Master Sulfonamides with Picmonic for Nursing RN

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Sulfonamides

Sulfur-match-fondue
Picmonic
Sulfonamides are a category of broad-spectrum antimicrobial drugs that work by inhibiting folic acid synthesis, which interferes with bacterial proliferation.This type of medication is usually indicated to treat a urinary tract infection; however, the provider must carefully consider the patient’s allergies before prescribing.  Side effects of sulfonamides include crystalluria, photosensitivity, rash, anemia, and kernicterus.  Patients should be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids when taking sulfonamides, in order to prevent renal damage.
9 KEY FACTS
MECHANISM OF ACTION
Bacteriostatic
Bacteria-shocked

Sulfonamides act as a competitive inhibitor to the initial reaction necessary for the synthesis of folic acid to occur. When folic acid synthesis is suppressed, bacteria are unable to create DNA, RNA and proteins, ultimately interfering with bacterial proliferation. Sulfonamides are considered bacteriostatic; however, meaning that the host’s immune system is needed, in combination with these drugs, in order to completely resolve the infection.

INDICATIONS
Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary-tract-on-fire

The use of sulfonamides is usually limited to the treatment of urinary tract infections, due to the increased risk of sulfonamide resistance, and the availability of other, less harmful, antibiotics. Despite their limited scope of use, these drugs are still preferred for the treatment of urinary tract infections; the majority of urinary tract infections are caused by Escherichia coli, a sulfonamide-sensitive bacterium. Sulfonamides are particularly effective when prescribed in conjunction with trimethoprim (TMP).

SIDE EFFECTS
Crystalluria
Crystal-urinal

Crystal formation in the kidneys and/or ureters is a potential side effect due to the low solubility of sulfonamides. Patients with renal damage or those who are in renal failure should not take these drugs due to the potential for further kidney damage. To decrease the risk of developing crystalluria, patients should consume eight to ten glasses of water each day.

Photosensitivity
Photo-camera causing Sensitive-tears

This is a common side effect that develops with sulfonamide use. Patients should limit their sun exposure, in addition to wearing protective clothing, and sunblock to help minimize sensitivity.

Hemolytic Anemia
Hemolysing-RBCs from Anemone

Excessive lysis of red blood cells can lead to hemolytic anemia, a condition in which there is a decreased or insufficient number of functioning red blood cells. Patients should be educated about the signs and symptoms of this condition, including fever, pallor and yellowing of the skin. Sulfonamides can also cause hematologic conditions such as agranulocytosis, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia and, in rare cases, aplastic anemia.

Kernicterus
Colonel

In newborns, bilirubin, a byproduct of heme breakdown, is bound tightly to plasma proteins in the blood. The use of sulfonamides in newborns can disrupt the bond between bilirubin and plasma proteins, causing an increase in free, unbound bilirubin. When bilirubin is freed from plasma proteins, it can travel across the blood brain barrier and into the central nervous system where it can cause severe neurologic damage, and death. Sulfonamides should not be given to infants less than two months old.  Also, the drug should not be administered to pregnant women near term or mothers who are breast feeding.

Rash
Rash

A potentially life-threatening condition known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome can develop with use of sulfonamide drugs. This hypersensitivity reaction can lead to widespread skin lesions and cell death. Initial symptoms of the syndrome include fever, sore throat and fatigue, which can be mistaken for an infection. Patients should be taught to stop taking sulfa medications if a rash occurs, and to immediately contact their healthcare provider.

CONSIDERATIONS
Sulfa Allergy
Sulfur-match Allergy-alligator

Patients who experience a hypersensitivity/allergic reaction to sulfonamide drugs may also react adversely to drugs containing sulfonamide components such as thiazide, loop diuretics, or sulfonylurea oral hypoglycemics.

Encourage Fluids
Encouraging Fluid

To prevent renal damage related to crystalluria, patients should be encouraged to drink eight to ten glasses of water per day.  Adults taking sulfonamides should maintain a daily urine output of at least 1,200 milliliters.

Unlock all 9 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

JOIN FREE

Take the Sulfonamides Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

START QUIZ NOW

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Nursing (RN) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 870,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Nursing (RN) student study app.

Picmonic for Nursing (RN) covers information that is relevant to your entire Nursing (RN) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer your NCLEX®-RN, Hesi, ATI, TEAS test, Kaplan exams, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Nursing (RN) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.