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What is Silvadene®?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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Silavadene®, which has the generic name silver sulfadiazine topical, is a type of antibiotic. This medication is applied to a person’s skin and used to fight both bacteria and fungus. It is usually applied to skin that has been burned and can be helpful for not only treating infections that develop there, but also preventing them. Silavadene® is most often used for the treatment of first- and second-degree burns.

An individual typically has to wash his hands before using Silavadene®. This is important for avoiding the introduction of germs into the wound. In fact, people who are treating burn wounds with this medication are often advised to wear sterile gloves while applying it to the skin. This helps to keep the wound area clean and may also prevent the spread of any infections that may have already developed in the wound.

To apply Silavadene® to a burn wound, a person usually cleans the area first. In most cases, the wound is also dried before the medication is applied. After cleaning the wound, a person usually spreads a thin layer of the cream over the affected area to a thickness of only about 1/16 inch (1.58 millimeters). The entire burn wound area should be covered with the medication, however, and it is usually applied one to two times per day.

It is critical to keep a burn wound clean during treatment with Silavadene®. To this end, a person may cover the affected area with a clean gauze dressing. It is generally okay to leave the wound uncovered instead, though this may make it harder to keep the wound clean. Additionally, it is considered critical to keep the medication on the patient’s skin at all times, which means a person has to reapply it after he bathes, participates in water therapy, or accidentally wipes the medication off on clothing or blankets.

There are some side effects that may develop with Silavadene® use. Among them are flu symptoms, including fever and chills, bleeding, bruising, blood in the urine, and changes in urination frequency. Some people also notice that their urine becomes paler or darker than usual while they're taking this medication, and in some cases, ulcers develop on skin that has been treated with Silavadene®. Swelling, drowsiness, altered emotions, and gastrointestinal upset may develop as well. Additionally, an individual may also notice itchiness and skin discoloration while he is using this medication.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison , Writer
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

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Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison


Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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