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Thread: Neosporin is a sulpha drug!

  1. #1
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I learned a really important lesson, for me, this week! My dog bit me last Saturday evening when I had him at the groomers to be clipped. He was coming out of sedation, there was a commotion and he slipped the muzzle and bit me because I was holding his lead. Went to the ER because it really hurt, it broke the skin and my fingers felt funny. I am left handed and it was on my left hand. When asked about allergies, I told them I was allergic to supha drugs, and iodine. I was seen, the wound flushed with saline and peroxide, fingers tested for nerve damage, and I am fine. No other meds, just wrapped, and told to clean it daily, put Neosporin on it and keep it covered for a few days. Tuesday, I bought a new tube of Neosporin and used it, put a large bandaid over it and went about my business. Wednesday it itched, didn't think much about it, just thought it was healing. Thursday I left it open to the air and didn't put any more Neopsorin on it. Called my dermatoligist, no one in the office. Called my internist, and was told to stop using the Neosporin, which I had already done, and call in the morning if it was still bad. Went in to see her Friday morning, and she said I shouldn't be using Neosporin because it was a sulpha drug and I am allergic! Why would the ER DR tell me to use it when I repeated that I was allergic to suphates! My BAD for not reading the package more closley. It is a nasty red bumpy rash on the back of my left hand that is weeping. The bite wound is healing nicely, but this rash was totally unnecessary. I keep Cortizone in the house and I could have used IT.
    Another lesson in being in charge of your own recovery! Just had to vent. :? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    This really caught my eye, because I had a reaction to sulfa when I was a child and so have always told the doctors that I may be allergic to it. Yet, I have used Neosporin many times with no ill effects. I had to do some research on this, and this is what I found.

    Sulfa Vs. Sulfites Vs. Sulfur Allergies - Confusing Terminology
    http://healthbeatnews.com/news/archives/345

    To summarize the article, our allergy to sulfa drugs is not due to sulfur in the drugs; sulfur is an essential mineral that our bodies require. It's unlikely that you have an allergy to sulfates either (sulfate is found in rain water), so perhaps something else in the Neosporin is causing your allergy. It's something you might want to check further. According to the Neosporin web site, Neosporin is NOT a sulfa drug. (So what was your doctor thinking?)

    I hope this helps. I certainly learned something, including that sulfa, sulfite, sulfate, and sulfur are identical to sulpha, sulphite, sulphate, sulphur.

  3. #3
    Super Member Barb M's Avatar
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    My husband and i both have sulpha allergies. And we both react to neosporin too. Sulpha allergies are very serious, i get anaphalactic shock when it's been used on foods. Glad you figured it out and are off of it now. Geez, hope your hand is doing better soon. And if it gets worse, you might need some antibiotic pills, dog bites can be full of germs.

  4. #4
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I have to add that I did call Johnson & Johnson to report my reaction.

    Also, The package of Neosporin that I bought was maximum strength plus pain relief, and right under the name on the label it reads:
    Bacitracin Zinc--Neomycin sulfate--Polymyxin B Sulfate--Pramoxine HCl

    I didn't read it before. If I had I probably would have spelled it correctly. But is clearly is a sulfate. My Bad. :?

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    A sulfate (or sulphate, same thing different spelling) is not the same as a sulfa drug. Neosporin contains Neomycin Sulfate; it could be that your reaction is to this specific sulfate, or to something else in the Neosporin. There are several active ingredients in Neosporin.

    Foods never have sulfa drugs added; they have sulfites added. It's so confusing! But it is important, I think, to figure out the differences, and to pinpoint just what is causing your allergy, so that you know what to steer clear of. Telling a doctor that you have a sulfa allergy, for instance, does not tell him that you are allergic to neosporin sulfate, or that you can't tolerate sulfites in foods. Perhaps a visit to a good allergist is in order.


  6. #6
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I realize that I need to know more about what is causing this reaction, because I have used Neosporin in the past with no adverse reactions. This is a new and improved product! Who knew!
    I have not had a reaction for over 20 years from a medication.

  7. #7
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    My SIL is allergic to sulphur and she had the same reaction when the ER put it on a wound of hers, too. I did not know that was the active anitbiotic chemical either, til she told me that. It made me start reading more closely, the labels on over the counter treatments.....
    I hope your hand clears up and heals soon!!!

  8. #8
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Thanks, Amma. It is making it difficult to do anything with fabric, or anything actually because I just don't feel 100%.
    But it rained here most of the day, so staying inside was okay.

    Teehee, I did go out this afternoon to a fabric store and get some sale fabric on an even greater sale! :lol: If I can't sew, I can at least shop!

  9. #9
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads-up. Luckily I have no allergies, but good thing to know.

  10. #10
    Senior Member countrymaid's Avatar
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    When I fell and broke my leg in January, the ambulance medic wouldn't give me morphine because it has a sulpha in it. So that's something else to check on.

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