Someone who has a sulfa allergy can react to some medications that contain sulfa.
Sulfonamide antibiotics that can cause a reaction
Antibiotics containing chemicals called sulfonamides can trigger a reaction if you have a sulfa allergy. These antibiotics include combination drugs:
- Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (Septra, Bactrim)
Other medications that may cause a reaction
Other types of sulfa medications may trigger a reaction in some people who have a sulfonamide antibiotic allergy:
- Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), used to treat Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Dapsone, used to treat leprosy, dermatitis and certain types of pneumonia
Keep in mind that if you have a reaction to a sulfonamide antibiotic, you may still be able to take other sulfonamide medications without having a reaction.
Sulfonamide medications that may be OK
- Certain diabetes medications — glyburide (Glynase, Diabeta) and glimepiride (Amaryl), for example
- Some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as celecoxib (Celebrex)
- The migraine medication sumatriptan (Imitrex)
- Certain "water pills" (diuretics), such as furosemide (Lasix) and hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide)
An allergy to sulfonamide medications is different from having an adverse reaction to wine or food that contains sulfites. Having a reaction to sulfites in something you eat or drink doesn't mean you'll be allergic to sulfonamide medication.
If you have HIV/AIDS, you may have an increased sensitivity to sulfonamide medications. Always tell your doctor about your sensitivities to medication.
There are no diagnostic tests for sulfa allergy. However, sulfa desensitization might be an option, especially if medication containing sulfamethoxazole is needed.
Sept. 29, 2021
From Mayo Clinic to your inbox
Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.
ErrorEmail field is required
ErrorInclude a valid email address
To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which
information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with
other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could
include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected
health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health
information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of
privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on
the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.
Thank you for subscribing!
You'll soon start receiving the latest Mayo Clinic health information you requested in your inbox.
Sorry something went wrong with your subscription
Please, try again in a couple of minutes
See more Expert Answers
- Giles A, et al. Sulfonamide allergies. Pharmacy. 2019; doi:10.3390/pharmacy7030132. Accessed Oct. 28, 2019.
- Drug allergies. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. https://acaai.org/allergies/types/drug-allergies. Accessed Oct. 22, 2019.
- Montanaro A. Sulfonamide allergy in HIV-uninfected patients. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Oct. 22, 2019.