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Water Pill Options When Allergic to Sulfa

Published: June 29, 2009

Patients who are allergic to sulfa and require a diuretic (“water”) pill have several options.

In general, the sulfa contained in antibiotic drugs has a slightly different chemical structure than the sulfa compounds found in diuretics. As a result, people who are allergic to sulfa antibiotics may be able to take a sulfa-containing diuretic without experiencing a reaction. For patients who are allergic to sulfa-containing diuretics, doctors sometimes prescribe triamterene, spironolactone, amiloride, or ethacrynic acid. These diuretic medications do not contain sulfa. The first three may require monitoring of blood potassium levels, especially when given in combination with other blood pressure medications.

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  • Michael

    I am allergic to sulpha. I suffer with high blood pressure and my doctor put me on Exforge 5/160mg. He says it has no sulpha.I am not sure.I am experiencing a lot of burning sensation on my toes and feet. Is anyone of you experiencing this.

  • Dawn

    My drug book states that triamterene does contain sulfa. Therefore, I can not take it. I refuse to risk an allergic reaction.

  • carol

    After being on an hctz waterpill for several years and finding out that it had sulfa in it (which I’m allergic to) my doctor switched me to spironolactone in October. Since being off the hctz my face has cleared up somewhat however I still have red blemishes that I believe are caused by spironolactone. My pharmcist says it’s sulfa free but I have concerns. This med is used for clearing up acne and I’m wondering if it can clear up acne, what does it do to normal skin?

  • tammy

    my first experience with sulpha wasnt good new years eve !!! my sister was on the silpha antibiotic while i was only taking my one a day and i was cooking and i went into the medicine cabinet and my food was about to burn so i just grabbed the same green bottle our druggist uses and i then went to the emergency room and was in ICU for a week and 12 years later my doctor put me on a diuretic and in 2011 once again when your allergic to sulpha lets put it this way stay clear from anything that comes close to sulpha !!!

  • mary lou zera

    I have taken spironolactone and got itchy from them. Checked with the druggist and it has sulfate in it.

  • d still

    This week I have had hives and itching from triamterene and a new medicine medformin. My doctor does not know what to do. I have high blood pressure and a glucose number of 185-non fasting. What is the common ingredient in medformin, and blood pressure medicine? I am alergic to sulfa.