Sulfur is used for several conditions and comes in
ointment, cream, lotion, and soap. Sulfur in ointment is the formulation used
for scabies and seborrheic dermatitis.
Sulfur may kill adult
The medicine will come
with instructions. And your doctor will also give you a treatment schedule.
instructions for using scabies medicines are a general
guide for using scabies creams or ointments.
If sulfur is
recommended for treating lice, talk to your doctor about how to use it.
Sulfur is used primarily to treat
scabies in newborn infants and pregnant women.1 In general, it is used only when permethrin
or other medicine cannot be used.
Sulfur is sometimes used to
lice on very small infants, pregnant women, and
nursing women, because it may be safer to use than other medicines.
Precipitated sulfur is considered a
safe treatment for scabies.1 There is not clear evidence from studies showing how well it works. But it sometimes cures scabies.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor right away if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of
side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
This medicine is often applied to the whole body for 3 days in a row, using it in the morning and again in the evening for 3 days.
Precipitated sulfur does not cost
much. But it is very messy, stains clothing and bedding, and has a bad
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Burkhart CN, Burkhart CG (2012). Scabies, other mites, and pediculosis. In LA Goldman et al., eds., Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine, 8th ed., vol. 2, pp. 2569–2578. New York: McGraw-Hill.
March 25, 2013
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
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