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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.

  11. #11
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I was told long ago to stop using that. use bactracin instead. people were beginning to show up with bad rashes. I'm allergic to Sulpha too actually

  12. #12
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    I am allergic to sulfa drugs.
    Some of this is confusing to me, but I have an allergist.
    Gonna have to write some questions down for him on next visit.
    They gave me morphine in the hospital, two years ago, and pain got worse, and another shot, still worse,...ended up keeping me...bc I was having trouble breathing...now I am wondering about all this.
    I always tell medical personnel about my sulfa allergy, hmmm

  13. #13
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    Dunster is right.. sulfates and sulfa antibiotics are two different things.. however.. the research folks are finding more that there are folks who have allergies to ingredients in neosporin..frequently it's a developed allergy to the neomycin when it is absorbed into the skin and gets into the system.
    http://www.pdrhealth.com/drugs/otc/o...contentId=3485
    That is a link to the on-line PDR.. you'll notice it does not mention cross over allergies with sulfa drugs. However.. you can be allergic to anything...

  14. #14
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    My Dr. told me to never use Neosporin with pain relief, just the plain Neosporin. The pain relief stuff is not for open wounds or puncture wounds. It can cause you to have all kinds of nasty reactions.

  15. #15
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    Dunster, Thanks for the info.

  16. #16
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for that information. Who knew? Now I do.
    I am currently on Prednisone, and an antibiotic and the rash is clearing up nicely.
    But now I know what people are talking about when they are on Prednisone, and not sleeping and having a real short fuse. :?

    I am on a road trip with my sister and I missed my exit and drove about 150 miles out of the way to my brother's house! I KNOW the way, but I just drove on! I am so tired. :( I missed the sigh for Milwaukee, for crying out loud.

  17. #17

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    Came upon this site while searching Neosporin/sulfa. My doc, too, told me to stop using Neosporin because I have a sulfa allergy. (Spider bite... was healing. Decided to use some Neosporin and now have a gross infection.)

    Some drugs have the "chemical structure" of sulfa. I have had sulfa allergy reactions although the drug(s) did not list sulfa as an additive. Chemical structure is when 2 or more drugs combinded form another drug.

    I had never used Neosporin and only had a tube because my granddaughter had left some here after a visit. MY bad for not consulting someone before I used it. Fortunately I have a very knowledgable pharmacist friend who can dig much deeper than I into drug structure.

    Bottom line...if it's questionable don't use it!



  18. #18
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    My ex husband was allergic to sulpha, too. He had been using Niquil for bad colds. One time, on a budget kick, I was comparing the labels of a generic cold med compared to Niquil and discovered Niquil has sulpha in it!

    As for doctor's knowing....not unusual, there's a TON of meds out there for them to memorize! Ex was in hospital after open heart surgery and kept being "sick"....finally was moved from local hospital to Portland Univ. hospital.....discovered the local doctor and hospital was giving him sulpha drugs! Cost was outrageous, considering! They took him to the Univ. hospital in an ambulance....300 miles!!!!

  19. #19
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Always double check and demand point blank an answer from any Dr. It's your life not theirs. You have to ask even the most obvious questions. Call once you leave them if you think of something you want an answer to. Drs. can't be dedicated to one patient 24/7. They can overlook or not think about the obvious while concentrating on the details. A great nurse is more helpful then a good Dr.

  20. #20
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    Always double check and demand point blank an answer from any Dr. It's your life not theirs. You have to ask even the most obvious questions. Call once you leave them if you think of something you want an answer to. Drs. can't be dedicated to one patient 24/7. They can overlook or not think about the obvious while concentrating on the details. A great nurse is more helpful then a good Dr.
    I heard that! :wink:

  21. #21
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Wow learned alot tonight folks. Thanks and will tell DD that her spider bite was probably worsened by a reaction to the sulpha drugs in the Neo.

  22. #22
    Super Member quiltwoman's Avatar
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    My little guy is also allergic to it--nasty blister like reactions. cost him a second course of antibiotics and a trip to the er as he could not breathe--not something to fool around with. :?

  23. #23
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Good grief, that's likely what caused my spider bites to get so much worse last summer. Who knew! Thanks for sharing this info!!


  24. #24
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    i had a sulpha allergy when i was in college, but over the years it vanished without my realizing it. when i was given it again recently, i had no reaction whatever. go know!

  25. #25
    Senior Member DebJ's Avatar
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    I am alergic to the Spetra DS which is a sulfa drug. I only found out because it cause a rash all over (Ichy)! That was sometime ago but I still tell them when ask that I'm alergic to sulfa or sulfer drugs. Even rashes are not pleasent to deal with. :? Thanks for all the new information, very helpful.

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