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Sulfa drug Allergies

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Old 03-10-2009, 07:35 PM   #1
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Sulfa drug Allergies

Hey, Everyone! I was curious if there is anyone here who has suffered an allergic reaction to Sulfa drugs, but was able to take similar medications w/cross sensitivity (ie. Lasix, Dyazide). I had difficulty breathing and chest pain 10 years ago when I took 1 dose of Bactrim for a UTI. Didn't go to ER, but took 50mg of Benadryl and shivered for hours in bed while it passed. I've recently been recommended Dyazide for Meniere's disease and wondering if I shouldn't ask the doctor for an Epipen prescription so I can have one on hand if needed?

The doctor did verify w/hospital pharmacist that the sulfa component in antibiotic is not same as one in diuretic being prescribed to me and I shouldn't have any trouble. Of course, he did give that disclaimer 'there could always be that one exception'.

If anyone else has experience like this, please let me know if an Epipen was recommended and how you tolerated medication.

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Old 03-10-2009, 08:51 PM   #2
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Re: Sulfa drug Allergies

I think it really is an individual thing. From what I see on the internet, some have reactions and others don't.

I used to take Sulfa frequently for sinus infections. Last time it was prescribed, I broke out in horrible hives after one dose. I haven't tried any Sulfa antibiotics in the 10 years since.

I have taken Dyazide for about 5 years now. I haven't had any reactions with the Dyazide since I started it.

I have a neighborhood pharmacist that I have gone to for years and I really trust that he is monitoring my meds and how he advises me on taking my meds. Even though his hours are less than the big chain places, I just don't trust them when I am just another face vs. where I go and they know me by just my voice when I call and greet me by name.

As for the Epi-pen. If you have had allergic reactions that bad in the past, I'd certainly ask for a prescription to carry one. I have one myself. I'm careful to keep it with me all the time and I make sure I refill it periodically when it expires. Thankfully, I haven't had to use it, but it gives me peace of mind. I even tell those who are close around me that I have it in case I ever need the help. Ironically, I didn't start carrying it when I had my first allergic reactions. It took an emergency asthma attack for me to get my prescription. After not being able to breathe in that incident, I believe even stronger about carrying it for the severe allergic reactions that would affect breathing. I had one epi-pen shot during my breathing emergency and it literally saved me.

Old 03-11-2009, 06:09 AM   #3
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Re: Sulfa drug Allergies

It really is an individual thing. And I would trust the pharmacist's opinion first and foremost! I am allegic to sulfa drugs but it's digestive in nature. My sister is the same way. She can take Celebrex and I can't. I take Diovan HCT (bp meds) and had digestive issues for the first 4 months on it but at least I kept it down and it subsided after a couple of hours. If the pharmacist thinks you'll be OK - I'd give it a try...and keep a Benedryl on hand just in case.

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