Sulfasalazine, or Sulfa tablets, are used to treat severe cases of asthma. They have been approved by the FDA for use in adults with moderate to severe asthma.
You may ask how does it work? How effective is it? What are the side effects? Is there any other medication that could be better than sulfasalazine?
These questions will be answered in this article.
What is Sulfasalazine, or Sulfa Tablets?
Sulfasalazine is a drug that was developed in the 1960’s. It is a combination of two drugs: salbutamol (brand name: metoprolol) and albuterol. Salbutamol blocks the release of adrenaline from your adrenals which causes your heart rate to slow down. Albuterol increases the amount of oxygen in your blood, thus allowing you breathe easier and faster when exercising.
The drug works by increasing the number of red blood cells. When your body cannot produce enough new red blood cells, you develop anemia. If you do not get enough oxygen into your bloodstream, you die.
Sulfasalazine helps to increase the number of red blood cells so that they can carry more oxygen throughout your body.
Side Effects of Sulfasalazine, or Sulfa Tablets?
Sulfasalzine, or sulfa tablets, have some common and rare side effects. The most common side effect is a “purple toe syndrome” that can lead to permanent nerve damage and may require surgery. Other side effects include nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, and hives. There are also some more serious side effects that may occur such as liver problems and allergic reactions.
What is the dosage of Sulfasalazine, or Sulfa Tablets?
In most cases, the recommended dosage for an adult with asthma is 2.5 grams taken three times a day with meals. The maximum dose is 10 grams taken three times a day.
Does Sulfasalazine, or Sulfa Tablets Work?
The drug works as intended and can help to relieve asthma symptoms in some patients. About 50% of sufferers report that their attacks are reduced by about a third.