case of asthma attack or difficulty in breathing doctor may recommend bronchodilators.
- Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids is recommended by doctor for inflammation of skin.
- One should carry epinephrine (adrenaline) dose in case of emergency to treat anaphylaxis after consulting the medical experts.
- Information: Always ensure that the medical experts and the pharmacists know about the allergy. Always check the medicines, creams, eye drops and shampoo whether they contain sulfacetamide. Some medicines that should be avoid are:
Diabetic medicines like glimepiride and glyburide.
In few cases these sulfa drugs become necessary to treat particular infection. In such cases, the medical professional opts for a new way of treating the infection. The doctor prescribes small dose of the medicine containing sulfa. This treatment is carried for a period of time till the body is able to tolerate it. As soon as the body accepts the drugs the dose is increased.