Are The "sulfa" Drugs Still Used?

Before the discovery and mass-production of antibiotic drugs (ca 1943), the only effective drugs for treating bacterialinfections were the sulfionomides,which were developedby a german chemist (Domagk?) in the 1920’s.Are these drugs still used?I wonder if researchers are giving them a second look, as the starins of bacteria today are bedoming resistant to antibiotics.
Anybody know who holds the patent rights to these drugs?

Is this the same ‘sulfa’ of ‘sulfa-powder’ (WW2) fame?

I believe so, Brutus. AFAIK, sulfa drugs are still used for some things; my mom sometimes argues with her doctor about something for urinary tract infections, saying she can’t take it because she’s allergic to sulfa drugs. Also, large animal vets still prescribe SMZ-TMP. (I can’t recall the full name, but it’s sulfamethi-something with trimethi-something, 800mg of one with 160 mg of the other.)

Not sure how much use this will be but I know they were being used as late as 1982, when I was born as I was exposed to them for one reason or another and suffered a severe allergic reaction.

Sulfameth/Trimethoprim, I have a bottle right next to me for my lizards.

That’s how I found out I was allergic; my doc prescribed some sulfa drug or another for that purpose. It was great fun - I broke out in hives, which got steadily worse, climaxing with a near-fainting episode at the pharmacy counter when I went to pick up the replacement prescription. My sister had much the same thing happen, so yep, they’re still used for some purposes.

SMZ-TMP costs me jst $ 6.00 for a bottle of 20 and kicks ass on my nasal infections. Out of curiosity does the version for your lizards require a prescription?

Close. It’s actually sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. Long drug names are often abbreviated on prescription labels.

After my wimpy-ass GP persisted in giving me low-grade antibiotics for my childhood sinus problems (which never worked), my parents got fed up and took me to a new doctor, who prescribed sulfa drugs. Worked like a charm.

This would have been 1981, 82-ish.

Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim is still used in veterinary medicine. Like every drug, it has its pros and cons. On the plus side, it is cheap. It also penetrates certain tissues that other antibiotics do not, like the prostate.

On the minus side of the equation, reactions (even potentially life threatening ones) are a little to common for my taste. When I prescribe the drug it is typically the owner’s choice for economic reasons.

Doctor prescribed them for my wife’s urinary tract infection within the past month. Unfortunately, testing showed that her infection was resistant to sulfa (and only sulfa) so he had to prescribe an antibiotic, but I gather that his initial prescription was common practice.

In case anyone has been prescribed it by brand name, a couple of common brand names for the trimethoprim/sulfamethoxasole combination are Bactrim and Septra (at least, those are the ones I’ve heard in Canada - I assume it’s the same in the US, YMMV elsewhere).

Sulfas are good, low cost choices for infections of the sinuses, prostate, and urinary tract. Still, there are lots of alternatives now available with less tendency to cause side effects. In particular, although rare, sulfas can lead to extremely serious, sometimes fatal skin reactions. Yes, skin.

I tend not to use them that much for the reason above. I am particularly loathe to use them in the elderly or in people whose kidney filtering ability is decreased. In both groups, worse kidney function can result.

I was prescribed sulfa drugs in the mid-1990s, and, like Aesiron and Eva Luna suffered an allergic reaction. Hives, bright red skin, fever: good times.

I also was prescribed a sulfa drug for a urinary tract infection, in the 1980s. And I also had an allergic reaction, my face puffed out and I looked just like Carl Weathers. Also, the inside of my teeth itched!

I had a lot of ear infections as a kid (most of the 1980s) and at one point I was put on one of these for a long time. I ended up getting hives, so I, too, am allergic.

An optometrist came THIS close three or so years ago to giving me some sulfa-based eye drops, but he doublechecked with me about sulfas before giving them to me (it was in my records, obviously) and I am ever so thankful he did. Imagine EYE HIVES.


Holy smokes! I, too was prescribed sulfa drugs (don’t remember what for…bronchitis, maybe?) and I also got an allergic reaction! This was just a couple of years ago.

I think perhaps they are experiencing a renaissance among doctors worried about bacterial resistance to commonly prescribed antibiotics. Can any medical professionals confirm?

What do petite vets prescribe?

It is also commonly used in people medicine. I work in hospital pharmacies (three) in the city, and I package Sulfa drugs at each one.

My sister and neice are allergic to Penicillin. I believe they get sulfa instead.

Smaller dose of the same thing. :smiley: