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  #1  
Old 11-18-2003, 08:45 PM
Carol the Impaler Carol the Impaler is offline
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If I'm allergic to sulpha, can I still use products with sulphur in them?

I'm allergic to sulpha. But I see OTC acne medications with sulphur in them. Can I use them? What is the difference between sulphur and sulpha?
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2003, 09:25 PM
Askance Askance is offline
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No, sulpha or sulfa are just Americanizations of the word sulphur. They are the same element.
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Old 11-18-2003, 09:26 PM
Bear_Nenno Bear_Nenno is offline
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Sulfa is a chemical structure in drugs like antibiotics, analgesics and others. That's what you're allergic to.
Sulphur is an element. Think stinky rock. You are allergic to both, it would just be a coincidence. But I don't believe sulphur or sulphate usually cause allergic reactions.
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Old 11-18-2003, 09:29 PM
Bear_Nenno Bear_Nenno is offline
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Grr. That should be "IF you are allergic to both..."
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Old 11-18-2003, 09:38 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
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Andrew T is wrong. Sulfa allergy refers to "sulfa" drugs of the "sulfonamide" group. It contains a sulphur molecule, but it is not the sulphur that one is allergic to. If one has a true sulfa allergy (and many times the rashes and reactions described are not true allergies, i.e. IgE mediated histamine release) one can still take things containing sulphates, sulphites, etc.

Here is a helpful link: http://www.uic.edu/pharmacy/services/di/sulfa.htm
QtM, MD
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Old 11-18-2003, 09:41 PM
Bear_Nenno Bear_Nenno is offline
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AndrewT, sulfa is not just another word for Sulphur. Sulfa the drug can cause allergies. Sulphur the chemical is a rock. I don't even think Sulphur can cause an allergic reaction as it's found naturally in the body and in foods. However, I wont say it CAN'T because I've heard of a person being allergic to Epinephrine...
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Old 11-19-2003, 07:28 AM
jdbeatty jdbeatty is offline
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Me Too

...but I take sulfates. Can't take sulfalinomides anymore (I became allergic in adulthood), but quinine sulfate for malaria attacks and leg cramps dosen't give me hives.

BUT THAT'S ME. Your situation may be different.
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John D. Beatty
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:30 AM
Carol the Impaler Carol the Impaler is offline
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Thanks, folks. Oddly, I am allergic to sulpha, and red wine (because of the sulfites?) makes me sneeze. Checked out the UIC page, and thank god I'm not allergic to pickles!!!
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