Is Epidurals safe if you are allergic to sulfa drugs?

Patient

Q: What medications are in epidurals and do they contain sulfites? I have a severe allergy to sulfites that triggers my asthma. I'm 31 weeks pregnant and won't meet with an anesthesiologist for another few weeks.

Doctor

A:   I do understand your concern about the use of epidural due to your sulfa allergy. An epidural usually contains a combination of local anesthetic agents such as lidocaine, bupivacaine or ropivacaine and an opioid (morphine, fentanyl or meperidine). I would suggest that you seek more information from your anesthesiologist for complication and contraindications of epidural injection. I wish you well, take care.

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