oa South African Medical Journal - Nutritional considerations in sulphonamide therapy

Volume 22, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Laboratory experiments and clinical observations have been descriptionbed which demonstrate that certain vitamins are synthesised by the intestinal microflora ; that sulphonamides, to a varying degree, inhibit the synthesis; and that these drugs do not, in general, prevent the absorption of these vitamins when ingested in the diet. When the less soluble sulphonamides, e.g. sulphaguanidine, are used for periods longer than a week. the Medical Research Council recommends that an ample supply of B vitamins be given simultaneously as a safeguard against avitaminosis. Temporary vitamin deficiencies which may ensue during sulphonamide administration appear to be of little nutritional significance to the vast majority of people treated. With a very few, however, interference with the synthesis and function of such essential metabolites as folic acid may result in the production of severe and often fatal blood dyscrasias. The potential dangers attached to sulphonamide therapy should act as a deterrent against the indiscriminate use of the drugs for trivial complaints.

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