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July 2, 2013

Silver Sulfadiazine

Trade names include Silvadene, SSD AF, Thermazene.

Silver Sulfadiazine topical cream is a sulfa drug that is used in the prevention or treatment of skin infections in patients with second and third degree burns; it can also be used for other conditions that will be determined by your doctor. Silvadene has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that work by killing bacteria or fungi and is for external use only.

Before using this drug tell your doctor:

  • About any previous allergy to this drug, any allergy to sulfa drugs or other medications.
  • About any other medications you are using whether they are prescription or over-the-counter.
  • If you are pregnant or breast feeding.
  • If you have liver or kidney disease as smaller doses may be needed.
  • If you have an enzyme deficiency disease known as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD) because of the increased risk of hemolysis.

Follow the instructions given to you by your doctor for using Silvadene. When using Sivadene:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and wear sterile gloves.
  • Cover the cleaned burned area with a thin layer of about 1/16 inch of the Silvadene once or twice a day as recommended by your doctor.
  • The burned area should be kept covered with the medicine at all times.
  • Reapply the medicine to the burned area if for any reason it becomes uncovered.
  • The area treated can be left uncovered or may be covered with dressing (consult your doctor).
Side effects of Silvadene include:
  • Burning sensation on the treated area and itching, contact your doctor if they don't go away or if they become severe.
  • Skin rash, this may indicate allergy to the drug, contact your doctor.
  • Dark skin discoloration.
  • Rare side effects may include increased skin sensitivity to sunlight, fever, bloody urine, decreased or painful urination, unusual bleeding or bruising, sore throat, unusual weakness, shortness of breath. You have to contact your doctor immediately if you develop any of these symptoms.
Silvadene is not used for premature infants or infants less than two months of age as it may cause liver problems for infants.

Contact your doctor if you notice signs and symptoms of infection or if an infection worsens (see skin infection).

Keep the medicine out of reach of children and follow your doctor's orders regarding the use of this medication and the duration of use. Don't stop using Silvadene unless you have been told to do so by your doctor.

This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.

November 18, 2011

Severe Burns Among Pediatrics Can Heal With Fewer Treatments, New Study Finds


Here is a research finding that could improve the recovery experience for pediatric patients who have suffered severe burns.

In mid-October, a study was released by researchers at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri that says that fewer treatments are just as effective as the present standard of care given to children suffering from burns. The research was presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Boston.

"Given the risk of infection, dressings for burn patients need to be changed once or twice a day. This experience can be traumatic, especially for a young child," said Daniel Ostlie, M.D., director, Surgical Critical Care at Children's Mercy and lead investigator of the study. "If we can reduce this trauma just the slightest bit by eliminating one of the topical applications - with no major implications for outcome - we can make a significant improvement in the patient recovery experience."

In the randomized study, researchers compared the effectiveness of two burn therapies commonly used to facilitate the healing process: topical silver sulfadiazine, which is an antimicrobial treatment; and collagenase ointment, which is an enzyme therapy. While silver sulfadiazine is frequently used for its anti-bacterial properties, collagenase ointment is believed to shorten the healing time of burn wounds.

"For all of our burn patients, we want to avoid more invasive treatment, such as skin graft, because these add another layer of distress for the patient and the family," said Janine Pettiford, M.D., surgical scholar in the Department of Surgery at Children's Mercy and an author of the study. "Non-invasive topical therapies have proven to be effective, but no studies have demonstrated if one treatment is more effective than another in reducing the odds that the patient would need a skin graft."

Using a consistent intervention approach with both therapies, researchers found there was no difference in the need for skin grafting between the two therapies. Additionally, the cost difference between the therapies was insignificant.

Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics is one of the nation's top pediatric medical centers. The 314-bed hospital provides care for children from birth through the age of 18, and has been recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet designation for excellence in nursing services, and ranked in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Children's Hospitals" listing for all 10 specialties the magazine ranks.

I you or someone you know does suffer a severe burn injury or a smoke inhalation injury, you should call Kramer & Pollack LLP in Mineola, New York so that the personal injury attorneys in that firm can determine whether another party has legal liability for injuries suffered, and if the injured party has a solid legal case.