Autism and Sulfa Allergy: Some Assessments

Sulfa allergy is basically a negative reaction to an antibiotic known as sulfamethoxazole which is an ingredient found in antibiotics which contain sulfonamide including Septra and Bactrim. People who have been diagnosed with a sulfa allergy should not use these types of medications and they should also not take an antibiotic known as Pediazole.


There is insufficient information that makes a connection of autism and sulfa allergy. There is a lack of data that suggests that people with autism are more likely to have sulfa allergies or would have more serious sulfa allergy reactions when compared to the rest of the population. There is also a lack of evidence regarding a connection between parents who have sulfa allergies and the increased chances of having a child with autism. Regarding autism and sulfa allergy, caregivers of autistic people should follow the advice given by the physician regarding which medications to avoid and how to treat the symptoms. Autism and sulfa allergy has not been extensively researched.

Sulfur, sulfates as well as sulfites are typically not strongly related to sulfamethoxazole and usually will not cause negative reactions in patients who have been diagnosed with sulfa allergy. Numerous medications are slightly related to sulfamethoxazole including some types of diuretics, oral diabetes medicines as well as some types of anti-inflammatory medications which might not cause an adverse reaction to people with a sulfa allergy however it’s a good idea to check with your physician before you take these types of medications.

There are other types of medications that have names that don’t sound like they are related to sulfamethoxazole, so if you are a caregiver for an autistic person and you are concerned about autism and sulfa allergy, check with your doctor regarding the various medications that are related to sulfamethoxazole. Some people with sulfa allergies only avoid medicines that contain the prefix sul or the prefix sulfa but this is a wrong approach to determining which types of drugs to avoid.

Sulfa Allergy

The condition known as sulfa allergy is sometimes incorrectly used to categorize all negative reactions people have to medicines that contain sulfonamide. Sulfa allergic reactions are basically due to hypersensitivity mechanisms. Only about three percent of people who take sulfonamide antibiotics have actual hypersensitivity type of reactions. Regarding autism and sulfa allergy there is no information about the percentage of autistic people who have a sulfa allergy.

Maculopapular rashes as well as urticarial rashes are the most prevalent symptoms for people with sulfa allergies. They typically happen during the first week of drug therapy and are usually eliminated seven to fourteen days after you have stopped using the medications. Some people have more severe dermatologic allergic reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome a swell as toxic epidermal necrolysis; however they are not very common. Some patients have experienced adverse reactions such as drug fever, vasculitis, serum sickness, hepatitis, hemolytic anemia as well as nehpritis. Regarding autism and sulfa allergy, ask for some advice from your physician if you are a caregiver for a person who is autistic.