What is Sulfamylon&Reg;?

Misty Wiser

Sulfamylon® is a topical cream used to treat and prevent bacterial infections in second and third degree burns. The balm contains mafenide acetate and is applied one to two times a day over cleansed and debrided burn wounds. Using the anti-infective cream may result in faster healing times when applied as directed.

An allergic reaction to sulfamylon may produce an itchy red rash.
An allergic reaction to sulfamylon may produce an itchy red rash.

Before applying Sulfamylon® to the burned skin, the area must be washed and any necrotizing tissue needs to be removed. To maintain the sterility of the ointment, gloves should be worn when coating the burned area with the cream. The damaged skin should be covered with a moist layer of the cream at all times to promote the regeneration of the healing tissue.

Doctors often prescribe Sulfamylon for people with second or third degree burns.
Doctors often prescribe Sulfamylon for people with second or third degree burns.

Some people should not use Sulfamylon® for the treatment of burns. Women that are pregnant or trying to conceive are not prescribed this topical cream. Breastfeeding mothers are also advised not to use this cream because it is not known if the medicine is passed to the infant in breast milk. Patients with kidney or respiratory issues should also not use it, and those with asthma are more likely to have an allergic reaction to it.

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Any allergic reaction to the cream needs to be evaluated by medical professionals immediately. Shortness of breath is often the first indication of an allergic reaction. The face, throat, mouth, and lips may swell as the allergic reaction progresses. An itchy pinkish-red raised rash may develop quickly, and it may manifest as little spots or cover a large area.

Most people have not reported bothersome side effects when using Sulfamylon®. Slight pain and redness after applying the burn cream are the most frequently reported side effects. Others experience a burning sensation or blistering when the cream comes into contact with skin. The adverse effects usually go away when the cream is no longer used.

Severe side effects of Sulfamylon® cream include skin changes and a rapid heartbeat. If the skin seems thinner, thicker, or yellowish in color, it should be reported to the physician. Any muscle weakness or changes in mental clarity could indicate an undesirable reaction to the cream. A person may experience hyperventilation caused by metabolic acidosis resulting from the use of the burn cream.

While a patient is using Sulfamylon®, a physician may request frequent blood tests. The blood tests are used to measure the amount of liver enzymes circulating in the blood. Elevated liver enzymes may indicate the medicine is having an adverse effect on the organ, and should be discontinued.

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