Sulfacetamide sodium

By Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel


What is sulfacetamide sodium used for?

Sulfacetamide sodium is commonly used for treating eye infections caused by certain bacteria.

Sulfacetamide sodium drops are a sulfonamide. It works by restricting the production of folic acid, which bacteria need for growth. This kills the bacteria.

How should I take sulfacetamide sodium?

Sulfacetamide sodium drops are only for the eye. Do not get it in your nose or mouth.

To use sulfacetamide sodium drops in the eye, first, wash your hands. Tilt your head back. Using your index finger, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to form a pouch. Drop the medicine into the pouch and gently close your eyes. Immediately use your finger to apply pressure to the inside corner of the eyelid for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not blink. Remove excess medicine around your eye with a clean, dry tissue, being careful not to touch your eye. Wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them.

Do not use if the solution changes color.

To prevent germs from contaminating your medicine, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface, including the eye. Keep the container tightly closed.

To clear up your infection completely, use sulfacetamide sodium drops for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.

Sulfacetamide sodium drops works best if it is taken at the same time each day.

Continue to use sulfacetamide sodium drops even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.

How do I store sulfacetamide sodium?

Sulfacetamide sodium is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store sulfacetamide sodium in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of sulfacetamide sodium 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 sulfacetamide sodium 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 sulfacetamide sodium?

Before using sulfacetamide sodium drops, tell your doctor if:

  • You are allergic to any ingredient in sulfacetamide sodium drops or to any other sulfonamide medicine (e.g., sulfamethoxazole).
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have a discharge from your eye.

Sulfacetamide sodium drops only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections.

Be sure to use sulfacetamide sodium drops for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.

Long-term or repeated use of sulfacetamide sodium drops may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.

Severe and sometimes fatal effects have happened with sulfa (sulfonamide) medicines like this one. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; red or irritated eyes; sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes; fever, chills, or sore throat; cough that is new or worse; feeling very tired or weak; any bruising or bleeding; or symptoms of liver problems (e.g., dark urine, pale stools, persistent loss of appetite, right-upper stomach pain, unusual tired, yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using sulfacetamide sodium during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking sulfacetamide sodium. Sulfacetamide sodium is pregnancy risk category C, 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
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Lactation: Safety in nursing infants unknown; not recommended.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from sulfacetamide sodium?

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:

Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
  • New or worsening eye discharge
  • Inflammation
  • Pain

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 sulfacetamide sodium?

Sulfacetamide sodium 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.

Especially if you are taking silver-containing products because they may decrease sulfacetamide sodium drops’s effectiveness.

Does food or alcohol interact with sulfacetamide sodium?

Sulfacetamide sodium 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 sulfacetamide sodium?

Sulfacetamide sodium 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.


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using sulfacetamide sodium.

What is the dose of sulfacetamide sodium for an adult?


Solution: The recommended dose is 1-3 gtt q2-3hr, taper as condition responds.

Ointment: The recommended dose is 1/2 inch q3-4hr & HS; taper as condition responds.


The recommended dose is 2 gtt q2hr concurrently with systemic therapy.

What is the dose of sulfacetamide sodium for a child?


> 2 months

  • Solution: The recommended dose is 1-3 gtt q2-3hr, taper as condition responds.
  • Ointment: The recommended dose is 1/2 inch q3-4hr & HS; taper as condition responds.

How is sulfacetamide sodium available?

Sulfacetamide sodium is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Sulfacetamide sodium ophthalmic solution 10%, 15%, 30%
  • Sulfacetamide sodium ointment 10%

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 sulfacetamide sodium, 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.

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Review Date: April 19, 2017 | Last Modified: December 19, 2019

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