Why is this medication prescribed?
Silver sulfadiazine, a sulfa drug, is used to prevent and treat infections of second- and third-degree burns. It kills a wide variety of bacteria.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Silver sulfadiazine comes in a cream. Silver sulfadiazine usually is applied once or twice a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use silver sulfadiazine exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Do not apply this drug to infants less than 2 months of age.
Do not stop using silver sulfadiazine until your doctor tells you to do so. Your burn must be healed so that infection is no longer a problem. Gently wash the burned skin area daily to help remove dead skin. If your burn becomes infected or if your infection worsens, call your doctor.
Before applying the medication, clean the burned area and remove any dead or burned skin. Always wear a sterile, disposable glove when you apply silver sulfadiazine. Cover the cleaned burned area with a 1/16-inch (0.2-centimeter) thickness of cream. Keep the burned area covered with cream at all times; reapply the cream to any area that becomes uncovered.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using silver sulfadiazine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to silver sulfadiazine, sulfa drugs, or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using silver sulfadiazine, call your doctor.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Silver sulfadiazine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- sore throat
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- blood in urine
- aching joints
- unusual weakness or tiredness
- skin rash
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Silver sulfadiazine is for external use only. Do not let silver sulfadiazine get into your eyes, nose, or mouth, and do not swallow it. Do not apply dressings, bandages, cosmetics, lotions, or other skin medications to the area being treated unless your doctor tells you.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
Tell your doctor if your skin condition gets worse or does not go away.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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