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

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

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.

Other rare skin reactions reported with silver sulfadiazine use include:

  • skin necrosis (skin death),
  • redness,
  • burning sensation of the treated area(s),
  • itching,
  • rash, and
  • brownish-gray skin discoloration.

Rarely, a drop in white blood cells has been reported with silver sulfadiazine therapy. Drop in white blood counts peak within 2-4 days of starting treatment and usually return to normal limits following 2-3 days of onset.

Patients are advised to speak to their pharmacist or doctor for a complete list of side effects, including those caused by sulfonamides.



PREPARATIONS: 1% topical cream

STORAGE: Cream should be stored at room temperature between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).

DOSING: For adults, adolescents, children, and infants = 2 months:

  • After cleaning and debridement, silver sulfadiazine may be applied to the affected area(s) to a thickness of approximately 1.6 mm (1/16 of an inch) once or twice daily.
  • The cream may be reapplied whenever necessary to affected area(s) if it is removed by activity or washing.
  • Silver sulfadiazine is not recommended for use in premature neonates or neonates < 2 months of age.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: No significant drug interactions with oral medications have been reported with silver sulfadiazine use. However, as with all medications, patients must check with their doctor or pharmacist before starting any new medications for possible interactions with any current drug regimens.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/4/2015

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