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Drug Profile

The information on this site is intended to supplement and enhance, not replace, the advice of a physician who is familiar with your medical history. Decisions about your health should always be made ONLY after detailed conversation with your doctor.

Generic drug name: silver sulfadiazine (silver sul fa DYE a zeen)
Brand name(s): SILVADENE
GENERIC: available FAMILY: Sulfonamides
Find the drug label by searching at DailyMed.

Pregnancy and Breast-feeding Warnings [top]

Pregnancy Warning

No data are available for silver sulfadiazine, as it was not tested properly in animal studies. Use during pregnancy only for clear medical reasons. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant before you take this drug.

Breast-feeding Warning

No information is available from either human or animal studies. However, this class of drug, the sulfonamides, is known to be excreted in human milk and to cause harm to the nursing infant. Because of the potential for serious adverse effects in nursing infants, you should not take this drug while nursing.

Facts About This Drug [top]

Silver sulfadiazine is a cream that is used on burns to prevent and treat infection. It is almost always used in the hospital. If you have decreased kidney and/or liver function, you may need to use less than the usual adult dose to prevent dangerous levels of this drug from accumulating in your body. When you use this cream on burns over large areas of your body, your doctor should be carefully watching your kidney function and the levels of the drug in your body, and your urine should be...

Silver sulfadiazine is a cream that is used on burns to prevent and treat infection. It is almost always used in the hospital. If you have decreased kidney and/or liver function, you may need to use less than the usual adult dose to prevent dangerous levels of this drug from accumulating in your body. When you use this cream on burns over large areas of your body, your doctor should be carefully watching your kidney function and the levels of the drug in your body, and your urine should be tested for sulfa crystals.

Before You Use This Drug [top]

Tell your doctor if you have or have had:

  • pregnancy or are breast-feeding
  • glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • kidney or liver problems
  • blood problems
  • porphyria

Tell your doctor about any other drugs you take, including aspirin, herbs, vitamins, and other nonprescription products.

When You Use This Drug [top]

  • If you plan to have any surgery, including dental, tell your doctor that you take this drug.
  • Check with your doctor if there is no improvement within a few days or weeks (for more serious burns or burns over more extensive areas).

How to Use This Drug [top]

  • If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as you remember, but skip it if it is almost time for the next dose. Do not take double doses.
  • Do not share your medication with others.
  • Take this drug for the prescribed length of time.
  • Clean affected areas before applying.
  • Apply the drug at the same time(s) each day, wearing a sterile glove. Apply a thin layer and keep affected areas covered with the medication at all times.
  • Reapply after bathing, showering, or use of a whirlpool bath.
  • After applying, cover with a dressing or leave uncovered.
  • Store at room temperature with cap on tightly. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not expose to heat, moisture, or strong light. Keep out of reach of children.

Interactions with Other Drugs [top]

Some other drugs that you may be taking (either over-the-counter or prescription drugs) can interact with this one, causing adverse effects. Ask your doctor what these drugs are and let him or her know if you are taking any of them.

cimetidine, TAGAMET.

Adverse Effects [top]

Call your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • skin burning, itching, peeling, or rash
  • red skin lesions, often with purple center
  • intense itching of burn wounds
  • worsening of condition or no improvement
  • increased sensitivity to the sun
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount
  • painful or difficult urination
  • shortness of breath
  • chills, cough, fever, or sore throat
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • tiredness
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or in mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • blue-green to black skin

Call your doctor if these symptoms continue:

  • burning feeling on treated areas
  • brownish-gray skin discoloration
  • skin rash or itching

Because silver sulfadiazine is absorbed into the body, you may have other adverse effects that occur with the sulfonamides (sulfa drugs). See sulfisoxazole (GANTRISIN).

Periodic Tests[top]

Ask your doctor which of these tests should be done periodically while you are taking this drug:

  • complete blood count
  • serum sulfadiazine concentrations
  • urinalysis

last reviewed April 30, 2021