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Sjogrens Topics => Living With Sjogren's => Topic started by: Suzy on January 17, 2012, 07:28:40 AM

Title: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Suzy on January 17, 2012, 07:28:40 AM
Hi All,

I've recently had 2 doctors prescribe Bactrim (a sulfa drug) for me, and I was reluctant to take it because I read that 30% of Lupies are allergic to sulfa meds...and since Sjogren's is serologically similar, it made me nervous...

But finally I took it, because I figured if 2 different doctors prescribed it, it must be ok...and the nurse said it was ok. Everything WAS ok...until day 7...when I spiked a 103 (yes!) fever, developed swollen lymph nodes, joint and muscle pain, sunburned-looking face, and a red splotchy rash all over my body. (And to add insult to injury, I'm heading to the dentist later this afternoon because I think I cracked a molar from my teeth chattering so violently.)

I want to scream "I told you so!" but I'm also mad at myself because I wasn't my best advocate. I did search on this site before I took it and didn't see where a lot of people said they had problems, so I thought it would be a good topic.

As a side note, in the past 2 years I went from having no allergies to developing a severe allergy to floroquinolones, reacting to the flu shot twice (when I never had before), and developing a rare side effect (folliculitis) from B-12 injections. And now this.  :-\

Anyway, as I lay here recovering, I'd love to hear about your experiences with sulfa drugs. Thanks so much!   :)

Suzy

Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: susan on January 17, 2012, 09:33:56 AM


I have several antibiotic allergies, including sulfa. I didn't know "we" are more likely to react!
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Joe S. on January 17, 2012, 10:36:04 AM
Sulfa, I try to stay away from it.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Jellyb on January 17, 2012, 10:40:42 AM
I am fine with sulfa but I am veryallergic to the flu shot. Thimerosol and egg allergy
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: mshistory on January 17, 2012, 11:09:24 AM
I'm allergic to sulfa and had the exact same skin reactions you described - lobster red face and splotchy itchy rash every where else (especially my back). Had that reaction when I was 19, and I was dx with SjS at 32.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: artsyamerican on January 17, 2012, 11:15:53 AM
Sulfa is evil!! I knew it gave me horrible stomach pains in the past but my Rheumy put me on sulfasalazine and my head and ears felt like they were going to explode! ICKK never again.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Carolina on January 17, 2012, 12:36:36 PM
Became allergic to Sulfa in 1999.  Since then the list has grown by leaps and bounds.

Well some things produce true allergic reactions, and other produce 'side effects' which isn't exactly the same, but what the heck!

Sulfa was a good drug in its day.

All drugs have downsides.


Living has a downside.

C'est la vie.

Hugs

Elaine
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Sooki on January 17, 2012, 12:37:11 PM
Yup.  Allergic reaction to sulfa drugs.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Iris on January 17, 2012, 12:58:27 PM
Not me.. I'd rather have it that any other antibiotic.. All the others give me a yeast infection and sulfa doesn't..

I went to my doc a few years ago for strep throat and they gave me a double penicillin shot.. I was back in less than a week with double pneumonia and an oral candida infection that hurt twice as bad as the strep did..
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: engy on January 17, 2012, 01:17:12 PM
Not me but hubby almost had irreversible kidney damage because of it. He doesn't have Sjogrens but doctors said blood relatives usually are so be careful if you are or family members, I gotta remember for my daughter.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Winnie on January 17, 2012, 01:31:44 PM
I am allergic to Bactrim (sulfa).  I had an reaction to it in college when taking it for a bladder infection.  I had a rash and severe stomach pains.  I am also allergic to tobradex so no one will give me any type of ingestible steroid anymore.  Maybe sulfa is a sensitive drug that give reactions to people in general??  Maybe our ancestors had too much sulfa and now our bodies can not handle it??

Winnie
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Katybarstool on January 17, 2012, 01:47:36 PM
I'm not sure, but I think this is the drug I took for an infection in my nose, and it made me itch horribly.

Kathyx
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: angels04 on January 17, 2012, 02:56:39 PM
yup Im allergic to it to. Took sulfasalazine several years ago for crohns ended up with blotchy rash all over body..
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: anita on January 17, 2012, 03:03:53 PM
YES.  It was my first medicine allergy.  Broken blood vessels everywhere.

