Sulfadiazine

Generic Name: sulfadiazine (sul-fa-DYE-a-zeen)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Sulfadiazine is used for:

Treating and preventing certain bacterial infections.

Sulfadiazine is a sulfonamide antibiotic. It works by inhibiting the growth and replication of bacteria.

Do NOT use sulfadiazine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in sulfadiazine or any other sulfonamide medicine (eg, sulfamethoxazole)
  • you are pregnant at term or you are breast-feeding an infant younger than 2 months of age
  • you have blood problems (anemia) due to decreased folic acid in your blood
  • you have severe kidney disease or a blockage of your bladder

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

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Before using sulfadiazine:

Some medical conditions may interact with sulfadiazine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are planning to become pregnant
  • 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 diarrhea, a sore throat, or a stomach or intestinal infection
  • if you have a history of asthma, liver problems, kidney problems, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency, the blood disease porphyria, or other blood problems

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

  • Indomethacin, probenecid, or salicylates (eg, aspirin) because the side effects of sulfadiazine may be increased
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of bleeding may be increased
  • Methotrexate or thiazide diuretics (eg, hydrochlorothiazide) because side effects may be increased by sulfadiazine
  • Sulfonylureas (eg, glyburide) because the risk of low blood sugar may be increased

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

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

  • Sulfadiazine may be taken with or without food.
  • Drinking extra fluids while you are taking sulfadiazine is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
  • To clear up your infection completely, continue using sulfadiazine for the full course of treatment even if you feel better in a few days.
  • If you miss a dose of sulfadiazine, take 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 take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use sulfadiazine.

Important safety information:

  • Sulfadiazine may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to sulfadiazine. Using sulfadiazine alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • If you have had a severe allergic reaction to sulfadiazine or any other sulfonamide medicine (eg, sulfisoxazole, sulfamethoxazole, glyburide, probenecid), contact your doctor or pharmacist before taking sulfadiazine. A severe reaction includes a severe rash, hives, breathing difficulties, or dizziness. If you have a question about whether you are allergic to sulfadiazine or if a certain medicine is a sulfonamide, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Sulfadiazine is effective only against bacteria. It is not effective for treating viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • It is important to use sulfadiazine for the full course of treatment. Failure to do so may decrease the effectiveness of sulfadiazine and increase the risk that the bacteria will no longer be sensitive to sulfadiazine and will not be able to be treated by this or certain other antibiotics in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of sulfadiazine may cause a second infection. Your doctor may want to change your medicine to treat the second infection. Contact your doctor if signs of a second infection occur.
  • Sulfadiazine may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to sulfadiazine. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.
  • If severe diarrhea, stomach pain or cramps, or bloody stools occur, contact your doctor immediately. This could be a symptom of a serious side effect requiring immediate medical attention. Do not treat diarrhea without consulting your doctor.
  • Diabetes patients - Sulfadiazine may cause incorrect test results with urine tests for ketones. Check with your doctor before you adjust the dose of your diabetes medicine or change your diet.
  • Diabetes patients - Sulfadiazine may cause low blood sugar (eg, increased heartbeat, headache, chills, sweating, tremor, increased hunger, changes in vision, nervousness, weakness, dizziness, drowsiness, fainting). It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar. If you do not have a reliable source of glucose available, eat a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or drink a glass of orange juice or nondiet soda to quickly raise your blood sugar level. Tell your doctor immediately about the reaction. To prevent hypoglycemia, eat meals on a regular schedule and do not skip meals.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using sulfadiazine.
  • LAB TESTS, including blood counts, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Sulfadiazine is not recommended for use in CHILDREN younger than 2 months of age because they may develop yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice).
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking sulfadiazine, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using sulfadiazine during pregnancy. Sulfadiazine is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking sulfadiazine.

Possible side effects of sulfadiazine:

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:

Dizziness; drowsiness; headache; gas; loss of appetite; nausea; sensitivity to sunlight; vomiting.

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

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody stools; bluish color of skin; dark urine; decreased amount of urine; fainting; fast heartbeat; hallucinations; joint pain; mouth sores or irritation; pale skin; persistent sore throat or fever; pounding in the chest; red, blistered, or swollen skin; red or purple patches under the skin; seizures; severe or persistent diarrhea; severe reaction to the sun; stomach pain or cramps; trouble urinating; unusual tiredness or weakness; vaginal irritation or discharge; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

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 dizziness; drowsiness; headache; loss of appetite; loss of consciousness; nausea; stomach cramps; vomiting.

Proper storage of sulfadiazine:

Store sulfadiazine at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep sulfadiazine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

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

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
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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