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Readers Respond: Dealing With Sulfa Drug Allergy

Responses: 275


Updated May 12, 2009


I went to the hospital complaing of my side hurting. Was diagnosed with pneumonia. Doc gave me septra ds.enough for 10 days. I was to take 1 tab twice a day. On the 3rd day, symptoms hit hard and fast. By that evening I was having difficulty breathing, couldn't stand up straight, and was hurting all over. I was weak. I decided not to take the next dose and just go lay down for a while. As I layed there, I began to hurt all over . I was so sick i didn't want to move. So I agreed to go to the hospital.They told me I had an allergic reation to sulfa and not to take it any more, the prescribe me solimedrol pack and benedryl, and pain medication. God knows I needed it because I was crying I was hurting so bad.I went home, and the symptoms got worse, I couldn't eat, food tasted like cardboard and metal.my skin was so sore I couldn't stand for no one to touch me. hives were now appearing on my back side.I was admitted for observation that night. 4 weeks now, still can't taste, skin hurts.
—Guest KD

topamax/sulfa crossreactivity allerg

I have just spent 5 mos of trying to figure out what is wrong with me only to realize it was due to my sulfe allergy. I am a nurse I should have known but so should have approx w0 other healthcare workers I have come into contact (been under the care of) in the past 6 mos pharmacy nursing and phsycian combined.

Sulfa Drug Allergy

I started feeling bad as soon as I took the first dose. I had cramps in my back and felt like I needed to sleep. I slept for 2 days straight with chills and fever. I didn't feel like eating and vomited once after trying to eat something after 3 days of no food. Once I got off the drug, it took 48 hours to feel better.
—Guest Donna


I took sulfa 20 Yeahrs ago for Bladder Infection. !0 Min. after taking the Sulfa I had a Seizure and woke up in the Emergency. Just last Week I was standing To close and to long to The Exhaust of Our Diesel Truck not realizing how much Exhaust I was inhaling. I remember getting a Headache and not fealing well and then had a Seizure. Found out There is Sulfa in Dieselfuel.
—Guest Karla Semanko

reaction gets worse each time

Forgot about the last time 1.5 yrs ago! Why can't they do something about UTIs other than prescribe Bactrim? The pharmacist warned about nothing but sunlight. Who's going out feeling like this? Terrible flu-like illness, sudden onslaught. Terrible cramps in legs and feet and awful situation with mouth full of canker sores; bad headache; vision affected.
—Guest Jean

uti sulfa based antibiotic reaction

prescribed antibiotics for a uti 2 tablets a day for a week. The last day I took the final tablet at 9am, that evening I started to itch it started with a rash on my trunk this spread all over my torso. By 1.30am I was going crazy, burning and itching. I got medical help and was prescribed prednisole and cetrizine, 2 days on I am still itching. This is a horrendous experience, the only thing to relieve the itching was using a hair dryer as hot as you can tolerate on your skin for a short time.
—Guest sarah

My Sulfa Reaction

I was prescribed Sulfasalazine for my Psoriatic Arthritis. Took it for about 2 weeks and notices a slight rash and stopped taking it. Then I got to thinking it was all in my head so I started taking it again. By the second dose I was very ill. I had the rash again, my nose was swelling on the inside and I had hives in it. My lips and eyes were swollen and I had a fever of at least 102 (I NEVER get a fever). I felt like I had the flu. Body hurt allllll over. I suffered thru this over night while taking Tylenol and Benedryl with no relief from the itching or the fever. My husband said that I looked like I had a sunburn. I did go to my PCP's office the next day and she gave me a steroid shot and an antihystamine shot and sent me home with more steroids and antihystamines. I felt like crap for several days after that. This has been over 2 years ago and I still think that I have scar tissue build up in my nose as I "whistle" thru my nose sometimes for no reason. VERY SCARY!!!!!
—Guest Erin K


I took bactrim ,.allergic reaction Steven Johnson syndrome, never heard of it til then
—Guest steph

Terrible Sulfa Drug Allergy... Help?