I can no longer tolerate any antibiotics though.  I get a strange reaction that has to be related to Sjogren's because it causes fluid filled blisters on ALL mucus membranes...including down the airways.  Every one of them I've tried since 1998 has done this...even brand new drug classes.  In emergencies I have taken Z-pack because it's only 5 days.  The blisters start but I stop it soon after.  Then it takes a week for the blisters to go away.  ugh.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: DragonflyC on January 17, 2012, 03:16:59 PM
I had my first reaction when I was about 8. No penicillin or sulfa meds for me!
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: cat on January 17, 2012, 05:21:33 PM
I am allergic to sulfa and flagal.
Cat
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: eye2dry on January 17, 2012, 05:49:01 PM
I had a UTI last year, went to my gyn. for help, she prescribed a full course of Bactrim DS ....a few weeks later I had blood drawn d/t taking methotrexate and plaquenil and my WBC was way too low and I had to go off methotrexate for nearly 2 months to bring my WBC back up.

My rheumy says of all the antibiotics NOt to take with methotrexate---stay away from Bactrim. he said Bactrim really suppresses your blood cell formation in the marrow.

Apparently my gyn. never knew that. Whats worse is that the Bactrim didn't work and I had to end up taking amoxicillin next,  my digestive system was in a uproar.

Say no to antibiotics if you can.
Stay healthy everyone!

eye2dry
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Autoimmunity on January 17, 2012, 07:12:07 PM
Hi All,

I've recently had 2 doctors prescribe Bactrim (a sulfa drug) for me, and I was reluctant to take it because I read that 30% of Lupies are allergic to sulfa meds...and since Sjogren's is serologically similar, it made me nervous...

But finally I took it, because I figured if 2 different doctors prescribed it, it must be ok...and the nurse said it was ok. Everything WAS ok...until day 7...when I spiked a 103 (yes!) fever, developed swollen lymph nodes, joint and muscle pain, sunburned-looking face, and a red splotchy rash all over my body. (And to add insult to injury, I'm heading to the dentist later this afternoon because I think I cracked a molar from my teeth chattering so violently.)

I want to scream "I told you so!" but I'm also mad at myself because I wasn't my best advocate. I did search on this site before I took it and didn't see where a lot of people said they had problems, so I thought it would be a good topic.

As a side note, in the past 2 years I went from having no allergies to developing a severe allergy to floroquinolones, reacting to the flu shot twice (when I never had before), and developing a rare side effect (folliculitis) from B-12 injections. And now this.  :-\

Anyway, as I lay here recovering, I'd love to hear about your experiences with sulfa drugs. Thanks so much!   :)

Suzy

Both myself and my sister are allergic to bactrim.  Hives head to toe, cold sweats, fever, severe exhaustion, etc.  Several years back my son was at his grandparents, got hurt, needed to go to the urgent care and got a tetanus shot and a prescription for bactrim which he later brought home for me to fill.  I called the urgent care and said no way!  Clearly a sensitivity in my family and wasn't going to risk my child taking that.  Made them change it to a different antibiotic.  I'm sure they thought I was an idiot, but oh well, didn't care.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: irish on January 17, 2012, 08:35:38 PM
I am also allergic to sulfa and penicillin and rifampin and can't take levoquin due to CNS side effects.

In answer to your question, yes, people who have autoimmune disease do have more allergies because the immune system and the autoimmune issues are very closely related.

Also, if you do any searches on lupus you will see that people with lupus have a high incidence of sulfa allergy. I was doing fine with it until I had my teeth pulled and needed antibiotics. Got a really weird rash high up on both thighs. My immunologist told me to never take it again.

It is nerve wracking to say the least when we have these sudden new allergic reactions. I carry an antihistamine pill called Xyzal *prescription) and any time I start to itch and get the red blotches I take one of these pills. I think that it halts the reaction and in doing so helps to prevent me from being more sensitive than I am.

I am of the opinion that once your body learns to cause the histamine release (which causes the rashes/hives, etc and itching) it become much easier the next time. Stopping it ASAP sort of stops it in its track. I would hate to think how bad it would get if I didn't do this---had one really bad allergic reaction to a IVIG product with hives over all my body. Irish ;D
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: sewandsew on January 17, 2012, 09:19:34 PM
Yes, me too.  No sulfa.  It caused an all-body rash.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Sjoggie2 on January 17, 2012, 09:25:11 PM
Also allergic to sulfa meds!  Hives, lobster face and also got severe kidney infection from it last time I took it!  Maybe something to this thread!
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Pisces24 on January 18, 2012, 06:00:48 PM
Guess I was lucky with the sulfa.  :-\  I had it in an antibiotic. I was just fine for 8 days, the 9th day I broke out in hives from my knees down - especially around my ankles.

