silver sulfadiazine (Silvadene, SSD, SSD AF, Thermazene)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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GENERIC NAME: silver sulfadiazine

BRAND NAME: Silvadene, SSD, SSD AF, Thermazene

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Silver sulfadiazine is a topical (applied to the skin) antimicrobial agent used to treat and prevent skin infections caused by second or third degree burns.

Silver sulfadiazine kills bacteria by damaging the bacterial cell membrane. Silver sulfadiazine has activity against a broad spectrum of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Xanthomonas maltophilia, Enterobacter species, Klebsiella species, Escherichia coli, Serratia species, Proteus mirabilis, Morganella morganii, Providencia rettgeri, Proteus vulgaris, Providencia species, Citrobacter species, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Enterococcus species, Candida albicans, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, and Clostridium perfringens. Additionally, silver sulfadiazine has demonstrated activity against yeast.

Silver sulfadiazine was approved by the FDA in 1973.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Silver sulfadiazine is applied to the skin to treat and prevent wound infections associated with second or third degree burns.

SIDE EFFECTS: Since silver sulfadiazine is applied to the surface of the skin, it rarely affects other areas of the body or causes long term side effects. Most of the side effects reported with use are short lived and limited to the areas being treated.

Use of silver sulfadiazine may cause the treated area(s) to be more sensitive to sunlight (photosensitive or sun sensitive). To avoid sunburn, patients must take caution in protecting the affected area(s) from prolonged sun exposure.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/4/2015

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