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Thread: Is gentamicin sulfate the same as a sulpha drug

  1. Default Is gentamicin sulfate the same as a sulpha drug

    My daughter is taking gentamicin sulfate for an eye infection and now she has a migrating rash. I know I'm allergic to sulpha drugs and I get a rash when I take them. The rash she has is red patches with white bumps within the red areas. Is this something I need to worry about? She doesn't have a fever and the best I can do right now is leave a message for her doctor. If I take her to the ER it will be at least a 4 hour wait.


  2. No. Gentamicin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic, and is not chemically related to sulfa drugs. Don't let the Sulfate suffix frighten you. The manufacturers make the gentamicin as a sulfate salt to increase its solubility.

    Sulfa drugs are formally known as sulfonamides, with one widely used product being sulfamethoxazole. Sulfonamides are not as popular as they once were, as better antibiotics are available with fewer side effects.

    Using the gentamcin topically in the eye means a very small amount is absorbed into your system. If your daughter was allergic, her eyes would be inflamed.

    Without seeing the rash, it is difficult to name the cause. If your daughter does not improve overnight, or if the condition worsens, an ER trip may be in order/

    Good luck in caring for your daughter.

  3. No, they're different.

    Gentamicin sulfate and sulpha drugs are both antibiotics in nature, but have different categories. The rash might have been caused by something else, Teddy.

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    Usually, if a person has a previous allergic reaction to a particular substance (whether meds, food, dusts, etc.) or has familial history of allergic reactions, it is always presumed that he/she may be allergic to other substance as well. I suggest that you bring your daughter to a medical personnel while the rashes are still there so they can make a diagnosis.

  5. Yes, sulpha drugs (sulphonamide family) and gentamicin (Aminoglycosides) are different classes which target different parts of the bacterial cell machinery. It's worth knowing that sometimes, patients may have a life-threatening reaction - thus you may want to see a physician sooner than later

  6. Next time you should consult your pharmacist. Assuming you're in the US your pharmacist goes through four years of training and will be well equipped to help you with questions like this one.

  7. Be advised a "sulfa" allergy is a sulfonamide allergy, not a sulfer allergy. So as long as the drug only contains sulfate or sulfite, you will not have the reaction you have to sulfonamide-containing drugs.


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