Sulfacetamide ointment

Generic Name: sulfacetamide (SUL-fa-SEET-a-mide)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Sulfacetamide ointment is used for:

Treating eye infections caused by certain bacteria.

Sulfacetamide ointment is a sulfonamide antibiotic. It works by killing sensitive bacteria.

Do NOT use sulfacetamide ointment if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in sulfacetamide ointment
  • you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, difficulty breathing, dizziness) to any other sulfonamide medicine, such as acetazolamide, celecoxib, certain diuretics (eg, hydrochlorothiazide), glyburide, probenecid, sulfamethoxazole, valdecoxib, or zonisamide

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

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Before using sulfacetamide ointment:

Some medical conditions may interact with sulfacetamide ointment. 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 a discharge from your eye

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with sulfacetamide ointment. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Silver-containing products because they may decrease sulfacetamide ointment's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if sulfacetamide ointment 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 sulfacetamide ointment:

Use sulfacetamide ointment as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • To use sulfacetamide ointment in the eye, first, wash your hands. Using your index finger, pull the lower eyelid away from your eye to form a pouch. Squeeze a small amount (about one-half inch ribbon) of sulfacetamide ointment into the pouch. After using sulfacetamide ointment, gently close your eyes for 1 to 2 minutes. Wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them. Wipe the applicator tip with a clean, dry tissue.
  • To prevent germs from contaminating your medicine, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface, including the eye. Keep the container tightly closed.
  • Ask your doctor how to use your contact lenses while using sulfacetamide ointment.
  • To clear up your infection completely, use sulfacetamide ointment for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • Sulfacetamide ointment works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • Continue to use sulfacetamide ointment even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of sulfacetamide ointment, 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 sulfacetamide ointment.

Important safety information:

  • Sulfacetamide ointment may cause vision changes. Use sulfacetamide ointment with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks if you cannot see clearly.
  • Do NOT use sulfacetamide ointment for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Sulfacetamide ointment only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections.
  • Be sure to use sulfacetamide ointment for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of sulfacetamide ointment may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Sulfacetamide ointment should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 2 months old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using sulfacetamide ointment while you are pregnant. It is not known if sulfacetamide ointment is found in breast milk after use in the eye. Do not breast-feed while using sulfacetamide ointment.

Possible side effects of sulfacetamide ointment:

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:

Mild irritation, stinging, or burning.

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); fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; joint pain; new or worsening eye discharge, inflammation, or pain; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, pale stools, stomach pain, yellowing of the eyes or skin); unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; unusually pale skin; vision changes.

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. Sulfacetamide ointment may be harmful if swallowed. Symptoms of ingestion may include change in the amount of urine produced; nausea; vomiting.

Proper storage of sulfacetamide ointment:

Store sulfacetamide ointment at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze. Keep sulfacetamide ointment out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about sulfacetamide ointment, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Sulfacetamide ointment 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 sulfacetamide ointment 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 sulfacetamide ointment. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to sulfacetamide ointment. 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 sulfacetamide ointment.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
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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