sulfites in anesthesia. fact.

Attention K-Mart shoppers:  Hans has left the building.  Or as my friend Elliot stated on Facebook the other day, “look ma…no Hans!”

Yesterday I went under the knife and had a disgusting neck mass scooped out like a melon ball.  YAY ME!

It was a class act affair and Skokie Hospital totally rocks.  Very impressed with the whole scene.  I was worried of course, being a flamboyantly out of control drama queen, but I was mostly worried about the anesthesia and what affects it would have on me.  Specifically because I have heard that there are sulfites in a lot of them.  So when it came time to get to pre-op, I was chomping at the bit to have the consult with the drug peeps.  I told them about my allergy.  Skokie is a big teaching hospital so the resident who was assisting with the anesthesia (thank goodness for the ctrl+V button on my keyboard, that word is hard to spell) has never heard of it.  I felt all very puffed up and proud like a peacock to be a a part of her learning something new that day.  And I loved her because she said that even though my pre-op sarcastic wit was adorable and funny, she thought I needed a “little something” to calm me down.  I love her.  They were very cautious and did a lot of research in order to find the correct drug to administer.

Unfortunately, they had to wake me up on the middle of my surgery because apparently I was acting like Kung Fu Panda.  I think they were being nice but they did say that it was a good thing my hands were tied down so I couldn’t follow through on my karate chops.  It seems I was “slightly agitated” and *disinhibited during the beginning of the surgery.  And as my anesthesiologist/girlfriend stated, ” Well, Mrs. Moran, I think it’s just a good thing you have a kind and patient surgeon.”  Holy Hell, what did I DO?  After that I was in this strange state of half alive, have out of it.  I didn’t feel pain, but I could feel the tugging of the sewing.  I could hear conversations about someone’s kid playing little league and someone singing Cream’s Sunshine of your love.  A song I will always now equate to someone stabbing me in my neck, thankyouverymuch.  I also heard the resident who was sewing me up asking the doctor (after he said, oops) “um, Doc? how do I fix this?”  And the Surgeon saying..”Uh, it’ll be fine.  Just leave it.  Throw some tape on it. ”   HAYYYYY-YAH!


Seriously, the team was incredible and I would recommend my surgeon and that hospital anyone.

About the drugs.  When I came to my senses, I tried to ask one of my look alike nurses, Peg, June, ChristyMargaret,joanblahblahdrugsthatmakemehappyhmmmmmm

Anyway.  I asked for the list of meds that they administered to me and wouldn’t you know… not one of those 15 blurry nurses could give me an answer. I am going to call medical records and get it from them.  I think it’s really important to know for future reference.

I do know that when I recently had a kidney infection, before I found out about my allergy, my first antibiotic was not working so my old doctor gave me one called Bactrim.  It was BAD.  I reacted horribly to it, like I do with z-pac.  Of course I was getting the severest of the symptoms that I usually get when running into sulfites but I didn’t know it yet.  When I told my dr, he said to make sure to add it to my medicine allergy list.  When I was pre-op yesterday and telling one of the nirses about the sulfite allergy and my bactrim sensitivity, she said that it is really high in sulfites and I was inpressed that she knew that.

Here is a link to some poor victims who share bad bactrim tales  http://www.medications.com/effect/view/22714


Well, this isn’t about booze, but I couldn’t resist the movie quote.  And you know how I feel about booze.

Other drugs to watch out for…

Tylenol with Codeine a.k.a Tynenol 3 or 4.   Here are the ingredients:

TYLENOL® with Codeine No. 3 contains powdered cellulose, magnesium stearate, sodium metabisulfite†, pregelatinized starch (corn), and modified starch (corn).

TYLENOL® with Codeine No. 4 contains powdered cellulose, magnesium stearate, sodium metabisulfite†, pregelatinized starch (corn), and corn starch

Whoops-a-daisy..don’t take those!