cant remember what i took but it was for a uti/kindey infection. 1st dose taken vomited within the hour & a fever of 103F went to the er gave me tylonel told me to take second dose and go home before i even made the 15 min drive home had to pull over and vomit got home took a nap on the couch woke up vomited high fever still took more tylonal didnt help pounding headache chills blurred vision went to the er agian they said it couldnt be an alergic reaction cuz of no hives go home& keep taking them 3rd dose took vomited terribley, joints got stiff and achy, kidneys felt like a burning rock was floating around in them, couldnt move my neck or head, blured vision, muscle spasms, fever of 103F literally thought this was it the end of me... some how got to the er nurse said if i thought i was allergic to quit taking them its as simple as that doc gave me some w/o sulfa took that felt 80% better next day... 1yr later still have headaches, anxiety, depression&fear that they screwed me up4ever


1 mo. ago I was prescribed Sulfamethoxazole–Trimethoprim which is a generic form of Biactrum, for acne.After 3 days of taking it I felt like I had the flu with all the symptoms.The doctor said it was a cold. The next three days I was in hell, 102 fever and no fever/pain relievers seemed to help. I decided to focus on my body and I would resume my acne meds later. (side note: Biactrin type meds say to stay out of excessive sunlight, but as I was inside sick for four days and out of the sun, my skin seemed to tan itself on the sides of my arms.) Yesterday I tried it again at 10:30 pm. By 12:45 I woke up hot, bothered by things touching me, and itchy swollen palms. Soon after 101 fever,shivers,& thrown up.By 2 I was on my way to the ER. It felt like I was walking on nails and as if everything I touched was made of pin needles.My blood pressure soon plummited as low as 49/32 and was put in the ICU. Now I have to check everything for slupha, carry an epipen, and wear and allergy bracelet.
—Guest Rachel


Was given this med for Ulcerative colitis after second dose woke up with swollen eyes lips and rash. Ended up in ER. One week later I still have this burning itching rash on neck and arms, hands tingling. I am miserable.
—Guest Gigi

Will I ever be normal again?

I was prescribed Bactrim DS for a UTI. After the first dose, I began to get a strange headache and just felt generally bad. I took the second dose and went to bed only to wake up at 2am with evil chills and a high fever. Ibuprofen and Acetaminophin didn't even touch the fever. I continued the medication and lasted 2 more doses before I stopped taking it. The headache was awful, body aches, joint pain, and very itchy vagina (took Diflucan with first dose, yeast ruled out) I've been off the medication over a week now and each day I seem to aquire a new symptom. The headache is gone but now I'm dealing with itchy everything, including my inner ears, back of my throat, and mouth. I've also begun to have painful breathing and my lungs hurt. It feels like I ran a 10k in 5degree weather. My thought processes are sluggish. I'm not right and just waiting for things to get better. I have taken Bactrim before with no problems and I'm not sure why it is suddenly a problem.
—Guest Donna

Generic Bactrim DS

Doctor prescribed Bactrim DS for a UTI, as I am allergic to Penicillin. After 8 days my tongue started swelling, felt like I had burned it on hot coffee. On day 9 I started to form hives on my arms and trunk, which worsened overnight. I stopped taking the Rx after the hives appeared, but overnight my whole body was covered in hives & my face swelled up & looked like I was sunburnt. Cool baths and loose clothing, plus Benadryl seem to be helping, but my whole body itches and feels tight like I am sunburnt. Won't take sulfa drugs again!
—Guest Brittney

i am allergic to it

i did not know i was allergic to sulfa unti lafter i finished taking my medication. immediatley the next day i started getting a skin rash on my thigh. by that night my whole body was covered in those small red bumps and the itchiness was awful! i went to the doctor and they put me on steroids and deppressants for the next month, which really slowed down my metabolism. as a result i gained over 15 pounds!
—Guest Regina

Allergic Reaction to Bactrim DS

I have always taken bactrim for UTI. SO never thought it would cause an allergy since I have taken it several times. It started with Hives nothng to big just real itchy (not thinking its the bactrim so i cont to take it) next its worse even itchier then before and HUGE HIVES, then the third day set in and it gets bad so i stop at a ER (was on way to husband doc 4 hours away) and they said allergic reaction to something i even told them what i was taken, gave me benedryl and sent me on my way. By 2 am that night I was ON FIRE and was nothing but one big huge HIVE. It burnt so bad and was the most painful thing I have experienced. Went across the street to Duke Hospital and they sent me in right away and would not let me leave until I was safe to go back to the hotel. If you have a reaction just to let you know predisone with benedryl and prilosec(yes the tummy medicine) helps get rid of it. It was a month before it finally went all away.
—Guest Misty Breece

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