- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: sulfanilamide
Brand Name: AVC
Drug Class: Antibiotics, Other
What is sulfanilamide, and what is it used for?
Sulfanilamide is a topical vaginal antibiotic cream used to treat vulvovaginal inflammation (vulvovaginitis) caused by Candida albicans yeast (fungus) infection and susceptible bacterial infections. Sulfanilamide works by interfering with processes essential for microbial growth and arrests the growth of bacteria (bacteriostatic) and Candida fungus (fungistatic). Sulfanilamide vaginal cream is not currently available in the U.S.
Sulfanilamide is an organic sulfur compound with antimicrobial properties that is structurally similar to para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), a nutrient in the vitamin B complex. PABA is essential for the synthesis of folic acid that bacteria and yeast require to grow. Sulfanilamide gets incorporated into dihydrofolic acid, the precursor of folic acid, preventing the incorporation of PABA and synthesis of folic acid.
- Do not use sulfanilamide in patients with hypersensitivity to any sulfonamide, sulfanilamide or any component of the formulation.
- Sulfanilamide is systemically absorbed from the vaginal mucosa and precautions for the use of oral sulfonamides apply for vaginal sulfanilamide. Adverse reactions have been observed regardless of the route of administration.
- Sulfanilamide can cause severe and sometimes fatal hypersensitivity reactions.
- Sulfanilamide has chemical similarities to sulfonamides, sulfonylureas, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, thiazides, and loop diuretics (except ethacrynic acid), and carries a risk of cross-reaction in patients with allergy to any of these compounds. Do not use sulfanilamide in patients who have had a previous severe reaction to any of these drugs.
- There have been severe and sometimes fatal blood disorders with the use of sulfanilamide, including anemia due to lack of red blood cell production (aplastic anemia), and severely low count of granulocyte immune cells (agranulocytosis).
- Sulfanilamide can cause severe dermatological reactions including Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis.
- Discontinue sulfanilamide if patient develops skin rash or evidence of systemic toxicity.
- There have been reports of goiter, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and excessive urination (diuresis) with sulfanilamide use. Use with caution.
- Prolonged use of sulfanilamide was associated with thyroid malignancy in animal studies.
- Sulfanilamide can injure the liver and cause acute liver failure (fulminant hepatic necrosis).
- Use vaginal applicators and inserters with extreme caution after the seventh month of pregnancy.
- Other topical or oral antifungal agents are preferred over sulfanilamide for uncomplicated vulvovaginitis candidiasis.
What are the side effects of sulfanilamide?
Common side effects of sulfanilamide include:
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:
- Serious heart symptoms include fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness;
- Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady;
- Severe nervous system reaction with very stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, and feeling like you might pass out; or
- Serious eye symptoms include blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights.
This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What are the dosages of sulfanilamide?
- 1 applicatorful (6 g) intravaginally once daily or once every 12 hours for 30 days
Safety and efficacy not established.
There are no reports of sulfanilamide overdose. Vaginal sulfanilamide is systemically absorbed through the vaginal mucous membranes. Excessive use of sulfanilamide vaginal cream may intensify its side effects, which should resolve with discontinuation of the drug. Long term use of sulfanilamide can cause cancer of the thyroid gland.
What drugs interact with sulfanilamide?
Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.
- Severe interactions of sulfanilamide include:
- Sulfanilamide has no known serious interactions with other drugs.
- Moderate interactions of sulfanilamide include:
- Sulfanilamide has no known mild interactions with other drugs.
The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.
It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the medication.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in the use of sulfanilamide vaginal cream in pregnant women. Animal studies show sulfanilamide is systemically absorbed by the mucous membranes in the vagina and can cause fetal harm.
- Sulfanilamide vaginal cream should be used during pregnancy only if it is clearly needed. Vaginal products should be used with extreme caution after the seventh month of pregnancy.
- Sulfanilamide is present in breastmilk and can increase the bilirubin levels and associated brain damage (kernicterus) in the breastfed infant. Breastfeeding or sulfanilamide should be discontinued, because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in the breastfed infant.
What else should I know about sulfanilamide?
- Use sulfanilamide exactly as prescribed.
- Sulfanilamide is a vaginal cream meant for external use in the vaginal region only.
- If you experience excessive local burning or itching, or develop any unusual symptoms, discontinue sulfanilamide and consult with your physician.
- Inform your physician if you experience any rash or other skin reactions.
- Store sulfanilamide safely out of reach of children.
- In case of overdose, report to your physician or Poison Control.
