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What type of infection is a sulfa-based antibiotic used for?

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Sulfa-based antibiotics are used to treat a variety of bacterial infections, including those involving the urinary tract, vagina, lungs and intestines, states Encyclopedia Brittanica. Examples of sulfa drugs are sulfathiazole, sulfadiazine, sulfamethazine and trisulfapyrimidine. Sulfamethoxazole is commonly combined with trimethoprim to achieve greater antibiotic effect.

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Sulfa drugs do not work by killing bacteria, but they instead prevent the bacteria from growing and multiplying by interfering with their production of folic acid, explains Encyclopedia Brittanica. Sulfa drugs were the first synthetic antibiotics used to systemically treat bacterial infections in humans. The use of sulfa drugs quickly declined because of frequent side effects, bacterial resistance to the drug and increased production of penicillin.

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