Here is another list that I found of Medications with sulfites       source

Bronchodilator solutions for asthma

  • Adrenalin chloride 1:1000 concentration
  • Bronkosol
  • Isuprel hydrochloride solution

Topical eye drops

  • Pred-Mild
  • Pred-Forte
  • Sulfacetamide
  • Prednisol
  • dexamethasone)

Injectable medications

  • Amikacin
  • Betamethasone phosphate (Celestone)
  • Chloropromazine (Thorazine)
  • Dexamethasone phosphate (Decadron)
  • Dopamine
  • Epinephrine (Adrenaline, Ana-Kit, Epi-Pen)
  • Garamycin
  • Gentamycin
  • Isoetharine HCl
  • Isoproterenol (injectable)
  • Hydrocortisone (injectable)
  • Lidocaine with epinephrine (Xylocaine)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Metarminol
  • Norepinephrine (Levophed)
  • Procaine (Novocaine)
  • Prochloroperazine (Compazine)
  • Promethazine (Phenergan)
  • Solutions for total parenteral nutrition and dialysis
  • Tobramycin

Finally, I have been wanting to talk to Dr. Mike and perhaps get a script for an epi pen, not really for my sulfite allergies, but for something else.  My reactions to apples and peaches, even organic and peeled, seem to be getting worse.  I had heard that there were sulfites in Epi pens.  They are indeed OK for us to you…here is documentation


So that’s all I have for now.  The Hans crater is sore and I am getting pooped out.  Next blog coming later is about where to find good organic meats and how I learned some disturbing news regarding sulfite spraying on dole bananas and some other fruits that I thought were safe.

Over and out, captain.


*disinhibited definition, according to Wikipedia

Disinhibition is a term in psychology used to describe a lack of restraint manifested in several ways, including disregard for social conventions, impulsivity, and poor risk assessment. Disinhibition affects motor, instinctual, emotional, cognitive and perceptual aspects with signs and symptoms similar to the diagnostic criteria for mania. Hypersexuality, hyperphagia, and aggressive outbursts are indicative of disinhibited instinctual drives.[1]

Let’s see a round of hands for everyone who agrees that I hope I never see any of those people who were in that room ever again.  Especially if my disinhibition turned hypersexual in any manner.


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17 Responses to “sulfites in anesthesia. fact.”

  1. 1 Tracy
    August 13, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    The FDA says these have sulfites:

    Antiemetics (taken to prevent nausea), cardiovascular drugs, antibiotics, tranquilizers, intravenous muscle relaxants, analgesics (painkillers), anesthetics, steroids and nebulized bronchodilator solutions (used for treatment of asthma).

    That was all the info I previously found! Where did you get this detailed list? It is awesome!

  2. August 14, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Congrats on getting through the procedure okay!

    Man, I can sympathize on the nerves! I had a hernia surgery in the beginning of July, and I swear, it felt so similar! It was at teaching hospital too, so every time I had to mention: no gluten, no corn – which is probably in some of the stuff you were going to give me so please check – I’m reacting to all sorts of random crap so if I freaking react on the table, please go for the steroids and save me right away.

    Ahem…yeah…no, no drama over here at all. 😀

    I was asking for a list of what drugs they used, too! Always nice to know what didn’t mess one up!

    Hopefully, Hans has now gone to a better place. 😉

  3. August 16, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Just passing on some information…that you may already have, LOL, but hey, no harm in passing it on. 😉 I was researching gluten information for myself and came across the Athenos Brand FAQ, the brand that makes feta cheeses and hummus and pita chips, ya know? According to them, none of their cheeses, hummus, or pita chips contain sulfites. 🙂

    Info. is here if you’d like to check it out yourself…if, well, you don’t already know it anyway.

  4. August 16, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Shauna. This is incredibly sexy information. The thought of being able to eat feta and hummus is so awesome…I will check them out….the thing that I worry about is that most hummus has garlic in it and that is a natural sulfite that sends me swellin’….Thanks for sending along and for everyone else…got great news today and Hans was not a cancerous evil android from space, but it was just a very infected lymph node…WOOT!

  5. August 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Stumbled onto your blog while doing some research on my newfound sulfite sensitivity. I recently started having reactions to juice (meh.) and wine (argh!) so my situation’s small potatoes in comparison to yours (and now I feel kind of lame for even mentioning it), but it’s still comforting to read about how other people deal with the unexpected.

    Earlier today I wrote a post about my adventures with sulfites and loved your blog so much that I recommended it to my readers. I’m clueless and hopelessly awkward when it comes to blog etiquette so I hope it’s ok that I just up and posted a link to it without asking permission first — but, if it’s not, just let me know and I’ll chop it!

