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Sulfonamides

By

Brian J. Werth

, PharmD, University of Washington School of Pharmacy

Last full review/revision Jun 2022| Content last modified Jun 2022
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION
Topic Resources

Sulfonamides are a class of antibiotics Overview of Antibiotics Antibiotics are drugs used to treat bacterial infections. They are not effective against viral infections and most other infections. Antibiotics either kill bacteria or stop them from reproducing... read more that are effective against many and . Some sulfonamides are applied directly to the skin (topically) to treat burns and skin, vaginal, and eye infections.

Sulfonamides include the following:

Sulfonamides work by preventing bacteria from producing a form of folic acid they need to grow and multiply.

Table

Sulfonamides

Drug

Common Uses

Some Potential Side Effects

Mafenide

Sulfacetamide

Sulfadiazine

Sulfadoxine

Sulfamethizole

Sulfanilamide

Sulfasalazine

Sulfisoxazole

For sulfacetamide: Superficial eye infections

For mafenide and sulfadiazine: Only topically for burns

For trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole: Skin infections caused by susceptible bacteria that are resistant to other antibiotics, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ( MRSA Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Staphylococcus aureus is the most dangerous of all of the many common staphylococcal bacteria. These gram-positive, sphere-shaped (coccal) bacteria (see figure How Bacteria Shape Up)... read more Methicillin-resistant <i > Staphylococcus aureus </i> (MRSA) )

Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

Crystals in urine (rare)

A decrease in white blood cell and platelet counts

Sensitivity to sunlight

Possibly increased tendency to bleed if used with warfarin

In people with G6PD deficiency (see table More About Some Causes of Anemia More About Some Causes of Anemia More About Some Causes of Anemia ), the breakdown of red blood cells

G6PD = deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase.

Use of Sulfonamides During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Generic Name Select Brand Names
SULFAMYLON
BLEPH-10
No US brand name
PRIMSOL
AZULFIDINE
NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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