I went to the dr the 10th day as to the med didn't seem to help the sinus infection I had and I "just mentioned" that while I was here I must have got into something as I has a rash. He took one look at it and told me I was allergic to it.
That started me to read the brochures on allergies and side effects of ANY medication I was taking or about to take. So I guess I learned.

BTW: I found this out about 10 yrs prior to having problems that sent me on my 6 yr journey to a Sjogrens diagnosis.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: sewandsew on January 18, 2012, 06:57:32 PM
Now I am wondering:  Is it just us with AI disease or are lots of people problemed by sulfa?
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Carebear on January 18, 2012, 07:14:42 PM
I took sulphasalazine for six months, with no allergic reaction.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: slccom on January 18, 2012, 08:17:01 PM
If 30% of people react negatively, that means that 70% don't. It was not irresponsible of the doctors to try the medication, and you are unlucky enough to be among the minority who do react. I am among the 70% -- a very significant majority.

Needless to say, don't take it again!

The blisters can be symptomatic of Stevens Johnson Syndrome, which can be very serious. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001854/

Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: soycoffee on January 18, 2012, 10:50:44 PM
Add me to the list of people with Sjögren's and an allergy to sulfa drugs (probably Bactrim).
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: oescharao on January 19, 2012, 01:00:31 PM
This topic really caught my attention! My family has a history of sulfa allergies. My mom, dad and sister are all allergic to sulfa medicines, though I've never been tested. It would be interesting to see if I'm allergic too...

~Eschara
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: BarbaraE on January 19, 2012, 05:10:58 PM
Hi,
I just joined and introduced myself on the other topic board.  I am highly allergic to sulfa drugs and several other classes of antibiotics.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: valene2009 on January 19, 2012, 06:15:34 PM
im allergic to sulfa meds-have been since i was a teen. intersting
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Joe S. on January 19, 2012, 07:14:47 PM
Is it time we start a pole so we can get some statistics?
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: aussie mum on January 20, 2012, 03:10:03 AM
You can add my daughter to the list, although her reaction did not appear until day 8.
It was very nasty.

My mum is also allergic, and they are both the same blood group. O Neg.

I have also read on the www that people with Lupus should not take Sulfa medications - I wonder why.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Carolina on January 20, 2012, 12:10:10 PM
I read that 30% of people with Lupus have allergy to sulfa.

http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/default.aspx?a=93&template=print-article.htm

So it stands to reason the same might apply to those with Sjogren's.

Hugs

Elaine
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: P.Trish on March 12, 2012, 03:22:38 PM
About five years ago, my doctor gave me bactrum for bronchitis.  A few hours later, I was being driven to ER in an ambulance (stroke-like symptons).  It was an allergic reacton to sulfa.  Also, on the way to the hosp, one of the ETs said ' Why would a dr give her bactrum for bronchitis?!)
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Patty on March 12, 2012, 04:25:12 PM
Yes - I took it bactrim for years but became allergic to it this year. Dx'd with Sjogrens this year too.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: artsyamerican on March 12, 2012, 05:58:00 PM
Definitely! Sulfa drugs make my mind go whacko to the max!! Go figure!
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: sunkissed64 on March 12, 2012, 11:33:55 PM
I was prescribed sulfa back around the time I was diagnosed with both Sjogrens and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Had horrible reactions to it fever, terrible chills, very bad hives all over, 'sunburned' face etc. Steer clear of sulfa if you have auto immune issues.

Sunny
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: susan on March 13, 2012, 10:33:59 AM

Add me to the list of folks allergic to sulfa. Also penicillin, flagyl, levaquin.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Skylar on March 13, 2012, 01:03:19 PM
I'm surprised by these results - I'm also allergic to sulfa meds. I know that approximately 3% of the general population is allergic to them.
Title: Re: Do a lot of us have sulfa allergies?
Post by: Sleepy In Seattle on March 13, 2012, 01:32:36 PM
Yup, me too. Not aware of any other antibiotic allergies, but I have known of a Sulfa allergy since I was 18 (I'm 43 now) - horrible rash around my mid-section.

Most antibiotics make me HORRIBLY sleepy/fatigued/mildly feverish - but it beats having a stupid UTI.... ::)