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Sulfacetamide/ urea emulsion

Generic Name: sodium sulfacetamide/sulfur (sul-fa-SEE-ta-mide/yoor-EE-a)
Brand Name: Examples include Rosula Cleanser and Sulfatol Cleanser

Sulfacetamide/ urea emulsion is used for:

Treating certain skin conditions (eg, seborrheic dermatitis), dandruff, and certain bacterial infections of the skin. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Sulfacetamide/urea emulsion is a sulfonamide antibiotic. It works by killing bacteria, helping to shed scaly skin, and softening the skin.

Do NOT use sulfacetamide/ urea emulsion if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in sulfacetamide/urea emulsion
  • 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
  • you are taking methenamine

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

Before using sulfacetamide/ urea emulsion:

Some medical conditions may interact with sulfacetamide/urea emulsion. 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 history of lupus

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

  • Silver-containing products (eg, silver sulfadiazine) because they may decrease sulfacetamide/urea emulsion's effectiveness
  • Methenamine because it may increase the risk of sulfacetamide/urea emulsion's side effects

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

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

  • Sulfacetamide/urea emulsion is for use on the skin only. Wash your hands before and immediately after using sulfacetamide/urea emulsion. Clean the affected area before applying sulfacetamide/urea emulsion. Wet skin and apply plenty of sulfacetamide/urea emulsion. Rub gently into the skin for 10 to 20 seconds to form a full lather, rinse completely, and pat dry.
  • To clear up your infection completely, use sulfacetamide/urea emulsion for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • Sulfacetamide/urea emulsion works best if it is used at the same time each day.
  • Continue to use sulfacetamide/urea emulsion even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of sulfacetamide/urea emulsion, 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/urea emulsion.

Important safety information:

  • It may take several days for sulfacetamide/urea emulsion to work fully.
  • Avoid getting sulfacetamide/urea emulsion in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use any other medicines or cleansers on your skin.
  • Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Sulfacetamide/urea emulsion only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections.
  • Be sure to use sulfacetamide/urea emulsion 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/urea emulsion 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/urea emulsion should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 12 years 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/urea emulsion while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk after topical use. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use sulfacetamide/urea emulsion, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of sulfacetamide/ urea emulsion:

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:

Irritation, stinging, or burning of the 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); bloody diarrhea; fever; joint pain; red, swollen, or blistered skin; severe diarrhea; sores in the mouth; stomach cramps/pain.

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/urea emulsion may be harmful if swallowed. Symptoms of ingestion may include change in the amount of urine; nausea; vomiting.

Proper storage of sulfacetamide/urea emulsion:

Store sulfacetamide/urea emulsion 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/urea emulsion out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

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

Issue Date: June 3, 2015

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.