selenium sulfide, Dandrex, Selsun Blue

  • 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 Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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:

Other side effects of selenium sulfide include:

  • Scalp irritation
  • Skin irritation
  • Tingling
  • Sweating
  • Burning
  • Garlic breath
  • Tremor

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.

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).

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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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Reference: FDA Prescribing Information