People with sulfa allergies will typically have an allergic reaction to bactrim, an antibiotic that contains sulfamethoxazole, and may experience a number of unpleasant symptoms. The most common place for signs of an allergy to occur is on the skin, in the form of a rash, hives, or sensitivity to light, and in extreme cases as Stevens-Johnson syndrome. There can also be changes to the person's blood composition and effects on certain internal organs. Some people may find that they have swelling in the face, mouth, or throat, which can make breathing or swallowing difficult. In severe cases, one may develop anaphylaxis, a potentially dangerous condition with symptoms that include problems breathing, increased heart rate, and nausea or vomiting.
An allergic reaction to bactrim frequently presents itself on a person's skin. Sufferers may start itching and develop a rash or hives over some or all of their bodies, which can get progressively worse if the medication is not discontinued. They may also find that they have photosensitivity, or sensitivity to sunlight.
While these symptoms are uncomfortable, they are usually not dangerous, but some people can develop a more serious reaction known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome. This condition causes feelings of general illness like headache and fever, and the person will develop red bumps on his or her skin. The most serious problem, however, is that the person's top layer of skin will die and come off. This leaves the skin underneath open and raw, making the person susceptible to infection and other complications.
Someone having an allergic reaction to bactrim may be affected internally as well. The person may have a drop in platelet, red, and white blood cell counts. There can also be damage to the lungs, liver, and kidneys, particularly if the drug is taken for a long period of time.
Swelling can also occur during an allergic reaction to bactrim. It usually occurs in the lips, mouth, and tongue, and may also affect the throat. This can make swallowing hard, and the person may also find that his or her voice is hoarse. If the swelling is severe enough, breathing may be difficult.
In rare cases, a severe condition called anaphylaxis can occur from taking bactrim. This type of reaction often involves abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting. People may have an increased heart rate or palpitations, and wheezing or difficulty breathing. They may be dizzy, confused, or even faint. Anyone who has this type of allergic reaction to bactrim or any other medication should seek immediate medical attention.