Sodium Sulfacetamide / Sulfur

Topical Antibiotic / Topical Keratolytic

Sodium sulfacetamide / Sulfur is available as a prescription topical treatment. It is available in cream / emollient cream, gel, lotion, suspension, cleanser, cleansing cloth / pads, emollient foam, and wash forms. 

  • Available forms:

    • Topical treatment: 

      • Cream / Emollient cream:
        Available as prescription
        • Brand names:
          • Avar-e®
          • Avar-e Green®
          • Avar-e LS®
          • Clenia®
          • Plexion®
          • Prascion®
          • SSS 10-5®
          • Virti-sulf®
            (Other brand names may exist)
            Generic available (US)
      • Gel:
        Available as prescription
        Generic available (US)
      • Lotion: 
        Available as prescription
        • Brand names:
          • Plexion®
            (Other brand names may exist)
            Generic available (US)
      • Suspension:
        Available as prescription
        • Brand names:
          • SulfaCleanse 8/4®
          • Sumaxin TS®
            (Other brand names may exist)
            Generic available (US)
      • Cleanser:
        Available as prescription
        • Brand names:
          • Avar®
          • Avar LS®
          • Plexion®
          • Prascion®
          • Rosanil®
            (Other brand names may exist)
            Generic available (US)
      • Cleansing cloth / pads:
        Available as prescription
        • Brand names:
          • Avar®
          • Avar LS®
          • Plexion®
          • Prascion FC®
          • Rosula®
          • Sumaxin®
            (Other brand names may exist)
            Generic available (US)
      • Emollient foam:
        Available as prescription
        • Brand names:
          • Avar®
          • Avar LS®
          • Clarifoam EF®
          • SSS 10-5®
            (Other brand names may exist)
            Generic available (US)
      • Wash / Emulsion-based wash:
        Available as prescription
        • Brand names:
          • BP 10-1®
          • BP Cleansing Wash®
          • Rosula Wash®
          • Sulfamez Wash®
          • Sumaxin®
          • Zencia®
          • Claris®
          • Sumadan®
          • Sumadan XLT®
            (Other brand names may exist)
            Generic available (US)        
  • Available in these doses: (sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur)

    • Cream / Emollient cream: 10/5%, 10/2%, 9.8/4.8%
    • Gel: 10/5%
    • Lotion: 10/5%, 9.8/4.8% 
    • Suspension: 10/5%, 8/4%
    • Cleanser: 10/5%, 10/2%, 9.8/4.8%
    • Cleansing cloth / pads: 10/4%, 10/2%, 9.8/4.8%, 9.5/5%
    • Emollient foam: 10/5%, 10/2%, 9.5/5%
    • Wash: 10/5%, 10/4.5%, 10/4%, 10/1%, 9/4.5%, 9/4%
  • Who is it for? 

    • Gender:
      • Males and females
    • Severity of acne:
      • Mild-to-moderate acne
    • Age:
      • Children of 12 years and older, adolescents, and adults

How to use it:

Sodium sulfacetamide / Sulfur is a topical treatment and is available as a cream / emollient cream, gel, lotion, suspension, cleanser, cleansing cloth / pads, emollient foam, and wash.

Sodium sulfacetamide / Sulfur is usually applied one to three times a day. 

Wash your hands before applying sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur.

The dosing for children of 12 years and older and adolescents is the same as the dosing for adults.

Do not get sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If it does get into your eyes, wash your eyes with a generous amount of water and seek medical attention if there is any irritation. 

Sodium sulfacetamide / Sulfur should be used with caution on skin that is not intact. If it gets into a cut or scrape, rinse it off with water. 

Follow the instructions on your prescription carefully and use sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur exactly as prescribed by your physician. Do not change the dose or the frequency of your medication. If you have any questions about the medication or the prescription, ask your physician or pharmacist. 

  • Cream / Emollient cream, gel, or lotion application: 
    • Before applying sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur cream, gel, or lotion, wash the acne-affected skin with water and a mild cleanser. Pat the skin dry with a soft towel. 
    • Apply a thin film of sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur to acne-affected skin, 1 to 3 times a day.
  • Suspension:
    • Before applying sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur suspension, wash the acne-affected skin with water and a mild cleanser. Pat the skin dry with a soft towel. 
    • Shake well before using the suspension.
    • Apply a thin film of sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur to acne-affected skin, 1 to 3 times a day.
  • Cleanser / Wash:
    • Apply the cleanser to the wet, acne-affected skin and gently massage the skin for 10 to 20 seconds. 
    • Rinse the treated area and pat dry.
    • Apply the cleanser 1 to 2 times a day.
  • Cleansing cloth / pads:
    • Moisten the acne-affected skin and the cleansing cloth / pad with water.
    • Gently massage the skin for 10 to 20 seconds with the cloth / pad. 
    • Rinse the treated area and pat dry.
    • Gently wipe the acne-affected areas with  the cleansing cloth / pad 1 to 2 times a day.
    • Dispose the cloth / pad in the trash; do not flurs.
  • Emollient foam:
    • Before applying sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur, wash the acne-affected skin with water and a mild cleanser. Pat the skin dry with a soft towel.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prime the can when using for the first time
    • Shake can vigorously before each use.
    • Apply the foam to acne-affected skin, 1 to 3 times a day.
    • The foam may remain on the skin after application or may be rinsed off after 1 to 10 minutes. 

