Coal tar/ salicylic acid/ sulfur shampoo

Generic Name: coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur (kole tar/SAL-i-SIL-ik AS-id/SUL-fur)
Brand Name: Examples include Ala-Seb-T and Pazol XS

Coal tar/ salicylic acid/ sulfur shampoo is used for:

Relieving itching, flaking, irritation, redness, and scaling caused by dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis of the scalp. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo is a topical coal tar, salicylate, and sulfur combination. It works by causing the skin to swell, soften, and then slough or peel in areas where it is applied.

Do NOT use coal tar/ salicylic acid/ sulfur shampoo if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo
  • you are using prescription medicine or other treatments for psoriasis (eg, ultraviolet radiation therapy), unless instructed by your doctor

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Psoriasis: Treatment Options to Manage Your Symptoms

Before using coal tar/ salicylic acid/ sulfur shampoo:

Some medical conditions may interact with coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, difficulty breathing, dizziness) to aspirin or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) (eg, ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib)
  • if you have liver or kidney problems, a skin infection, skin irritation, eczema, diabetes, or poor blood circulation

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo. Because little, if any, of coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.

Ask your health care provider if coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use coal tar/ salicylic acid/ sulfur shampoo:

Use coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Shake well before each use.
  • Wet hair, apply generously, and massage onto wet scalp. Leave lather on your scalp for a full 5 minutes. Rinse well and repeat. Be sure to wash your hands after each use.
  • If you miss a dose of coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo.

Important safety information:

  • Certain acne products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can rarely cause serious and sometimes life-threatening allergic reactions or severe irritation. Before first use, you may need to follow certain steps to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction. Use coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo as you were told by your doctor or read the package label. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo is for external use only. Avoid getting coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo in your eyes, nose, or mouth, or on the genitals. If contact with your eyes occurs, flush with water for 15 minutes. Do not inhale the vapors of coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo.
  • Coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo may cause harm if it is swallowed. If you may have taken it by mouth, contact your poison control center or emergency room right away.
  • Overuse of topical products may worsen your condition. Do NOT use more than the recommended dose of coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo. Do not use for longer than prescribed by your doctor or on the package label without checking with your doctor.
  • If your condition does not get better after regular use of coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo or if it gets worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your doctor before use if you have a condition that covers a large area of the body.
  • Be sure to apply coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo only to the affected area and not to normal healthy skin.
  • Do not use coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo on skin that is irritated, infected, or reddened.
  • Do not use coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo on open skin wounds, moles, birthmarks, genital warts, warts on the face, or warts growing hair.
  • Do not use any other medicines or drying products on your skin unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
  • Coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo. Use a sunscreen or protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.
  • Coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo contains a salicylate, which has been linked to Reye syndrome. Do not use coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo on children or teenagers during or after chickenpox, flu, or other viral infections without checking with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo during pregnancy. It is not known if coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while you are using coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo.

Possible side effects of coal tar/ salicylic acid/ sulfur shampoo:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dry, peeling, red, or scaling skin.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); severe irritation.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include agitation; diarrhea; dizziness; loss of appetite; loss of hearing; mental disturbances; nausea; rapid or difficult breathing; ringing in the ears; seizures; sluggishness; vomiting; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Proper storage of coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo:

Store coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using coal tar/salicylic acid/sulfur shampoo.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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