Common term for sulfonamide drug, any member of a class of synthetic antibacterial drugs with a particular chemical structure including both sulfur and nitrogen atoms. Their effectiveness against bacteria was discovered in 1932 by Gerhard Domagk, and they became the first chemical substances systematically used against human bacterial infections. Sulfa drugs inhibit the growth and multiplication of certain bacteria (but do not kill them) by interfering with the synthesis of folic acid. Because of their toxicity and growing bacterial resistance, sulfa drugs are no longer in common use (except for urinary-tract infections, certain forms of malaria, and preventing infection of burns), having been largely superseded by less toxic antibiotics.
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Beginning with 1990, the Government of India has attempted to wean away members of ULFA. In 1992 a large section of second rank leaders and members surrendered to government authorities. These former members were allowed to retain their weapons to defend themselves against their former colleagues and were offered bank loans without any liabilities. This loose group, now called SULFA, has become an important element in a situation of armed politics and business in Assam.