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Abstract

SULFA DRUGS AND THE SKIN

Santhosh M Mathews, Jiju V, Irene Thomas*, Jicky T Panicker, Linta Susan Kuriakose,

ABSTRACT

Sulpha drugs (also called sulphur drugs or sulfonamide-containing drugs) are an imprecise term that generally refers to drugs that contain a sulphonamide functional group in their chemical structure. These drugs have a variety of uses and can be classified into antibiotics and non-antibiotic drugs. Sulfonamide-containing drugs are frequently implicated in allergic and non-allergic reactions. Allergies to sulfonamide are common; hence medications containing sulfonamides are prescribed carefully. It is important to make a distinction between sulfa drugs and other sulfur-containing drugs and additives, such as sulfates and sulfites, which are chemically unrelated to the sulfonamide group, and do not cause the same hypersensitivity reactions seen in the sulfonamides. Adverse reactions to sulfonamide antibiotics are estimated to occur in 3-6% of treatment courses. The majority of these reactions are not of an allergic nature. Types of non-allergic reactions to sulfonamide antibiotics include nausea and diarrhoea, candidiasis, folate deficiency, and headaches. The sulfonylureas and thiazide diuretics are newer drug groups based on the antibacterial sulfonamides. Sulfa drugs are still widely used for conditions such as acne and urinary tract infections, and are receiving renewed interest for the treatment of infections caused by bacteria resistant to other antibiotics. Because sulfonamides displace bilirubin from albumin, kernicterus (brain damage due to excess bilirubin) is an important potential side effect of sulfonamide use.

Keywords: Sulphonamides-categories-sulfa allergy-non antibiotic sulphonamides.


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