Sulfanilamide is a topical vaginal antibiotic cream used to treat vulvovaginal inflammation (vulvovaginitis) caused by Candida albicans yeast (fungus) infection and susceptible bacterial infections. Common side effects of sulfanilamide include itching, burning, discomfort, redness, swelling, and skin rash. Do not use if breastfeeding. Consult your doctor if pregnant.
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Vaginal yeast infections are the most frequent, causing itching, redness, discharge, and pain. Most yeast infections resolve within a week after therapy.
Yeast Infection vs. Diaper Rash in Infants, Toddlers, and Children
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Vaginal Yeast Infection
Vaginal yeast infections in women are caused by an organism called Candida albicans. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include vaginal pain with urination, vaginal discharge, odor, and itching. Treatment is generally OTC medications. A man can contract a yeast infection from his female sexual partner. Symptoms of a yeast infection in men include penile itching. Treatment is with oral or topical medication.
What Is the Fastest Way To Get Rid of a Yeast Infection?
Learn what medical treatments can help ease your yeast infection symptoms and speed up your recovery. Learn how to safely get rid of a yeast infection while pregnant.
Yeast infections vs. STDs in Men and Women
STDs, also termed sexually transmitted diseases, are infections that are mainly transmitted to others during direct sexual contact. A yeast infection is the invasion and multiplication of a fungus (yeast) in or on the body.
Is a Yeast Infection Contagious?
Yeast is a fungus that has many types. A type of yeast that can cause infection in humans is called Candida. Candida can infect the mouth, vagina, penis, or other areas of the body. Symptoms of yeast infections depend on the area infected, however, may include itching, bumps on the skin, a reddish rash, or patches of skin that ooze a clear or yellow liquid. Most yeast infections are not contagious even though they are caused by a fungus.
What Happens if You Don't Treat a Yeast Infection?
Yeast infections are contagious. They can be transmitted through sexual contact. Those with weak immunity have a high risk of the infection. Yeast infections can be vaginal (candidiasis), oral (thrush) or penile. Untreated yeast infections may spread to other areas, cause symptoms or pass to others.
Oral Thrush in Children
Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a type of fungus called Candida. Oral thrush is a yeast infection of the mouth and throat. Oral thrush and yeast infections are treated orally or topically with an antifungal antibiotic called nystatin.
What Is the Main Cause of a Yeast Infection?
Yeast infections are mainly caused by yeast-like fungus named Candida or Monilia. Yeast infections may affect the skin, mouth or vagina. Your doctor will use different methods of testing yeast infections depending on the area of your infection or symptoms.
Yeast Infection vs. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Candida albicans typically causes vaginal yeast infections. Bacterial infections typically cause urinary tract infections (UTIs). Thick white cottage-cheese like vaginal discharge characterizes vaginal yeast infections. Painful, frequent urination characterize urinary tract infections. Antifungal medications treat yeast infections while prescription antibiotics treat UTIs.
What Conditions Can Be Mistaken for a Yeast Infection?
Around 75% of women experience at least one yeast infection at some point in their lives. Conditions that can be mistaken for a yeast infection include STDs, bacterial vaginosis, skin conditions, and UTIs.
How Do You Get Rid of a Yeast Infection In Your Mouth (Oral Thrush, Candidiasis)?
Learn what medical treatments can ease a yeast infection in your mouth, ease the symptoms of oral thrush, and speed up your recovery.
Yeast Infection vs. Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
Yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis (BV) both cause vaginal discharge. Yeast infection discharge is thick, white, and had a cottage cheese consistency. BV discharge is whitish-gray and is thinner. Vaginal odor, irritation, and pain may also be present. Treatment of yeast infections includes over-the-counter and prescription antifungals. BV treatment involves antibiotics.
How Serious Is A Yeast Infection During Pregnancy?
A yeast infection, also referred to as vaginal candidiasis, is a fungal infection caused by a type of fungus called candida. Even though a yeast infection is not a threat to you and your child, it can cause you extreme discomfort.
How Can I Treat a Yeast Infection While Pregnant?
Vaginal yeast infections are fungal infections that cause irritation and vaginal discharge. You can treat a vaginal yeast infection while pregnant with vaginal creams or suppositories, non-prescription medications, or medications that have been proven safe and effective in pregnant women.
How Do I Check Myself for a Yeast Infection?
If you suspect you have a vaginal yeast infection, you may try an at-home vaginal pH test; however, this test will only help you rule out other infections.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Prevention & Wellness
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.