Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Prevention

Hypersensitivity to Sulfites Prevention

Prevention of sulfite sensitivity includes:

  • Ask about ingredients when eating out.
  • Read food labels carefully.
  • Take prescribed medications as directed.
  • Take a nonprescription antihistamine for allergic symptoms:
  • Carry an epinephrine syringe:
    • Learn how to use the syringe, so that you can treat yourself if you have a severe allergic reaction.
    • Although an epinephrine syringe contains a small amount of sulfite, there are no reports of adverse reactions to epinephrine in those with sulfite allergies.
    • Epinephrine can be life-saving in someone who has a severe allergic reaction to sulfites.
  • Wear an alert bracelet or tag that identifies your allergies.

Foods that may contain sulfites include:
  • Apple cider
  • Baked goods
  • Beer
  • Bottled lemon juice and lime juice
  • Canned vegetables
  • Dehydrated, pre-cut or peeled potatoes
  • Dried fruit
  • Fresh or frozen shrimp
  • Gravy
  • Guacamole
  • Jams
  • Ketchup
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Mustard
  • Molasses
  • Pickled foods
  • Potato chips
  • Soup mixes
  • Sparkling grape juice
  • Tea
  • Trail mix
  • Vegetable juices
  • Wine

Check food labels and avoid foods that contain:

Last Updated: Jan 5, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Hypersensitivity to Sulfites References
  1. Arshad SH. Primary prevention of asthma and allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Jul;116(1):3-14. [15990764]
  2. Atkinson TP, Kaliner MA: Anaphylaxis. Med Clin North Am 1992 Jul; 76(4): 841-55. [1614236]
  3. Busse WW: Mechanisms and advances in allergic diseases. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000 Jun; 105(6 Pt 2): S593-8. [10856163]
  4. Nimmagadda SR, Evans R 3rd: Allergy: etiology and epidemiology. Pediatr Rev 1999 Apr; 20(4): 111-5. [10208083]
  5. Reisman RE: Insect stings. N Engl J Med 1994 Aug 25; 331(8): 523-7. [8041420]
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