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What is silvadene cream?

Updated April 17, 2017

Silvadene (generic name: Silver Sulfadiazine) is a topical antibiotic that belongs to the sulfonamide group of drugs. It's typically employed as an adjunct for the treatment of second- and third-degree burns. People with wound sepsis also are administered the drug to prevent any types of fungal or bacterial skin infections from materialising on their existing skin injuries.

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Function

Silvadene acts on the cell membrane and wall by eliminating any existing bacteria. Additionally, it helps by inhibiting infectivity and other forms of bacterial and fungal growth bacterial growth so they can't spread to other areas of the skin or infiltrate the blood. According to drugs.com, clinical studies and data show Silvadene's effectiveness in restraining bacteria that are unresponsive resistant to other antimicrobial agents.

Features

Silvadene is spread directly onto the wound in a thin layer that's about 1/16th of an inch thickness. It's recommended that the cream be spread with a tongue blade. Gauze dressing is placed over the area where Silvadene has been applied, to protect the wound. Prior to applying Silvadene, the skin should be thoroughly cleansed and dry. Silvadene cream is generally applied twice a day and must be administered regularly in order to be maximally effective. Patients should use Silvadene until the burn or wound heals amply or if they are ready to go through skin grafting procedures.

Identification

Every gram of Silvadene Cream 1 per cent includes 10mg of micronised silver sulfadiazine.The cream's vehicle is also made up of: white petrolatum, stearyl alcohol, isopropyl myristate, sorbitan monooleate, polyoxyl 40 stearate, propylene glycol, and water, with methylparaben 0.3 per cent as a preservative. An individual's specific dosage depends on the severity of their condition and how they react to the medication. Silvadene is available in jars that hold 50g, 400g or 1000g. It also come is tubes of 20g and 85g.

Side Effects and Adverse Drug Reactions

Although infrequent, Silvadene has been attributed to side effects such as skin necrosis, erythema multiforme, skin discolouration, burning sensation, rashes and interstitial nephritis. Silvadene can interfere with other medications that are used to treat burns and skin problems. This is especially true for topical medications that contain ingredients such as collagenase, papain and sutilain. Individuals who are allergic to sulfa drugs are advised to not use Silvadene.

Warning

Since sulfonamide therapy is known to increase the possibility of kernicterus, women who are pregnant, premature infants and newborns are advised against its usage. Additionally, people with pre-existing medical conditions, including blood problems, G6PD enzyme deficiency, porphyia, and kidney or liver disease, must exercise extreme caution if using Silvadene since it can further aggravate such conditions.

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About the Author

Serena Spinello holds two master’s degrees and is pursuing her Ph.D. in medical science. She has been a professional writer and researcher for over 10 years and is an active member of the American Medical Writers Association, Academy of Medical Educators, and the National Association of Social Workers.

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