Sulfonamides or sulfas are a class of antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections. Sulfa can be used to treat various diseases caused by bacterial infections, such as urinary tract infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, meningitis, and eye or ear infections.

Sulfonamides work by interfering with the formation of folic acid in bacteria. Folic acid is needed by bacteria to form genetic material and reproduce. If the process of forming folic acid is disrupted, the bacteria cannot multiply and are more easily resisted by the immune system.

Warning Before Using Sulfonamides

Sulfonamides should only be used according to a doctor's prescription. Pay attention to the following points before using sulfonamides:

  • Do not use sulfonamides if you are allergic to these drugs.
  • Do not use sulfonamides if you have acute porphyria , severe kidney or liver disorders, blood disorders , or lupus .
  • Tell your doctor if you have or currently have asthma , folate deficiency, bone marrow disorders, kidney disease, liver disease, HIV/AIDS, or G6PD deficiency .
  • Inform your doctor if you are taking other medicines, including supplements and herbal products, to anticipate drug interactions.
  • Tell your doctor that you are using sulfonamides if you are having surgery or any laboratory tests, especially urea, creatinine, urine glucose, or urobilinogen tests.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
  • It is better to use contraception to prevent pregnancy while using sulfonamides taken by mouth. Consult your doctor about the most effective and safe contraceptive for you.
  • Limit activity in the sun and use sunscreen while taking sulfonamides, because these drugs can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking sulfonamides before having your vaccination, because these drugs may reduce the effectiveness of live bacterial vaccines, eg BCG.
  • Immediately consult a doctor if an allergic drug reaction or serious side effects occur after using this drug.

Side Effects and Dangers of Sulfonamides

Side effects that may arise from the use of sulfonamides can vary, depending on the type of sulfonamide and the dosage form used. A number of side effects that may arise after consuming sulfonamides are:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or headache
  • Lost appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea

Check with your doctor if the side effects you experience do not improve immediately or they get worse. Immediately see a doctor if you experience a drug allergic reaction or serious side effects after taking sulfonamides, such as:

  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which can be characterized by joint pain, muscle aches, and skin redness, blistering, or peeling
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis , which may be characterized by difficulty swallowing, as well as skin redness, becoming looser, blistering, or peeling
  • Severe and widespread sunburn due to sun exposure
  • Low white blood cell levels ( leukopenia ), which can be indicated by symptoms of an infection that are not getting better or by the appearance of symptoms of a new infection, such as fever and chills
  • Low platelet levels ( thrombocytopenia ), which can be characterized by easy bruising, purple spots on the lower legs, blood in the urine or stools, fatigue, bleeding gums , or nosebleeds
  • Anemia , which can be characterized by tiredness, pale skin, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, floating head, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, and cold feeling in hands or feet
  • Liver damage, which may be indicated by loss of appetite, nausea, pain in the upper right abdomen, malaise, or jaundice
  • Crystals in the urine, which can be characterized by painful urination, cloudy or frothy urine, increased frequency of urination, bloody urine, or foul-smelling urine

Types and Trademarks of Sulfonamides

The following are the types and trademarks of sulfonamides:

1. Co-trimoxazole

Forms of drug: Tablets, capsules and suspension

Trademarks: Cotrimoxazole, Decatrim, Infatrim, Infatrim Forte, Miratrim, Miratrim Forte, Mesaprim, Moxalas, Novatrimm Omegtrim, Primavon

To find out the dosage and further information about this drug, please open the co- trimoxazole drug page .

2. Sulfacetamide

Drug form: eye drops

Trademarks: Albucetine, Albuvit 10%, Albuvit 15%, Cendo Cetapred

To find out the dosage and further information about this drug, please open the sulfacetamide drug page .

3. Sulfadiazine

Medication form: Cream or tablet

Trademarks: Burnazine, Sulfadiazine, Sulfadiazine Silver

To find out the dosage and further information about this drug, please open the sulfadiazine drug page .

4. Sulfamethizole

Medication form: Caplet

Trademark: Ottoprim Forte

To find out the dosage and further information about this drug, please open the sulfamethizole drug page .

5. Sulfamethoxazole

Form of drug: Suspension, caplet, or tablet

Trademarks: Bactoprim Combi, Cotrimoxazole, Erphatrim Forte, Fatibact, Infatrim, Infatrim Forte, Mesaprim, Miratrim, Miratrim Forte

To find out the dosage and further information about this drug, please open the sulfamethoxazole drug page .

6. Sulfanilamide

Medication form: Cream or suppository

Trademark: -

To find out the dosage and further information about this drug, please open the sulfanilamide drug page .

7. Sulfasalazine

Form of drug: Enteric-coated capsules or enteric-coated tablets

Trademarks: Lazafin, Sulcolon, Sulfasalazine, Sulfitis

To find out the dosage and further information about this drug, please open the sulfasalazine drug page .

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