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Sulfasalazin Warning...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Chronic Pain
Apparently this medicine is used for the treatment of arthritis. Most do fine on it, but some of its side effects are life threatening. I thought I would mention this for anyone using this medication that you may want to make sure your body is o.k.
My son-in-law has been on it for a little over a month. He said the arthritis felt a lot better, but some other odd things began to happen. He had a root canal years ago, that suddenly flared up with an awful infection. He had to go to two different specialists because it was so bad. Then he got a weird sore in his gum that another doctor suspected might be a cancer and did a biopsy. Neither of these infection would clear however. Last week he went to his arthritis doctor for some simple blood rests to make sure the Sulfasalazin was not causing issues with his kidney function (apparently it can). The doctor discovered his white blood cell count was at zero, he was anemic, had very few blood platelets and was in big trouble. They put him in the hospital immediately.

This medication treated his body as if he had been giving it chemotherapy and has the same symptoms of leukemia. The poor kid has been in the hospital since last Wednesday. They fear his bone marrow has been compromised because none of his blood levels are coming up despite heavy antibiotic IVs with a pick line into his heart, etc. He keeps spiking a fever in the 103 to 104 range so they have to pack him in ice which is not fun. They are trying one more stronger antibiotic today to try to control the infection in his mouth because he has absolutely no immune system to do anything. If that doesn’t work, and his white count does not improve, along with his immune system, they will do a bone marrow biopsy and possibly a bone marrow transplant depending on what they find. I cannot believe he has gone thru all of this over an arthritis drug – unbelievable! My daughter is beside herself. Only family can visit him and we have to scrub up, wear a mask and plastic gowns for his protection because anymore infection will probably do him in.
The only reason I post this is for anyone who is using this drug. Be careful and make sure you get your blood checked to make sure you aren’t one of the people this happens too.
If you wouldn't mind, please pray for my son in law. His name is Tyson and he's an angel. He doesn't deserve this.


  • Good grief Mouse!! I am sending my prayers for Tyson and my best to the entire family. This is ridiculous that a drug should stay on the market when/if it has these terrible side effects.
    I would certainly be keeping everything documented if I were your daughter. I know that is the last thing on her mind right now.. but this mans life, along with many more may be at stake. These pharmacuetical companies do need to learn that it is not all about money. When will they learn???

    I'm sorry. My prayers to Tyson.
  • Wow Marion!! Prayers for Tyson, your daughter and your family. I echo Robin. I hope you or your daughter are documenting all this. Scary is all I can say for that drug. Yet they pull something like Darvocet, and leave this crap on the market!! Wow!

    Prayers are being said...*HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • So many of the arthritis meds have side effects worse than the disease itself, and can pretty well destroy the immune system; I had to have bloodwork done bi-weekly when I was on it, but didn't last long because I had severe vomiting from it. I'm so sorry to hear about Tyson - I will keep him and your family in my thoughts.


  • its a very old medicine there are better drugs available .i was on it myself for years but then asacol came along .sulphasalazine made me ill too .
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Positive healing prayers and thoughts for Tyson.
    I will be thinking of you and your family.
    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • So saddened by this post, my heart & prayers for your family and specifically for Tyson. I pray the doctors figure out what's going on and cure this young man.
    God bless!

  • Have been thinking about Tyson. How is he doing today?
    You all remain in my prayers

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Still in isolation with zero immune system "nutraphills" and zero white blood count. Still getting fevers of 104 so not much has changed. Doctors think his body is still getting rid of that medication and once it's out of his system he will hopefully start to get better. I hope so, it's pretty scary and 8 days in the hospital so far, he's just miserable.
  • I do believe in prayer! His white count has actually came up a tiny bit, rather than being at zero. His immune (nutraphills) are still at zero however. But, the additional antibiotic did control his fever so he hasn’t got the fever back today. That is why they think the white count is up a bit, not fighting a fever. Unfortunately now the poor kid has thrush in his mouth from all the antibiotics. He feels a little bit better and has been eating at least. The docs said if they can get that immune to start going up somewhat, they might be able to send him home by Monday with the pic line and he would have to either go up to the hospital twice a day or they might be able to have a nurse come to his house twice a day to administer the IV antibiotics and he is still getting shots in his stomach of a drug to try and get his immune system going. I know he sure is tired of being up at the hospital. I haven’t ever spent that much time there myself even after a few major surgeries. Poor kid… Thank you all for your concern and support and mostly your Prayers!!! Marion
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    of bowel inflammation, diarrhea (stool frequency), rectal bleeding, and abdominal pain in Crohn's disease.
    Its also been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in adult.

    With any medications there are various negative side effects. With some people they get positive relief using a medication while other have the type of reactions that your son-in-law had.

    But please, this is not an avenue to tell everyone about a warning in a particular drug. That type of information can really only come from the medical field after serious evaluations and testing.

    I want to keep this thread open , specifically because of the negative effects it had on Mouse's son-in-law. But please, do not use this avenue as a means to knock down a drug or discredit a pharmaceutical company.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Great news ! Glad to hear that Tyson's count has gone up. Prayers continuing...and hugs coming your way
    >:D< >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I was sharing this specific story about this drug so that others may be aware of these types of side effects. In fact it appears that this can and has happened with numerous sulfa based drugs. It was just a word of warning, wasn't trying to knock anything or anyone.
  • My Prayers are with Tyson & his whole family :hug:

    Mouse my brother has a pick line in and is able to give himself his antibotics himself. Just be sure the home nurse brings an extension tube out for the pickline, other wise it can be hard to reach if he is doing his own meds and not his wife. I am mentioning this as my brother is right handed and they put it in his right sholder and no extension tube.

    Please keep us updated..
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • That things are looking up somewhat - sending positive thoughts your way!!


  • Sulfa or Metho can cause MS.

    When he starts to feel better have the Nero test for MS Brain MRI and spine tap.

    DAMRD and BIOLOGIC meds can contribute to the cause of MS.

    Don't ask me how I know.
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