Skip to main content


Generic name: sulfadiazine [ sull-fa-DYE-ah-zeen ]
Dosage form: oral tablet (500 mg)
Drug class: Sulfonamides

Medically reviewed by on May 18, 2022. Written by Cerner Multum.

What are sulfadiazine?

Sulfadiazine is an antibiotic that fights bacteria.

Sulfadiazine is used to treat many different types of infection, such as urinary tract infections, ear infections, meningitis, malaria, toxoplasmosis, and others.

Sulfadiazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Do not use sulfadiazine during late pregnancy, just before you deliver.

Do not use if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use sulfadiazine if you are allergic to any sulfa drug.

Do not use sulfadiazine during late pregnancy, just before you deliver.

Do not use if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give sulfadiazine to a child younger than 2 months old without a doctor's advice.

To make sure sulfadiazine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • asthma, severe allergies; or

  • a genetic enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether sulfadiazine will be harmful to an unborn baby. Sulfadiazine can cause severe jaundice that could lead to brain damage in your newborn if you take this medicine just before childbirth. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

Sulfadiazine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed while using sulfadiazine.

How should I take sulfadiazine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take this medicine with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking sulfadiazine to keep your kidneys working properly.

Take your doses at regular intervals to keep a steady amount of the drug in your body at all times.

Do not use sulfadiazine to treat any condition that has not been checked by your doctor.

Do not share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Sulfadiazine will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using sulfadiazine.

While using sulfadiazine, you may need frequent blood and urine tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking sulfadiazine?

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Sulfadiazine can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Sulfadiazine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Sulfadiazine may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, swollen glands, joint pain, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing;

  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;

  • increased or decreased urinating, pain in your side or lower back;

  • hallucinations, seizure (convulsions);

  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • severe skin reaction--swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects of sulfadiazine may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect sulfadiazine?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with sulfadiazine, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with sulfadiazine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Further information

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