    • August 17, 2010 at 11:42 pm

      So nice to have you hear and share away. The whole purpose of this blog is to help people like us who are like “What the hezzell can I eat?” I am hoping to blog more for us like an insane woman starting after labor day when all my kids are back in school. I want this to be a place where we can all go an commiserate…hopefully I can figure out how to even start a forum on here eventually.
      Do NOT feel lame. This is so hard. The thought of not having a friend potato product in any eating establishment for the rest of my life makes me keen and wail like an Irish widow. And anyone who knows me knows that my love for Chardonnay was almost sexual, so I understand completely. Please subscribe to get all my updates and spread the word…we can do this!!

  6. 10 Gigi Dumont
    November 8, 2010 at 1:50 am

    Hi Heather,
    I just stumbled across your site today and was relieved to finally find other people out there with sulphite allergies. Sulphites were just tacked onto my long list of allergens this year; its been very difficult to find recipes and food ideas. Interesting that i read that you have an allergy to fruit; is this oral allergy syndrome? I have that too…

    My favourite sulphite-free recipe – brown fresh chicken then make a glaze by frying grated ginger in olive oil, add honey and the juice of one fresh lemon – excellent! And by the way classic lays potato chips do not contain sulphites.

    • November 8, 2010 at 3:05 am

      Hi Gigi and welcome! Great to hear from you and your recipe sounds so delicious! …I can’t wait to try it!
      I do have like a side allergy to some fruit that is relatively new. When I eat apples or peaches, my lips tingle and get numb and my ears itch. Strangely enough, it happens with organic fruit as well. But when I went apple picking last month with the kids, I picked one right off the tree and ate it and NOTHING HAPPENED! So it probably just means that I am allergic to whatever they sprayed on them and that even organic stuff may have something on them. Bummer. I miss the heck out of apples. There is also a nut that I have problems with now, it is either pecans or walnuts. I am not sure which so I avoid both. Avoidance has become pretty accepted practice around there here parts these days 🙂
      Thanks again, please subscribe to the blog so you can get the latest updates and I am glad you found me!

  7. February 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Hi Heather, came across your site and it has been a real eye opener. I have always reacted to beer and wine with lots of sneezing and then feeling like I had a cold (bummer!) Only recently thought maybe it was the suphite because I can drink Hock which doesn’t have sulphite listed on the label. Can’t take codiene, only took one and I couldn’t breathe. The real puzzle I had was that I’d had surgery on my knees a few weeks ago and had a really bad reaction after the op (had told them I couldn’t take codeine but they did give me morphine.) I had difficulty in breathing but the docs couldn’t understand why. Anyway, cutting a long story short,last night I woke up with eyes swollen, nose streaming and throat sore and tight. Took anti histamine and it wore off after a while. This morning I had a look on the back of the Butterkist packet which I’d had for supper and, low and behold, it listed sulphite. I believe this must be the link! If this is so, it may have been the sulphite in the anesthetic that I reacted to. I am so grateful for the info on your site and will certainly be watching out for sulphites from now on – nasty little things! All the best and thank you once again.

  8. 13 Krissy
    August 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Hello! I just found your blog through a link on Facebook and really like it so far. What’s this about your reaction to apples and peaches? I seem to be fructose intolerant as well as sulphite sensitive and truly can’t have apples, pears and most fruits. I’m actually afraid to try most again lol. Blueberries and strawberries seem ok. I’ve also heard (rumor?) that ppl with sulphite issues sometimes have fructose issues. Ever heard anything about this? Any other fruits besides ones naturally containing or sprayed with sulphites that bug you? I used to be ok with bananas and oranges but recently my reaction got worse. Fun times eh?

    • August 16, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      Hi Krissy! Glad you found the blog….wow, that is a huge bummer about all the fruits. I can’t eat apples and pears, unless cooked. My lips get timgly and my throat and ears itch. Sometimes my uvula swells. I hate that word. I have not had an anaphylactic reaction yet, but I am not having a strong urge to experience one, so I avoid.

      (just a side note, spelling anaphylactic is a nightmare and spell check kept on trying to FORCE me to use words like anticlimax, prophylactic, and anaphoric. I am very offended.)

      I didn’t know much about fructose intolerance so I did a bit of research and it seems to have a correlation with IBO. Is that the reaction that you have, or is it more like mine? I have heard of people being allergic to fruits and veggies…otherwise referred to as Oral allergy syndrome.
      Here is a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_allergy_syndrome

      Do any veggies bother you at all?

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Heather Moran

Crazed sulfite-free woman.

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August 2010
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