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

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

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.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

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.

PREGNANCY: Use of topical silver sulfadiazine has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. Due to the lack of conclusive safety data, silver sulfadiazine should be used in pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Silver sulfadiazine is classified as FDA pregnancy risk category B (animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women).

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known if silver sulfadiazine is excreted in breast milk. However, silver sulfadiazine is a sulfonamide and oral sulfonamides are excreted into breast milk and increase the risk of kernicterus, a rare type of brain damage in newborns caused by very high levels of bilirubin. Therefore, use of silver sulfadiazine in females who are breastfeeding is not recommended.

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/4/2015


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