selenium sulfide (Dandrex, Selsun Blue)

What is selenium sulfide-topical, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Selenium sulfide is a chemical agent commonly used for treating dandruff. It is an antifungal agent that also relieves itching, flaking, scaling, and dry skin on the scalp due to dandruff.

What brand names are available for selenium sulfide-topical?

Head & Shoulders, Selsun Blue, SelRx, Selsun Rx

Is selenium sulfide-topical available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for selenium sulfide-topical?

Yes, No

What are the uses for selenium sulfide-topical?

Selenium sulfide is used for treating dandruff, seborrhea, and tinea versicolor, a fungal infection of the skin.

What are the side effects of selenium sulfide-topical?

The common side effects of selenium sulfide are:

  • Oily hair
  • Dry hair
  • Dry scalp
  • Hair loss
  • Hair discoloration

Other side effects of selenium sulfide include:

What is the dosage for selenium sulfide-topical?

For treating dandruff, 5-10 mL of shampoo or lotion should be massaged into wet scalp 2 times per week for 2 weeks then once every 1-2 weeks to control dandruff. The shampoo or lotion should be left on the scalp for 2 to 3 minutes, then rinsed off3 or 4 times with water. The application should be repeated.

Tinea versicolor should be treated by applying lotion or shampoo to the affected area, leaving it on the skin for 10 minutes and then washing it off with water. It should be applied every day for 7 days. The foam should be rubbed into the affected skin every 12 hours.


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Which drugs or supplements interact with selenium sulfide-topical?

There are no drug interactions listed for selenium sulfide.

Is selenium sulfide-topical safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Use of selenium sulfide during pregnancy has not been adequately evaluated.

It is not known whether selenium sulfide is excreted in breast milk.

What else should I know about selenium sulfide-topical?

What preparations of selenium sulfide-topical are available?

Shampoo: 1% and 2.3%; Lotion: 2.5%; Foam: 2.25%

How should I keep selenium sulfide-topical stored?

Selenium sulfide should be stored at room temperature, 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).


Topical selenium sulfide (Head & Shoulders, Selsun Blue, SelRx, Selsun Rx) is included in shampoos and lotions that treat seborrhea, dandruff, and tinea versicolor.

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Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine


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