Common drugs that contain sulfonamides include antibiotics such as septra, bactrim and erythromycin-sulfisoxazole. Azulfidine used for Crohn's disease and dapsone used for pneumonia and leprosy treatment also contain sulfonamides. Additionally, amarlyl diabetic medication and antiflammatory drugs such as celebrox contain sulfonamides. Sumatriptan, a common migraine drug, and diuretics such as lasix and microzide also contain sulfonamides, according to Mayo Clinic.
Patients with sulfa allergy react to drugs containing sulfonamides, and people with HIV have increased sensitivity to drugs containing sulfonamides. Doctors ascertain sulfonamide sensitivity before prescribing medication. Allergy to drugs containing sulfonamides differs from an allergic reaction to foods and drinks containing sulfites, states Mayo Clinic.
Sulfites and sulfa-based drugs differ chemically. Symptoms of sulfa reaction include a drop in blood pressure, hives and anaphylaxis. These symptoms require immediate medical attention. Asthmatics are vulnerable to sulfa and sulfite allergy, says Healthline.
Antibiotics containing sulfonamides disrupt dihydrofolic acid production. Bacteria uses dihydrofolic acid to produce proteins. Side effects of drugs containing sulfonamides include anorexia, vomiting, headaches, lethargy and diarrhea. If a rash develops, patients should immediately discontinue use of drugs containing sulfonamides. Sulfonamides cause sunburns. Rare side effects of drugs containing sulfonamides include liver damage, leucopenia, thrombocytopenia and anemia, according to MedicineNet.