What are the Most Common Uses for Sulfacetamide Sodium?

Jennifer Long
Jennifer Long
Sulfacetamide sodium is used in eye drops to treat conjunctivitis.
Sulfacetamide sodium is used in eye drops to treat conjunctivitis.

There are two common uses for sulfacetamide sodium. In the ophthalmic solution form, it is prescribed as a type of eye infection treatment. As a topical lotion or cream, it is used to treat acne. This medication is a type of sulfonamide antibiotic, also referred to as a sulfonamide, which is what makes it a common choice for both problems.

Sulfacetamide sodium ophthalmic solution is used to treat many common types of eye pathogens, such Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia ecoli, and Haemophilus influenza. It is also effective against Streptococcus pneumonia and Enterobacter species. This ocular infection treatment is not effective against some strains of Pseudomonas aeroginosa, Serratia marcescens, and Neisseria species. There are also many strains of staphylococcal viruses that are completely resistant to sulfacetamides.

When using sulfacetamide sodium as a conjunctivitis treatment or to treat other types of eye infections, basic usage tips can help prevent cross-contamination. All areas where the medication will be applied should be clean and dry. The applicator tip should not come in contact with the affected area or hands. If it requires spreading by hand, the hands should be washed with an antibacterial soap.

Side effects of sulfacetamide sodium for ophthalmic use include skin redness, itching, and mild swelling. Dry skin is also common. If the surrounding skin appears with a yellow color, too much medication has been used. More serious side effects, such as signs of an allergic reaction or symptoms of a skin infection, may require emergency medical attention.

The lotion and cream versions of sulfacetamide sodium are particularly effective treatments for specific acne cases. Acne that occurs as a result of excessive bacteria on the skin, and not form hormonal changes, can be treated with this medication. This medication works by killing the bacteria on the surface of the skin. It can also be prescribed to treat certain skin infections, dandruff, and seborrheic dermatitis.

As a treatment for acne, this sulfacetamide medication has a different set of usage tips. Depending on the exact form of the medication, thorough shaking may be required. The face area should be washed with a mild facial cleanser and gently patted dry.

Common side effects of this medication as a treatment for skin conditions include redness, dryness, peeling, and similar irritation. Less common side effects include symptoms that worsen and signs of infection, such as a fever or sore throat. Rare but serious problems, such as difficulty breathing or an irregular heartbeat, need immediate care.

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    • Sulfacetamide sodium is used in eye drops to treat conjunctivitis.
      By: Stacy Barnett
      Sulfacetamide sodium is used in eye drops to treat conjunctivitis.