What is silver sulfadiazine used for?
Silver sulfadiazine is a sulfonamide. It kills bacteria by working on the cell membrane and cell wall.
Silver sulfadiazine is commonly used for treating and preventing bacterial infection in the second and third-degree burns. It may also be used for other conditions; ask your doctor for more information.
How should I take silver sulfadiazine?
Wash your hands well before and after you apply silver sulfadiazine. Use a sterile-gloved hand to apply silver sulfadiazine to a thickness of approximately 1.58 mm on all affected areas. Whenever necessary, reapply the cream to keep the affected areas covered at all times.
Dressings are usually not required with silver sulfadiazine. However, follow your doctor’s instructions if a dressing is needed.
Follow the directions provided by your doctor for bathing or washing the affected area.
To prevent or to clear up your infection completely, continue using silver sulfadiazine for the full course of treatment even if your condition improves in a few days. Do not miss any doses.
How do I store silver sulfadiazine?
Silver sulfadiazine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store silver sulfadiazine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of silver sulfadiazine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush silver sulfadiazine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using silver sulfadiazine?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
- You are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement.
- You have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances.
- You have allergies to any ingredients of this drug.
These are some important safety information that you may notice:
- Silver sulfadiazine is for external use only. Avoid getting silver sulfadiazine in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you get silver sulfadiazine in any of these areas, rinse right away with cool tap water.
- Silver sulfadiazine may be harmful if swallowed. If you or someone you know may have taken silver sulfadiazine by mouth, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Silver sulfadiazine is effective only against bacteria. It is not effective for treating viral infections.
- It is important to use silver sulfadiazine for the full course of treatment. Failure to do so may decrease the effectiveness of silver sulfadiazine and increase the risk that the bacteria will no longer be sensitive to silver sulfadiazine and will not be able to be treated by this or certain other antibiotics in the future.
- Long-term or repeated use of silver sulfadiazine may cause a second infection. Your doctor may want to change your medicine to treat the second infection. Contact your doctor if signs of a second infection occur.
- Silver sulfadiazine is not recommended for use in children younger than 2 months old; safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using silver sulfadiazine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking silver sulfadiazine. Silver sulfadiazine is pregnancy risk category B, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from silver sulfadiazine?
Some side effects could occur when using this drug, tell your doctor if you have:
- Mild burning, itching, pain, or redness at the application site
- Skin discoloration
- Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue)
- Difficulty urinating
- Fever, chills, or sore throat
- Red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
- Symptoms of liver problems (e.g., yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite)
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with silver sulfadiazine?
Silver sulfadiazine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Products may interact with this drug, including:
- Sulfonamides (e.g., sulfamethoxazole)
Does food or alcohol interact with silver sulfadiazine?
Silver sulfadiazine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with silver sulfadiazine?
Silver sulfadiazine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
These health conditions are:
- Kidney problems
- Liver problems
- Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
- Blood problems (e.g., anemia, low white blood cell levels)
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using silver sulfadiazine.
What is the dose of silver sulfadiazine for an adult?
Burns – external
Adjunct for the prevention and treatment of wound sepsis in patients with second and third degree burns: apply to affected areas once or twice a day to a thickness of approximately 1.58 mm.
Whenever necessary, silver sulfadiazine topical should be reapplied to any areas from which it has been removed due to patient activity. The drug should be reapplied immediately after hydrotherapy.
What is the dose of silver sulfadiazine for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is silver sulfadiazine available?
Silver sulfadiazine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Topical cream 5g, 10g
- Compounding powder 1%
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of silver sulfadiazine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Silver sulfadiazine. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/silver-sulfadiazine.html. Accessed December 13, 2016
Silver sulfadiazine. http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-13530/silver-sulfadiazine-topical/details#side-effects. Accessed December 13, 2016
Review Date: February 18, 2017 | Last Modified: February 18, 2017