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Sulfa vs. Sulphur

Commonly known as Sulfa drugs are various groups of drugs that may or may not contain antimicrobial properties. The synthetic antibiotic sulfa agents are potent drugs against respiratory infections, strep throat, pharyngitis among others.

Sulfa agents are bacteriostatic and stop the bacteria from multiplication, thereby preventing aggravation of an infection. They, however, do not kill the bacteria. The small amount of remnant bacteria are neutralized by body’s natural immune system and are expelled from the system. Popular Sulfa antibiotics are Bactrim, Septra, Erythromycin-sulfisoxazole. The drugs, however, cause serious reactions or drug allergies. Drug allergies are also most common among Sulfa group of drugs. Prominent among them are rash, swelling of mouth and lips, hypotension, hives, an asthmatic attack in people with asthma or anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition. Sulfa drugs that do not contain antibacterial properties are anti-diabetic drugs like sulfonylureas, glyburides, diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide, NSAIDs like celecoxib, Migraine medications like Imitrex and so on.

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