Be aware of: 

  • Before using sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur, let your physician or pharmacist know if you are allergic to sodium sulfacetamide, sulfur, sulfonamides, or to any of the other ingredients in the cream / emollient cream, gel, lotion, suspension, cleanser, cleansing cloth / pads, emollient foam, and wash. 
  • Before using sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur, inform your physician about the prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are using/taking. 
  • Before using sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur, inform your physician if you ever have ever suffered from renal disease.
  • Before using sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur, inform your physician if you ever have ever suffered from or currently suffer from autoimmune diseases, any bleeding or blood disorders, skin reactions to any drugs, liver disease, or allergic reactions.
  • Inform your doctor if you are any sulfonamide-containing drugs, before you start using sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur. It is advised that sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur should not be taken at the same time as sulfonamide-containing drugs, as this may worsen certain side effects. 
  • If you are using sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur and are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, talk to your physician about using sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur during pregnancy.
  • If you are using sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur and are breastfeeding, talk to your physician about using sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur during this period.
  • If sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur was prescribed for acne, you can continue your regular diet unless your physician advises otherwise.
  • Do not use sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur for a skin condition that it was not prescribed for, without consulting your physician first. 
  • Do not share your medication with anyone else. 
  • Keep your regular appointments with your physician to track your response to sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur.

Drug interactions: 

Inform your physician or pharmacist about all the prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan on taking before starting sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur. Also inform your physician or pharmacist of the skin products you use including soaps, cleansers, moisturizers, and cosmetics. 

Drugs that should not be used with sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur at all are:

  • BCG (intravesical)

Full list of drug interactions (From PubMed and Medline Plus):

  • BCG vaccine
  • Sodium picosulfate

Do not swallow

If sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur is swallowed, contact an emergency facility or call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1 (800) 222-1222 (available 24/7).

If immediate assistance is necessary because the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, call 911.

Information can also be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help

What if I miss a dose?

As soon as you recall that you have missed a dose, apply the missed dose. However, skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose and continue with your prescribed dosing schedule. Do not increase the quantity or frequency of application to make up for the missed dose.

Storage:

Store your medication in the container that the pharmacist provided and keep it out of reach and out of sight of children. Many containers can be opened by children. Keep the container tightly closed. Always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location that is up and away from the sight of young children, to prevent poisoning (www.upandaway.org).

Store the medication at room temperature. Keep the medication away from excessive heat and moisture – do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze sodium sulfacetamide / sulfur.

Foam: The can should not be stored at temperatures above 49 degrees Celcius (120 degrees Fahrenheit). Do not poke holes in the can. Do not throw the can into a fire, even when the can is empty.

Disposal: Do not keep outdated medication and medication that you no longer use. Unneeded medications should be disposed of in a way that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. Do not flush the medication down the toilet. Contact your pharmacist to learn about the availability of a medicine take-back program in your neighborhood, or get in touch with your local garbage/recycling department to ensure safe disposal. If you do not have access to a take-back program, you can find more information on safe disposal of medication on the FDA website: (https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/SafeDisposalofMedicines/ucm186187.htm)

References
  1. Uptodate.com. (2018). Sulfur and Sulfacetamide (topical). [online] Available at: https://www-uptodate-com.eresources.mssm.edu/contents/sulfur-and-sulfacetamide-drug-information?search=sulfacetamide%20sulfur&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~15&usage_type=default&display_rank=1. [Accessed 31 May. 2018].
  2. Epocrates.com. (2018). Sulfacetamide/ Sulfur (topical). [online] Available at: https://online.epocrates.com/drugs/235610/sulfacetamide-sulfur-topical/Monograph. [Accessed 31 May. 2018].
  3. DailyMed (2018). Sulfacetamide sodium and Sulfur. [online] Available at: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/search.cfm?labeltype=all&query=SULFACETAMIDE+SODIUM+AND+SULFUR. [Accessed 31 May. 2018].