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Sulfacetamide Topical Washes (Liquids, Emulsions, Gels)

What is this medicine?

SULFACETAMIDE (sul fa SEE ta mide) is a sulfonamide antibiotic. It treats minor skin infections. It also treats certain skin conditions like seborrhea (red, scaly skin rashes or dandruff).

How should I use this medicine?

This drug is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Wash hands before and after use. If you are treating a hand infection, only wash your hands before use. Do not get this drug in your eyes. If you do, rinse them out with plenty of cool tap water. Use this drug as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Do not use it more often than directed. Use the drug for the full course as directed by your health care provider, even if you think you are better. Do not stop using it unless your health care provider tells you to stop it early.

Wet the skin and apply the drug to the areas to be cleansed. Massage gently into the skin working it into a full lather. Rinse thoroughly with plain water. Pat the skin dry. Rinse the skin a second time 10 to 20 seconds later. If you are using this product on your scalp, you do not need to use regular shampoo after every application. Do use regular shampoo at least once a week.

Talk to your health care provider about the use of this drug in children. While it may be prescribed for children as young as 12 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions (skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue)

  • fever

  • joint pain

  • redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth

  • mouth sores

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • mild skin irritation, redness, or dryness

What may interact with this medicine?

  • silver-containing skin products

Do not use any other skin products without telling your doctor or health care professional.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Keep away from extreme heat. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused drug after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • large areas of burned or damaged skin

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to sulfacetamide, sulfa drugs, other drugs, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your health care provider for regular checks on your progress. Tell your health care provider if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

This drug may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the drug. Contact your health care provider right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. Or, you might notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips, or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.

This drug can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

The color of this drug may darken over time. This does not affect the way it works or its safety

This drug may cause white fabrics to turn yellow. Wash yellowed fabrics with laundry detergent. Bleach is not usually needed.

NOTE:This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider. Copyright© 2020 Elsevier